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Our Diminishing Bill of Rights
By Martin S. Pinales
President's Column columns.
I decided to use my first column to write about freedom. We do not appreciate it enough. We must find ways to impress upon people — particularly our young people — that ignorance of our constitutional rights all but guarantees their demise.
Talk show host Jerry Springer and I were panelists in 2000 at a program discussing current events with approximately 25 high school students chosen by their schools because they were the class leaders. This was after the Columbine tragedy but before the 9/11 terrorist attack. We posed this question to the students: Are you willing to give up some of your freedoms in exchange for safety? With two exceptions, all of the participants said yes; they were willing to trade their rights for security. The two students who disagreed with their peers — a young man and young lady of Asian and Eastern European descent, respectively — were also the only two who had not been born in the United States.
“My family came to this country for freedom,” the young man sa
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