Who reads the Constitution?


October 11, 2006, 02:05 PM
I was wondering how many people have actually read the constitution – what % of Americans. I did not find a quick answer to this question on the internet but read lots of related items and even about some Harvard professor who warned students against reading the Constitution as it would confuse their understanding of constitutional interpretation … who knows if that is true, but it made me think and realize that I do not recall ever being assigned to read the Constitution when I was in law school (college either), even in my Constitutional Law course.

It is certainly shorter than the Constitution, but last Independence Day, I made my wife, kids, and other family members who were over my house listen to me read them the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps I should add the Constitution to future reading lists.

Before anyone asks, no, I am not that much fun at parties.

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October 11, 2006, 02:08 PM
I try to read both the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence a couple of times each year, but then again I also read the Holy Bible through each year so I must be some sort of fanatic. :eek:

I have also subjected family and friends to public readings of the Declaration, and other writings by our Founding Fathers. It never hurts to be reminded of these important concepts and ideals.

October 11, 2006, 02:09 PM
Yes I have read it and refer to it when reading history a lot. We went over the articles and amendments in middle school in American history.

But of course you're really not supposed to as it will confuse your constitutional interpretation. Afterall, only the black robed dieties on high called the Supreme Court are able to understand what the Constitution really means. It is a mystical document that can only be understood via the Federal Government :D That's why we don't really have a right to keep and bear arms

Molon Labe
October 11, 2006, 02:09 PM
I read it once. Most of it contains the "nuts and bolts" of how our government is structured, along with rules and responsibilities. To be perfectly honest, I thought most of it was pretty boring.

Carl N. Brown
October 11, 2006, 02:24 PM
I noticed that the Constitution lays out the Powers and
Authorities of government entities like the President,
Congress, Courts, States and United States, but protects
only one Right (inventors and authors to patents and copyrigts)
and two Privileges (immunity of congressmen from arrest while
Congress is in session, and habeus corpus in peacetime).

Which is why the antifederalists insisted on a bill of rights
to protect rights of the people against infringement by the

Of course, some try to say that "the right of the people to keep
and bear arms" really means the Power or Authority of the
State to arm the National Guard.:rolleyes:

Carl N. Brown
October 11, 2006, 02:27 PM
When I was in highschool about 1964-65 the VFW gave me a
bound book with the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
I even took a huge sheet of brown wrapping paper and
made a full size replica of the Declaration of Independence.

Art Eatman
October 11, 2006, 02:33 PM
Got the whole deal in a little booklet right here by the computer table.

:), Art

October 11, 2006, 02:37 PM
Got me a little booklet with me, right cheer. Good, quick little read from time to time. :)

October 11, 2006, 02:40 PM
Got the whole thing right HERE! (http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution.html)

October 11, 2006, 02:41 PM
On my desk by my computer, and a second on my reloading bench.

Amazing that the whole thing can fit, with commentary, in a shirt pocket sized booklet.

Reading it through, I am struck by the fact that the Founders thought of everything---including the fact that they couldn't think of everything.

October 11, 2006, 02:41 PM
I regularly read the Dec. of Independence and the Bill of Rights (and the other amendments), but I've never read the entire Constitution start to finish. I'm sure I've probably read all of it in bits and pieces while researching various topics of interests.

October 11, 2006, 02:43 PM
I have this copy (http://www.amazon.com/U-S-Constitution-Little-Books-Wisdom/dp/1557091056/sr=8-3/qid=1160591750/ref=pd_bbs_3/002-7983275-2052049?ie=UTF8&s=books) at home and at work.

Rev. DeadCorpse
October 11, 2006, 02:43 PM
I've got a couple of different bookmarks for online resources. Constitution.org is a tresure trove. I've not only read the DoI and the Constitution, but the Federalist/Anti-Federalist papers, Elliot's Debates of the First Congress, and other related sources.

All of this to argue with idiots on the Internet. Mostly over Second Amendment and property Rights issues. Places where the law is in place, yet blatantly unConstitutional.

Brian Williams
October 11, 2006, 02:49 PM
Yep, read it
tis only about 7500 words +- a few.

October 11, 2006, 02:51 PM
Read it a few times this year. Finally taking United States History

October 11, 2006, 02:55 PM
Yes I have read it. I even used my knowlege to help out a friend in high school during a mock election. The history teacher running really didnt know what was supposed to happen if there was a 3 way tie.

October 11, 2006, 02:59 PM
I think I did in High School. We still took the time to study history in history classes back then. I did recently scan the Bill of Rights and the other successive amendments looking for the one that redefined the Second Amendment to refer to the National Guard. I must have overlooked it.

