An anti-draft Essay

October 7, 2010
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While the United States Constitution does not officially mention the word 'Draft” or even an older term with the same meaning “Conscription.” Congress has the right to institute a draft if the need arises. The draft is administered by the US Selective Service System. In the event that there is not enough volunteers to staff the military, the draft can be re-instated. My views on the draft are ones of disagreement. Military service should be left up to each citizen, and it is unconstitutional for the draft to even exist.

I believe that military service should be left to each citizen to decide on weather or not to go into the armed forces. If there is a shortage on troops, then it is obviously for a reason. During the Vietnam war, the draft was instituted due to a lack of volunteers for military service; which was because many people viewed the war as “unjust” and “worthless.” This could be seen in anti war protests through the Nation; the most well known of these, being the May 4th Kent State Massacre where the National guard fired into a group of student protesting the Vietnam war.

On September 16, 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the “Selective Training and Service Act.” This created the nations first peacetime draft, and established the agency. While the draft was discontinued by Congress in 1973, moving to have an all volunteer military; all men ages 18-25 are still required to register with the Selective Service. That way, Congress can fill vacancies in the military.

From 1948-1973, during both peacetime and times of conflict, men were drafted to fill the vacancies in the military that could not be filled by volunteer service. Many draft registers filed for Conscientious Objector status. A Conscientious Objector is one who is opposed to serving in the armed forces and/or bearing arms for moral or religious principals. While others facing the draft fled to Canada, others burned their draft cards in protest to both the war and the draft.

I also believe that the draft is also unconstitutional. I say this because the 13th amendment states:

“Neither Slavery nor Involuntary servitude, except as punishment for
a crime whereof the party shall have been dully convicted,shall exist
within the United States, or any place subject to its jurisdiction.”

I believe that this amendment applies to the draft just as much as it applies to slavery. Whatever the excuse given for its institution, the draft is slavery. Period!

The draft forces someone to serve the state, to kill or be killed; forcing someone to do anything at the point of a gun... under threat of prison or death; is involuntary servitude, is slavery, and is unconstitutional!

The draft can be viewed as unconstitutional; the 13th amendment states that slavery and involuntary servitude as against the law, yet the draft and the Selective Service Act are allowed to continue. Military service should be left up to the individual citizen. The United States does not currently have a draft policy, nor do I believe it ever will again. I still feel that the draft should never exist again. It is with high hopes that I say that I hope that conscription, also known as the draft, shall fade form existence, and eventual from history.

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