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Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio


Can you hear the people sing?



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January 16, 2013 - I was a bit surprised with an email I received recently regarding the upcoming Legislative Lunch at this year's Michigan Press Association annual convention.

"Like many industries in Michigan, the Michigan Press Association has to keep strong relations in Lansing to avoid having our business legislated OUT of business. Public notice, open government and higher taxes are just a few of the items on our legislative agenda," it said.

But I guess can understand the association's concern with being legislated out of business, even though it's protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

It's fashionable to dismiss the Constitution these days. It's old, obsolete, inapplicable to today's world.

The Second Amendment is also in danger of being legislated away.

Using tragedy as a springboard, the federal government is diving head first into gun control, like in 1994, but bigger.

Are they considering all the consequences, even and especially the unintended ones? Probably not, unless they intended for people to empty gun stores in a record-breaking buying frenzy.

If they succeed beyond all expectations and eliminate private gun ownership in the country, they expect it to become like England or Japan, with gun deaths measured in the dozens.

We would probably become more like Mexico, with citizens unarmed and helpless while criminals run around with belt-fed machine guns and RPGs.

Perhaps not coincidentally, my favorite movie of 2012 and pick for Best Picture Oscar is Les Miserables.

When the Broadway production on which the film was based opened in 1985, some liked to imagine a modern barricade against the Reagan administration.

The situation is more equal opportunity now. Folks on the left and right can imagine themselves waving that big red flag of revolution, either against Wall Street or the government.

Of course, the student revolutionaries in the movie and the rebellion on which they were based didn't last long. It's hard to get the people to rise up, now matter how just one's cause or how cool the music.

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