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By Jean McCamy
I was interested to read in David Leone’s This Week in History that, wearing my Wake Weekly reporter’s hat in l973, I asked local sixth graders why the U.S. Constitution and citizenship were so important.
I really don’t remember the occasion, but was delighted to read Demetrious Shannon’s response.
In case you missed it in last week’s paper, he said that, without the Constitution, “There’d be a lot of messing around and killing and robbing banks and taking people’s cars and they’d be driving crazy and running into people.”
I think Demetrious was a little fuzzy on the contents of the Constitution, but I certainly wish we could revive whatever document he was thinking about that prevented the messing around and killing and robbing banks and taking people’s cars and driving crazy and running into people.
Whatever it was, it isn’t working anymore.
We have put Constitution Week behind us for this year, but Demetrious made me realize that I, too, am a little fuzzy about exactly what is and isn’t in the Constitution.
I was pretty sure there’s nothing about driving crazy and running into people, but except for the outline of our form of government and the most often cited amendments about guns and religion and civil rights, I was a bit hazy on the finer points.
I didn’t read the Constitution word for word, but did skim through it and found that it said pretty much what I thought it did.
It’s a good document and maybe we need to pay more attention to it, but unfortunately it’s not likely to have much effect on our escalating social dilemmas that have gone far beyond driving crazy and running into each other.
There doesn’t seem to be anything around that can do much about all the people acting crazy and shooting each other.
—Jean McCamy is a Wake Forest artist.