We're hearing a lot about and from people who think their constitutional rights are being violated. You've heard them, too gun owners who contend they're losing their Second Amendment rights, people who resist having to buy health insurance, those who object to surveillance cameras in parks and public squares.
We can't help but wonder what they're going to do on Monday.
Why? Because Monday is the 225th anniversary of the signing of our nation's core document, the U.S. Constitution. The observance gets little attention, perhaps because it's not a federal holiday so not a day off from school or work and perhaps because people aren't really much interested in studying history and the guiding principles that set our country apart from all others.
It's too bad.
Fortunately, several Web sites make it easy for citizens to learn about the Constitution without a lot of effort and with a little fun. The site www.constitutionday.cc offers quizzes, fast facts and even crossword puzzles. There's a poster contest for children, with an Oct. 1 deadline. Pocket-size copies of the Constitution can be ordered but, given that it's 2012, there's an alternative apps for the iPhone or iPod so people can literally check the Constitution at any time.
Another source for information and activities is http://BillofRightsInstitute.org/constitution-day-resources.
Modesto Junior College is the one local organization that consistently holds an event to recognize Constitution Day. The MJC Civic Engagement Project will offer a presentation at 7 p.m. today "Questions and Controversies in Interpreting the U.S. Constitution: Elections, War Powers, and Health Care" in Forum 110 on the East Campus. The speaker will be Stephen R. Routh, chairman of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at California State University, Stanislaus. He's taught taught constitutional law, civil liberties, administrative law, judicial process, Congress, the presidency, and elections.
We hope Americans will spend a few minutes today reading or rereading the Constitution and thinking about the liberties that we so cherish.