At What Price, Freedom?

Just a quick post. Like many Americans today, I am still dealing with the news out of Aurora, Colorado. I am beyond saddened for the innocents who were killed or injured by a very sick, evil individual via a firearm and a lot of ammunition that he, evidently, began stockpiling some time ago.

I am a card carrying member of the NRA and I own, and enjoy, a number of firearms myself. The thought of aiming one of them at another person is so foreign to me that I cannot even bear the idea of my son engaging in Airsoft rifle play any longer. (he’s selling that rifle) The hobby of shooting (I shoot sporting clays, little ceramic disks thrown into the air) is both exhilarating and social. It also harkens back to our forebears and is deeply rooted in the history of this country as well as the world as a whole.

As a result of the shooting, many folks, including a number of high profile (and not so high profile) celebrities are using the opportunity to share their opinions on the sale of guns to the general public. Once again the actions of one crazed, sick individual are being referenced in order to paint a wide swath across every gun owner in the country. Evidently a lot of folks feel that if these guns were to disappear (which could never really happen) that this alone would keep the insane among us from hurting their fellow human beings. Or at least limit the number of those who are maimed, injured or killed in any one instance.

I know I often look at the world in a fatalistic way. I’m pretty sure there’s always been, and always will be, evil in this world. Nobody is going to be able to legislate away mental illness or sociopathy. I also firmly believe that taking away one freedom after another from the citizenry is not going to be the cure-all for the  decline in social mores. It’s as if some folks want to recreate the human race. Have you seen “Demolition Man”? If not, give it a watch. Sure, it’s goofy, but follow the plot. See what you think of the happy, happy, joy, joy way Dr. Cocteau wants the world to run and see how well it works out. I know. It’s a movie, right? Just check it out. Because it’s a fallacy. To deny human nature is futile.

So we have folks screaming for more gun control. We have a first lady in the White House who wants to tell you what to eat. The Mayor of New York City wants to tell you all that and more. Our basic freedoms are being batted around by the hoi polloi in this country like feathered birds in a badminton game. Where will it stop if we let it continue?

I am not making light of what happened in Colorado. It is a tragedy, perpetuated by a sick man. I truly feel a larger part of the problem here is that, in an effort to not trample on the rights of others, society has allowed those people who actually do show signs of mental instability to continue to live among us unfettered. I also believe that you can’t catch every crazy before they do something awful. And this is a terrible, awful thing. But to punish a large part of the community for the actions of the few, or the one, makes no sense to me. Where’s the value in a life if it has to be lived only to satisfy the whims and ideals of someone else?

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