October 11, 2006, 03:04 PM
We were assigned the constitution in civics class when I was in high school, back in the eighties. (Public school, near Nashville TN) I read the whole thing through and gave no end of grief to my teachers after that! One exchange went something like this.

Me (called to the principal's office for some infraction or other): "Why did you search my locker without my consent, while I was in class? Did you have reason to believe that I was hiding something?"

Pricipal: "We aren't singling you out. Teachers routinely search student's lockers while the students are in class. Sometimes we have evidence to suggest a student is hiding something. Sometimes it's just a random check."

Me: "But according to the fourth amendment to the constitution, that's unreasonable search and siezure. Why are you violating my rights?"

Principal: "You are under eighteen. Those rights don't apply to minors."

Me: "So you are conditioning us to accept a totalitarian state when we grow up?"

The interview kind of went downhill from there.

I suspect that's why reading the constitution is not often assigned in schools.

October 11, 2006, 03:14 PM
Do you read just the “official” version or Thomas Jefferson’s original, unedited version as well? The Founding fathers edited Jefferson’s original work because they feared that his “extreme” tone and wording would push away and alienate those who were either moderates or fence sitters. While the edited version is not vastly different (a lot of what was cut out had to due with grievances against King George), I feel that it is important to know how Jefferson, the author, intended it to read.

Keith Wheeler
October 11, 2006, 03:25 PM
I made my wife, kids, and other family members who were over my house listen to me read them the Declaration of Independence

Last 4th this was read from the bimah at our temple.

October 11, 2006, 03:41 PM
Just found my copy on my bookshelf. And yes, I have read it!

Rev. DeadCorpse
October 11, 2006, 04:12 PM
Me: "But according to the fourth amendment to the constitution, that's unreasonable search and siezure. Why are you violating my rights?"

Principal: "You are under eighteen. Those rights don't apply to minors."

Me: "So you are conditioning us to accept a totalitarian state when we grow up?"

Points: Your locker is their property. You have no expectation of "privacy" there. As minor, your Rights are held in trust by your parent or legal gaurdian. Any papers or warrents served to seize your assets should have been submitted by your school to them.

Finally, yes. Public schools have been "indoctrination centers" since the late 1970's. They are much, MUCH worse these days. :fire:

October 11, 2006, 04:18 PM
I read most of the Constitution (sorry, but I thought it was boring also) and the Bill of Rights. I read a few of the other Amendments but don't know them really well.

October 11, 2006, 05:02 PM
I am not surprised that many here have read it and have handy copies of it. I took a poll of some people today – none had ever read it. Even worse, none had any interest in it at all. I volunteered my copy (a small book with the Constitution and Declaration of Independence that I have in my office) and no one would accept.

I bet a very, very low percentage of Americans have read it, any of it, let alone the entire document. This, of course, does not stop them from opining as to its meaning though.

Sheldon J
October 11, 2006, 05:43 PM
try reading the Federalist papers. http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1203.html start here and then try the constitutional society http://www.constitution.org/:D

Eleven Mike
October 11, 2006, 06:07 PM
The Federalist Papers really are little help in understanding the Constitution, especially as many of the points argued for have been amended. They are mainly an explanatioin of why the Constitution was written in the way it was.

I can't believe people are saying the Constitution is boring. Of course it is. It's not meant to entertain you, or stir your patriotism. It's a document that came from a committee of a few dozen politicians.

October 11, 2006, 06:21 PM
Me (called to the principal's office for some infraction or other): "Why did you search my locker without my consent, while I was in class? Did you have reason to believe that I was hiding something?"

Today the lockers are searched by the police with drug sniffing dogs.

I also read the Constitution about once a year. It is an amazing document. Especially, when you consider that it is a compromise designed to satisfy 13 different points of view.

October 11, 2006, 06:23 PM
I have read it several times. I always check it out when new legislation comes out also.

October 11, 2006, 08:10 PM
I recently mentioned to a couple of people in their early 20’s that the federal government was delegated only a limited number of powers plus the “necessary and proper” clause to execute the specific powers - and that means all federal laws must be linked to one of the delegated powers. I was shocked when they looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language… they had no idea …. I got responses in the nature of “but federal law is superior to state law” and so on.

I HOPE my sample was not representative of the rest of that age group, but I worry it may be. Did I mention there were college students and graduates in this little group.

Molon Labe
October 11, 2006, 09:14 PM
It is an amazing document.Heh. You don't know the half of it. Read this (http://www.javelinpress.com/hologram_of_liberty.html) book and check back.

