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SENTRY JOURNAL » Uncategorized » The Constitution: Keeping a promise ( H.R. 347)

The Constitution: Keeping a promise ( H.R. 347)

As many of you know I made a New Year’s resolution to contact my elected representative whenever I feel a bill has been crafted, passed, or signed into law that violates the constitution.  I do this because if we’re going to turn this thing around we’re going to need to reestablish the constitution as the law of the land.  We do this by not remaining silent when a bill like H.R. 347 is passed and signed into law.  This law threatens freedom of speech in America and my representative voted yes in support of it.  My representative is a Republican so party affiliation means very little because this bill got overwhelming support from both sides of the political spectrum.  Below is the the letter I sent him via email an hour ago.

Congressman Berg,

I’m contacting you in regards to your recent vote on H.R. 347.  As you know this bill was signed into law by President Obama on 8 March 2012 after it overwhelmingly passed the House with bipartisan support.  It’s now the law of the land and we’re stuck with it until it’s challenged in the courts.  The omission of the word willfully not only gives federal agents sweeping new powers to suppress protests, it also nullifies intent and in my opinion creates an environment that directly threatens one our most sacred rights; freedom of speech.  The bill allows secret service agents to decide where free speech is permitted and where it is not.  Please explain to me where the source of this power comes from that permits congress to make a law that does exactly what the first amendment of our constitution prohibits.

The first amendment reads as follows:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

How can the people petition the government for a redress of grievances under the umbrella of this law?  By voting yes to pass this bill you have acted in a manner that abridges the right of the people to freedom of speech even if it does so indirectly.  Our founders did not want to insulate our politicians from the people.  They wanted them close to the people.  They knew that in order for the republic to work, robust debate and free speech without fear of reprisal from their government was the cornerstone of a free republic.  In fact George Washington once said, “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”  Your first act when the 112th was sworn in was to read the constitution aloud on the House floor.  You promised to find the constitutional authority in the bills congress crafted and yet you voted yes for a bill that violates one of most sacred rights protected by our constitution.  How can you swear to support and defend the constitution and then shred the same document with this legislation?  The act of reading the constitution aloud on the House floor now appears empty and nothing more than a gimmick.  

I understand the need to protect our President, Vice President, and families of both against potential threats; their safety is paramount.  However we shouldn’t sacrifice liberty to accomplish this task.  This is why great care must be exercised whenever crafting legislation to protect our elected officials.  The constitution must always be in the forefront when we debate legislation because the constitution protects the rights of all Americans to include you.  Once liberty is lost it’s hard to gain it back again and I don’t believe this is the America we want to leave for our children.   We want our children to enjoy the same liberties and freedom generations of Americans enjoyed before them.  We want them to have the same rights our grandparents had and it’s up to us to ensure this happens.

You are now running for Senate in one of the most conservative states in America.  Many of my friends are asking the same questions as me; why would he vote to limit free speech if he swore to support and defend the constitution?  These are votes you’re going to have to earn and your votes are a matter of public record.  The constitution still matters to many of us sir and more and more people are starting to dig into it.  They’re starting to wake up and see what you and your colleagues are doing to it.  And they do not like what they’re seeing.  Please remember your oath and consider these words the next time you vote on a piece of legislation.


John Carey

I encourage you all to do the same.  They need to hear from us.  It might not change a thing, but they still need to hear from us.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!


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  • Jim at Conservatives on Fire March 16, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    An excellent letter, John. I hope you will let us know how he responds. With the Patriot Act, NDAA and now HR 347, we are on the road to tyranny. We Americans who still cherish freedom are a minority. Some agree with what is happening and far too many don’t recognize what is happening. The Republican Party does not represent us.
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  • Steve Dennis March 16, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Great letter John, and I can’t wait to hear the response. Even if it is only a form letter it will be telling; if he doesn’t have the courage to answer you personally I think it says all we need to know about him. You have just motivated me to write my congressman tomorrow.
    Steve Dennis recently posted..Barack Obama signs law which will limit free speech at political eventsMy Profile

    • John Carey March 17, 2012 at 8:20 AM

      Thanks Steve. I know what you mean. It will be interesting to see how he or his staffer responds to this letter. My guess is I will get a great deal of double talk. Anyway I’m glad to hear this has inspired you to write your representative. On a side note I have been having problems commenting on your site. I get an error telling me I must input my email. Even when I rewrite my email in the block it won’t let me submit a comment. Are other people having the same problem?
      John Carey recently posted..Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2012: An Irish BlessingMy Profile

  • Matt March 16, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Outstanding John. Well said. I look forward to seeing the response.
    Matt recently posted..Um, Help me With the Math: How Can Sandra Fluke Afford to Travel About Europe, but Can’t Manage $9 Birth Control?My Profile

  • Teresa March 18, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Excellent letter John! I guess many of our Reps just read the Constitution on the House floor for show. This was all a facade they put on to have us think that they actually care about upholding and defending the Constitution. Quite sad, indeed.

    • John Carey March 18, 2012 at 7:47 PM

      My guess is he really doesn’t care what one person has to say on this topic. It will take an effort on a large scale before we get their attention. I encourage you to write your representative to express your concerns Teresa. Its the only way we can swing things back towards the people. Thanks for the comment.
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