Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bill of Rights: The Second Ten Amendments of the United States

Our portal “American Clubs – Ukraine” continues publishing the essays, submitted to the Second Annual Student Essay Competition in support of Democracy in Ukraine, on the topic “Bill of Rights in the US: Democracy Lessons for Ukraine”.

United States Bill of Rights is unique both as a bill of rights and as a document generally. It’s hard to imagine any other document so constantly challenged yet so widely acclaimed. This unique duplicity still intrigues after all these years. Moreover – it’s continues to rise the questions, to make people thinking about their choices, their rights, their lives. Both to raise criticism and to inspire people to continue the struggle.

An example: Bill of Rights second amendment says that the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. But any major case of the mass murder raises the situation, when such a right can be easily broken by people who think that decreasing the trade and manufacture of guns can solve the situation. For the people who have a real criminal intent it’s always possible to buy such a gun illegally, or to make crime with just an object which cannot be classified as a weapon at all. To think of any people buying a gun (especially legally) as a gun-totting psycho - that’s what unequal. Sometimes it feels like America really forget that it rocketed to it’s glory when society became so armed it started to think how to avoid the confrontation. Of course there are problems. And they’re also not in the other scapegoat – violence in the movies and other visual-audible media, which of course can cross the line but mostly blamed just to throw the guilt out of other aspects.

Example given can formulate one of the most certain problems with the Bill of Rights – those ten amendments, after all these years are really great but they’re violated as frequently as the ten amendments given in the bible. And while breaking many of them are not formally a crime and there’s and atheism has it’s own theories on the subject, there should be no Rights Atheism. When people do not believe in their rights – they’re hardly people. When, at any level USA rises the question of Bill of Rights being incorrect or draws some skepticism it largely affects the world. Less developed countries, despite cultural differences, are really inspired by how America handled its Bill. It’s much more important then it seem at first sights as it’s not only serves as one of the staples of America’s liberty and democracy, it also brings hope to other regions as well.

With the first Bill being The Golden Bull of Hungary in 1222 and many successors raised through the centuries, American Bill of Rights is pretty unique as, despite being corrected, it never changed in its core being as democratic as it can. No doubt it’s one of the greatest documents in the World history and one of the most effective but even so, people should take care of it, otherwise it will be just a few sentences, symbolizing the lost opportunities of democracy, like Pylyp Orlyk’s Ukrainian constitution which was one of the greatest democratic documents never coming into force. We should especially take care of any document in any country which at least partially proofs it’s effectiveness in saving the rights of the people.

Author: Mykola Yeriomin, Donetsk National University

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Конкурс проводиться Центром політологічних досліджень (м. Донецьк), спільно з порталом “Американські клуби в Україні” та Київським ресурсним центром для випускників (АRС). Генеральний партнер конкурсу: Американський Союз за Громадянські Свободи (м. Гонолулу, Гаваї). Партнери конкурсу: Інститут професійного лобіювання та адвокасі (ІПЛА), та Донецька регіональна асоціація дослідників iсторii зарубiжних краiн та мiжнародних вiдносин i органiзаторiв мiжнародного спiвробiтництва (DAIR). Більш детальна інформація про конкурс тут.