Some Assembly Required
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," weighing the world in the balance and finding it wanting since ... let's see ... I know I didn't have a color television set at the time. So we'll call it 1964.
The pesky First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that Congress will not "abridge the freedom ... of the people peaceably to assemble."
Notice our Founding Fathers even got the infinitive correct! ("to assemble")
Well, readers, what can I say? Can you really expect that a country that prints "In God We Trust" on its legal tender (violating the same First Amendment) is going to get this peaceable assembly for the redress of grievences thing right?
You take your average college or university, invite a politician to speak, allow a couple of students to gather together to hear the politician, and it's practically an open invitation to police brutality. Because, you know, people with grievances -- especially young, healthy people with grievances -- are always just an eyeblink away from becoming a murderous mob!
So, let us not allow those peaceable grievancers to blink their eyes.
To use a metaphor from the game of bowling, the entire history of the United States has teemed with unconstitutional instances of "strike hard, spare no one."
Someone got tasered at a John Kerry speech? That's your First Amendment at work.
Please don't tell me that the bad policemen will be disciplined. What's important is what happens at the moment of peaceable assembly. You're much more likely to get the big hurt from a gun-toting National Guardsman, a hose-wielding policeman, or a baton-bashing anti-union goon than from ... a jury. Months or years later. In a small, quiet courtroom.
We at "The Gods Are Bored" suggest that perhaps the entire Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution should just be deleted for excess word count. That way Americans won't look like a bunch of moron hypocrites.