James T Thomas
October 11, 2006, 10:05 PM
A good quick reference and organization: .iotconline.com

October 11, 2006, 10:16 PM
I've read the Constitution.

I've also read part of the Federalist Papers, and should probably finish reading them. Then I plan on starting the Anti-Federalist Papers.

Eleven Mike
October 11, 2006, 10:44 PM
Perhaps the question should be, "How many Americans would understand the Constitution if they did read it?"

Or am I too cynical?

October 11, 2006, 11:03 PM
Here's some constitution reading for your travelers

Look a metal bill of rights!

bet you'll have to give that up. :evil:

October 11, 2006, 11:06 PM
I use it every day at work . . . but the NM Constitution helps me more, since the NM SCt has interpreted it to give more rights than the US Const in a lot of areas. :)

October 12, 2006, 01:11 AM
After attending the NRA Basic Handgun course with my 12 year old son this year, he asked me what the Second Amendment was. I printed out a (crappy) copy of the Constitution off the 'net. I plan on getting him a quality book-printed version for Christmas, and one for myself as well. I also plan on making him read it and give me a book report on the Bill of Rights. I believe that we have a responsibility as parents to not "pass the buck" to the school system, whether said school is public or private. To be truly free, WE have to insure that our children have at least a basic grasp of the rights our Constitution guarantee us as American citizens.

Taipei Personality
October 12, 2006, 09:38 AM
The Cato Institute offers a very nice pocket edition of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution here. (http://www.catostore.org/index.asp?fa=ProductDetails&method=cats&scid=15&pid=144278-A) The price listed is $4.95 per copy, but I got a substantial volume discount (paid $2 each) when I ordered 25 copies. You can get them for $1 each in larger quantities. I give them out to the resident aliens, liberals, and statists I work with.

Eleven Mike
October 12, 2006, 07:36 PM
Very nice name, Type A. :)

October 12, 2006, 08:50 PM
I read the Constitution.


"I pledge allegiance to the rights that made and keep me free. I will preserve and defend those rights for all who live in this Union; founded on the belief and principles that those rights are inalienable and essential to the pursuit and preservation of life, liberty, and happiness." B.E.Wood

October 12, 2006, 09:07 PM
In case you want to brush up on your rights while listening to some of your favorite tunes, the American Constitution Society has a downloadable text version of the Constitution for your iPod . . .


Steamship Trooper
October 12, 2006, 09:48 PM
My Dad made me read it, and discuss it with him, line by line when I was twelve. Three years later, I got an A in Civics class.

Before I took my oath of enlistment, I re-read it. Hafta make sure you know what you are getting into, you know?

Whenever I went somewhere for Uncle, I brought along copies. I'm sure there are translations in Albanian, German and Serbo-Croatian by now. :)

Last year, in Iraq, I convinced several colleagues to read it. Amazing how many LEOs and soldiers didn't have a clue. Tightened up on our affadavit writing. :)

Taipei Personality
October 12, 2006, 09:52 PM
Very nice name, Type A.

Thank you, but now you've revealed the secret. :)

October 12, 2006, 10:24 PM
Why would Joe average read the Constitution? He might as well be reading Beowulf in middle English. Reading is one matter, understanding is another. The Constitution's verbiage is absolutely meaningless without the accompanying body of interpretive case law.

Don't believe me? Bring your NFA-noncompliant firearm to the local PD's range for some 'shootin and see how that works out. I'm sure they'll take your word for it that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. That is, after all, what the 2nd Amendment says.

Or maybe you'd like to sing copyrighted songs, criticize minority groups, or defame a politician or two? Free speech, no? Good luck.

The caveats and exceptions that have been carved out by the courts are in some cases so great as to obviate the whole. And even if left unabridged, how would one define the metes and bounds of each right? The text of the Constitution provides little guidance.

Read the Constitution if you want, but don't expect to learn anything, and never--ever--rely on the plain meaning of the document's language. Your time would seriously be better spent with a primer on basic constitutional law. Disagree? Try explaining to yourself what the 9th Amendment means and what specific activities it protects.


Eleven Mike
October 12, 2006, 10:59 PM
rkh, you don't have a right to something, like a copyrighted song, that was created by someone else.

Oh, and wasn't Beowolf written in Olde English? Not that it couldn't be perused in a Middle English translation. At least that one's in the public domain. :)

another okie
October 12, 2006, 11:19 PM
We read it in U.S. history, and my Constitutional law professor in law school also made us read it. He then said, "Once you have read it, you will be in a very small minority of Americans."

