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Our View: Don’t take seceding talk seriously

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2012 15:11

In the “Our View” on Nov. 15, we wrote about not taking our First Amendment right of freedom of speech for granted. As a result of the recent presidential election, one of the other First Amendment rights has had its media fueled 15 minutes of fame: the right to petition the government.

In the days following President Obama’s re-election, a petition was filed on the “We the People” section of the White House’s website requesting the U.S. “Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.”

In three days the petition reached the 25,000 signatures required for the administration to comment on it, though it hasn’t said anything at this point. By now similar petitions have been filed by all 50 states in the Union. This includes Arkansas, which had 23,233 signatures at press time.

If these initiatives for all 50 states to leave the Union were to be seriously considered, then the states would be taking an action as one, which is still a Union.

We encourage anyone to take these petitions to the government with the smallest grain of salt.  Undoubtedly, there are people signing these petitions that honestly are frustrated enough with the government to wish their home state was no longer under its direction.

But there are also those who wish to shine a brighter, even less flattering light on the ridiculousness of the situation.

In the wake of the state’s petitions, others created on the White House’s website seeking to make “drastic” changes to the Unites States. Among them include a petition for the government to remove Jerry Jones as owner and general manager of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.

Another has 2,933 signatures from people asking the government to “dissolve the current legal system” and replace it with the form of justice seen in the Judge Dredd movies and comics.

While this might be amusing, it is also an abuse of a tool meant for the advancement of the country. The First Amendment is many things, but one thing it’s not is a joke.

“Our View” is written by the editorial staff. The opinions are not necessarily reflective of the student body, faculty or administration of Arkansas State University.

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