WASHINGTON, DC—Speaking before the U.S. Senate Tuesday, Herbert Macallum, a retired Wichita, KS, insurance salesman and Navy veteran who fought during World War II to protect the inalienable rights of all Americans, demanded that U.S. citizens stop exercising those rights.
"As someone who risked his life for this country, I am infuriated when I see protesters exercising their First Amendment rights by burning the U.S. flag," Macallum told legislators during a Senate debate over a proposed anti-flag-burning amendment. "I didn't fight the Japanese at Midway to save democracy for a bunch of long-haired jerks who want to freely express their views."
"I love the Constitution, and I nearly lost my life defending it," Macallum added. "That's why it angers me so much to see malcontents exploiting it for their own purposes."
Macallum is president of the Kansas Veterans' Council for Liberty & Restraint, one of a number of veterans' organizations calling upon Congress to pass anti-rights-use legislation. Under the provisions of the proposed legislation, any U.S. citizen convicted of exercising his or her Constitutional rights in a manner deemed controversial would face a fine and/or imprisonment.
Said KVCLR member Walter Mickleson, 81: "Wherever you look today, you see people using the First Amendment to openly criticize or protest the U.S. government. I don't think that's what the framers of the Constitution had in mind. And I, for one, didn't storm the beach at Normandy so I could see America dragged through the mud."
"Men gave their lives for the U.S. Constitution," WWII veteran Robert Schumer said. "I'm sure they would weep if they were alive to see it being followed so shamelessly. If you ask me, protesters who object to our government should not be allowed to vote."
KVCLR spokespersons cite such "societal ills" as flag-burning, pornography, public assembly for the purpose of protest, and the pursuit of "certain forms of happiness" as their motivation for founding the organization.
"The disorder that plagues American society today is rooted in our gross indulgence in civil liberties," said KVCLR treasurer and ex-Army pilot Donald Morrow, 79. "Servicemen fought and died for this great nation, and servicemen know that discipline, obedience and blind faith in one's superiors and country are the key to domestic harmony. Civil disobedience is disrespectful to our government and has no place in a democratic society."
"I firebombed Dresden in 1945, and I lost a son in Vietnam," Morrow added. "What have protesters ever done for this country?"
Clarence Johnson, a retired Marine lieutenant who served in the Korean War, agreed.
"When I entered the United States armed forces, I gave up my constitutional rights in order to be a soldier," Johnson said. "It was one of the proudest days of my life. I had never exercised my rights much before then, anyway. Let me tell you, if you'd fought and seen friends die to protect the God-given rights of all Americans, you'd want to keep them from exercising them, too."