Your Congressman can send you a free copy of a booklet with the Constitution and the Declaration. Just ask for it.

Eleven Mike
October 12, 2006, 11:25 PM
The Mac was pretty good on the subject of an armed popular militia. Too bad he makes such a lousy source. :(

October 12, 2006, 11:47 PM
I have a copy of the Federalist Papers and it contains the Articles of Confederation, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Every time I pick that book up, I am amazed at the command of the language and the eruditeness expressed by those gentlemen in the 18th Century. I consider myself to have a fairly reasonable grasp of reading comprehension, but I find myself reading and re reading the FP to get a good understanding of what the meaning is. To somehow believe that our Founders were not inspired by a higher power, is to stretch credulity.

It is not that what they had to say, and how they said it is complicated. It is that what they said is such a simple truth. Sometimes the most simplest of things becomes complicated because there are those who would read alternatives into those simple meanings. The 2A is a glaring exampe of this.

The 2A is a statement that defines how a free state remains secure. At the time there were Federalists and Anti Federalists. The 2A mitigated the worries that the Anti Federalist had regarding a bully federal government. A well regulated militia (look for the definition of a militia and what regulated means in the writings of the Founders) is necessary. The right to keep and bear arms is necessary to empower said militia as they were the "man on the street" so to speak, not a standing army furnished arms by an Authority. The Founders had a great mistrust of standing armies, thus the militia had to be guaranteed by the BoR. Simple truth? Tell that to the literati. Ain't nothing simple to those folks. (Tell me what the definition of is, is.)

October 13, 2006, 12:16 AM
wrong thread

October 13, 2006, 06:58 PM
Yup, I have a copy in my back pocket at all times (even right now) that includes the BoR, DoI, Constitution, and a bunch of other interesting pertinent info like landmark court cases. Got it for free from the BAR website about a year ago.

Kelly J
October 15, 2006, 03:49 PM
I don't know about other States, or the current teachings, but here in the State of Missouri, as a 7th grader we had to learn the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution, and pass a test on the three, before we could graduate to Jr, High School (8TH) grade. I personally think that if this practice has been dropped it might explain why there is no Patriotism in the U.S. anymore, as everyone in the United States should at least have a general working knowledge of the Two Most Important Documents in our History, and maybe, just maybe, the Country will be the better for it.

Thin Black Line
October 15, 2006, 04:18 PM
Nice to see most people here have actually read it, but sadly:

Study shows more Americans know 'The Simpsons' than First Amendment rights

Thursday, March 2, 2006

CHICAGO - The Associated Press

Americans apparently know more about "The Simpsons" TV show than about the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half can name at least two members of the TV cartoon family, according to a survey.

The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just one in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms.

Joe Madeira, director of exhibitions at the museum, said he was surprised by the results. :what:

"Part of the survey really shows there are misconceptions, and part of our mission is to clear up these misconceptions," said Madeira, whose museum will be dedicated to helping visitors understand the First Amendment when it opens in April. "It means we have our job cut out for us."

The survey found more people could name the three "American Idol" judges -- Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson -- than identify three First Amendment rights. They were also more likely to remember popular advertising slogans.

It also showed that people misidentified First Amendment rights. About one in five people thought the right to own a pet was protected, and 38 percent said they believed the right against self-incrimination contained in the Fifth Amendment was a First Amendment right, the survey found.

The telephone survey of 1,000 random adults was conducted Jan. 20-22 by the research firm Synovate and had an error margin of three percentage points.

Apparently, this study was so amusing overseas that it was carried in


October 15, 2006, 04:21 PM
I have a small pocket sized book that has the the Declaration and Constitution is it. I keep it in my agenda and it's almost always with me. Comes in handy during political science courses when rabid socialists like to misquote the Bill of Rights.

October 15, 2006, 05:48 PM
Wanna talk about Constitutional over reach by the federal government and good ol' George W -

just look at the No Child Left Behind Act.

The federal governments involvement in public education is unconstitutional.

The Tenth Amendment...
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

No where in the Constitution is the federal government given the authority over public education.

Ergo - any rules regarding No Child Left Behind are unconstitutional and and over reaching of power.

But tell that to our school districts that would be almost bankrupt without federal interference.

Man I'd love to teach high school social studies.


October 15, 2006, 06:00 PM
The Tenth Amendment...
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The tenth amendment....''WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' TENTH AMENDMENT!!!"
Seriously, that amendment was TKO'd decades ago. Don't blamed Bush. He was an infant when it happened. He's just following the compass rose set forth by 70 years of politics since FDR..........:cuss: :banghead: :fire: or:neener: , depending on how you feel at any particular time......

