Monday, January 17, 2011

Personal freedom

Governments don’t give out rights. Governments “can’t” extend rights to their citizens, because, as human beings, we are already born with our basic rights, “endowed by our creator” as Thomas Jefferson said. I’m speaking of “natural rights” - the right to own one’s life and do with that life whatever you will, as long as you don’t infringe on that same right that other people also have.

Governments can “secure” our rights by defending us against outside invaders and protecting us from people who would violate our rights. Or... governments can abridge our rights, infringe upon our rights, take away our rights. Most often, this lessening of individual freedom comes under the guise of “acting in the interest of the greater good.” The same old “Give up this one little thing, and we will make you more secure.” You understand.

In your sadness and outrage over the recent Arizona shootings, please don’t be tempted to acquiesce to giving up your right to own a gun because of the thought that giving up our guns would maybe stop such shootings. You would be giving up so much more than just your gun. It is not so important that you own a gun as it is that you have the right to own a gun.

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