For now, we have an endless litany of tragedies to which we react with collective pathos and impotence, knowing for certain that we await the next. We have a bizarre double-standard, in which the First Amendment is spared the tortured literalism imposed upon the Second by those with ulterior motives.
In the current political climate, the chances for comprehensive common sense gun control in the United States is only a pipe dream as long as the National Rifle Association controls Congress and state legislatures, for if they did not, we would have seen effective laws passed years ago resulting in countless lives saved.
To say that the judiciary is duty-bound to say "what the law is" and should not simply rubber-stamp the actions of the other branches is not to say that the other branches have a duty to obey its decisions. But holding the contrary position would make the judiciary an inferior branch and risk creating an uncertain and dangerous state of affairs.
During his 10-and-a-half hour filibuster in opposition to the Patriot Act, Senator Paul boldly asserted that the Constitution protects individual rights not expressly listed in its text, including the "right to privacy." As Senator Paul put it, "Few and limited [are] the powers given to the government. But it's the opposite with your rights. Your rights are many and infinite."
I was in Philadelphia all day on Saturday. I went to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in the morning, the Italian Markets, Reading Terminal, the Barnes Foundation, and Chinatown in the afternoon, and saw The Lion King at the Academy of Music in the evening. It was, in short, an absolutely incredible day.
If you live in Baltimore, or anywhere in the United States, you shouldn't be surprised by the anger, the poverty, the police violence, and the hopelessness. All you have to do is sing the national anthem, written after witnessing the bombardment of Baltimore Harbor by the British during the War of 1812.
The United States has done much, since its founding, to earn the decent respect of mankind that the founders felt the country needed. But in directly asking foreign countries to mistrust us, Republicans are, it seems, intentionally trying to throw away what remains of this respect. It is hard to see how this could be good for the country.