As much as the entire Bill of Rights defines freedom for all Americans, the five rights I’ve decided are most essential are our freedom of speech, establishment, and assembly, right to keep and bear arms, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, right to trial by jury, and prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. These, in my opinion, are the rights that best set us apart from many countries in the world that lack as much liberty. In such countries, people are jailed, harmed, or killed for speaking their minds and standing up against the government. It is because of the freedom of speech that people were inspired to change the world in which we live in, from fighting slavery, segregation, and the limits of women’s rights. Corrupt governments may often abuse their powers to seize their own people’s property without just reason. Cruel, unusual punishment may still be practiced; sometimes even torture. When people commit crimes in many other countries, their rights to trial by jury don’t exist and they must attempt to prove their case in a biased court. With our guaranteed trial by jury, we have often proved to others that we are still capable of bringing criminals to justice without resorting to corruption and unfair trial. Town and state-wise, we should have a right to protect ourselves by keeping a weapon in the case of a dire, life-threatening situation and forming a local police force or militia to keep order.
The other five rights have served us well, but if the choice had to be made, I would prefer to give up protection from quartering of troops, prohibition of double jeopardy, right to a civil trial by jury, protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill, and the powers of states and people. I would much rather have the right to speak freely and be free from cruel and unusual punishment and be required to keep a soldier in my home if needed. While it may be quite a hassle to take care of the soldier and feed him/her, they are probably fighting for us and I don’t mind giving a little back to keep my other rights. Double jeopardy may be an unfair situation to be in, but it wouldn’t be that bad to have to prove my case twice so as to keep my more important liberties. An uncivil trial by jury may prove to be a problem, but it would be better than no trial by jury at all. After all, the amendment is basically a reinforcement of the guaranteed trial by jury, which is still a strong law on its own. A state and town’s loss of authority would probably prove to be a major issue. But if it had to be done, Americans would still have their freedom of speech and could speak out against the government if it had too much power. State laws and town laws tend to be slightly more trivial than the important federal laws, such as the drinking age, the legal age to drive, the seriousness of a certain crime, etc. All of these, if needed, could just as easily be made a federal law. In fact, differences between state laws often lead to abuse of the right. For example, if in one state the drinking age is 21 and in a bordering state it’s 20, 20 year olds from the first state could easily go across the border to the second state and get away with ignoring the legal drinking age. All five of these rights are extremely important to the way we live now, but if we had to, we could give them up to keep our most important and fundamental freedoms.