Stossel: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

What we should celebrate on Independence Day.


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This Fourth of July, when you watch the fireworks, will you think about the Declaration of Independence?

We should, says John Stossel. After all, the holiday is meant to honor the Declaration. It, and the Constitution it led to, help keep us free.

Compare America to Britain, the country we broke away from. There, they sentenced a man to more than a year in jail for making a Facebook live video outside a courthouse.

Getting locked up for something you write on social media is also common; hundreds get arrested for that in Britain every year.

Fortunately, in America, thanks to the First Amendment, we can say most anything without being jailed.

We also have a right to bear arms. Not in Britain, which has some of the strictest gun regulations in the world.

Yet those regulations haven't stopped crime. London's murder rate recently passed New York's. After knife crime surged, London's mayor Sadiq Khan even called for a crackdown on knives.

One British police agency bragged on twitter about a "weapon sweep" that found scissors and pliers! But don't worry, those tools have been "taken off the streets."

Stossel is glad he lives in America, where he can carry pliers and speak freely.

Of course, there's more to the Constitution than the First and Second Amendments. The Constitution divided government power in ways that limit authoritarian politicians from both parties.

Trump's own Supreme Court appointee ruled that a law making it easier to deport some immigrants was unconstitutionally vague.

The Supreme Court stopped President Obama 96 times.

The Constitution has failed in some ways. It accepted slavery. Although Thomas Jefferson promised "a wise and frugal government," the Constitution didn't stop our politicians from running up $21 trillion in debt. It didn't stop our government from passing 180,000 pages of rules.

Still, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence have helped keep us free. That's what Stossel will celebrate this Fourth of July.

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The views expressed in this video are solely those of John Stossel, his independent production company, Stossel Productions, and the people he interviews. The claims and opinions set forth in the video and accompanying text are not necessarily those of Reason.