Commentary by Jim Bagwell: Keep the Constitution intact

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Have you heard the chant of the left? They want to know if our Constitution is applicable to today. The latest issue of Time Magazine seems to be leading the charge. During my lifetime I have seen and heard the winds of change.

It was a scant few years ago that our forefathers worked through the daunting task of forming a nation. There were many issues that brought these diverse groups to North America. All had basically the same goal; a new and better life, free from intolerance and oppression. As these august leaders of their own communities came together they knew their task would not be easy. First they had to throw off the mantle of English rule. That was not an easy task for the settlers. They had many responsibilities that primarily revolved around survival for themselves, their families and their community.

After the defeat of the British Army, this fledgling nation to be, was left with basically each community to fend for itself. If this group of independent communities or states were to survive they had to provide some rules for social and business interaction and for self defense. Thus started the process of trying to meld many beliefs, fears and cultures into something that would work for all.

As this process of transforming ideas and desires into some form of national government progressed, many of the participants kept journals and documented their ideas in what became known as the Federalist Papers. These negotiations were difficult at best with no group really willing to lose their ability to self govern. These writings offer great insight into the minds of our forefathers and their tremendous desire to give their subsequent generations a working form of government that would last forever. The resulting Constitution is the foundation of this great country.

You only need to read the Constitution and the first 10 amendments to understand what was sacred at that time and continues today. First, freedom of religion. Our forefathers did not believe that one's own religion would not play a role in government, they simply did not want our government to be run or controlled by any religion. With that in mind, give thanks to our forefathers for what they designed, and pray for those who lead and those who have and will defend this great nation.

Celebrate our great nation but be vigilant for those among us like Time Magazine. I suggest that our Constitution is in fact as relevant today as the day it was adopted. Remember that some 90 billion people have over time inhabited this earth, less than three billion have experienced and enjoyed the freedoms we enjoy. Do not take your rights or freedom for granted.

Remember the following words of President Ronald Reagan: "We are too great a nation to limit ourselves to a small dream. We are not, as many would have you believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and hope. We have every right to dream heroic dreams."

• Jim Bagwell of Carson City is a Vietnam veteran and graduate of the FBI National Academy who worked 31 years in law enforcement. He and his wife Lori own Charley's Grilled Subs.


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