Working Man
October 15, 2006, 06:04 PM
I have and will see to it that my niece and nephews do as well.

It should be a mandatory part of our education system.

River Wraith
October 15, 2006, 06:08 PM
The Constitution gives the people more rights than the government presently allows. It was written for the people, but the government is killing it.

October 15, 2006, 06:35 PM
My dad sent me the replica documents since he lives in DC,got it from one of gift shops in the museum section.They are in frames on my wall.

I have copies printed from the newspaper on the walls at work of the Bill of Rights and pledge of allegiance for customers to read while they wait.

Yes I have read the Declaration of Independence and Constitution along with what was taken out of them.I have skimmed the Federalist papers,still need to read it all.

Funny that my anger at Clinton made me get more political and look into American history deeper.Funny that as I got more involved in learning American history it made me read the Holy Bible more often.

October 15, 2006, 06:47 PM
Seriously, that amendment was TKO'd decades ago. Don't blamed Bush. He was an infant when it happened.

Oh I absolutely agree. It's not Bush. It's ever president for decades.

...and now we see what happens when we sit down and allow the federal government to do as they wish.

The 10th was already death of a thousand cuts.

What's to come of the 2nd?


October 15, 2006, 07:01 PM
though I read about the fact that certain politicians are recommending granting amnesty to a certain amount of illegal immigrants I have not learned the details of their proposal.

I believe if they do this,one requirment should be that they have english classes and American history classes.It would bring more people to think of themselves as a individual and understand the concept of individual freedoms and responsibility.While I do not think it would sway all,it seems to me that it would deprogram some who are use to a centralized government.

or maybe Im kidding myself.

Kelly J
October 16, 2006, 12:46 AM
RobXD9, You forgot one thing, it was passed by the Congress and Senate and signed into law by the President and unless the Supreme Court Rules it as unconstitutional it will stand as law, like it or not. In order for it to be change now it would have to go back to the House and Senate to change the law they passed. Or as I mentioned it could be thrown out as an Unconstitutional law but I don't think that is going to happen.

October 16, 2006, 03:44 PM
Another honorable mention for http://www.constitution.org

October 17, 2006, 12:15 AM
I read the Constitution, Federalist Papers, and Declaration of Independence. They are all combined into a nifty pocket-sized book which on the desk right now. :D How many can say you have read these, plus your State Constitutions and Codes. ? I can. They are references I keep on retainer. ;)

October 17, 2006, 05:35 PM
I am actually surprised that nobody mentioned the model that our Bill Of Rights was fashioned after.


The Virginia Declaration of Rights
Virginia's Declaration of Rights was drawn upon by Thomas Jefferson for the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence. It was widely copied by the other colonies and became the basis of the Bill of Rights. Written by George Mason, it was adopted by the Virginia Constitutional Convention on June 12, 1776.

A DECLARATION OF RIGHTS made by the representatives of the good people of Virginia, assembled in full and free convention which rights do pertain to them and their posterity, as the basis and foundation of government .

Section 1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Section 2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants and at all times amenable to them.

Section 3. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best which is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration. And that, when any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community has an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal.

Section 4. That no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which, nor being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge to be hereditary.

Section 5. That the legislative and executive powers of the state should be separate and distinct from the judiciary; and that the members of the two first may be restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burdens of the people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, return into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be supplied by frequent, certain, and regular elections, in which all, or any part, of the former members, to be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws shall direct.

Section 6. That elections of members to serve as representatives of the people, in assembly ought to be free; and that all men, having sufficient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to, the community, have the right of suffrage and cannot be taxed or deprived of their property for public uses without their own consent or that of their representatives so elected, nor bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assembled for the public good.

Section 7. That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights and ought not to be exercised.

Section 8. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a man has a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of twelve men of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; nor can he be compelled to give evidence against himself; that no man be deprived of his liberty except by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.

Section 9. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Section 10. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be commanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, or to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offense is not particularly described and supported by evidence, are grievous and oppressive and ought not to be granted.

Section 11. That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by jury is preferable to any other and ought to be held sacred.

Section 12. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.

Section 13. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

Section 14. That the people have a right to uniform government; and, therefore, that no government separate from or independent of the government of Virginia ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.

Section 15. That no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

Section 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.

Section 13 is the model for the Second Amendment. According to the state of Virgina's Dec of Rights, Militaries during times of peace are a bad idea!

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