“With Freedom Comes Responsibility”
Guest Editorial by Bruce R. Booker
You’ve heard that saying before.
With regard to our current situation in many States, the fear of the Coronavirus COVID-19 had led to the government shutdown of businesses, the restriction on peaceful assemblage, and the imposition of wearing Personal Protection Equipment such as face masks, etc. when we DO have to go out in public.
Failure to properly use our freedoms often leads to the restrictions we currently endure in our country today. For instance, in the State of Idaho I have the freedom of Constitutional Carry. Should I abuse that freedom, say for instance, by brandishing my weapon when some other driver on the road “cuts me off,” I will likely lose my freedom to carry altogether because of my irresponsibility.
People restrict that which they fear and they restrict with all the more effectiveness when they restrict by the force of government. However, when government restricts, it most often reacts with a knee-jerk, all-encompassing restriction.
People in the United States of America once had the capability of owning fully automatic weapons without restriction – that is – until the mobsters (and other criminals like Bonnie and Clyde) shot up and killed many people with fully automatic weapons. It was after this that the public outcry was so great that the US Government enacted the National Firearms Act of 1934, taking away the ability for most US citizens from owing fully automatic firearms.
Here’s another fact: Americans once had the ability to purchase guns from a mail-order catalog! Well, after Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President John F. Kennedy back in November, 1963, and James Earl Ray killed Dr. Martin Luther King, and Sirhan Sirhan killed then-Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, the government stopped us ALL from exercising that freedom in the Gun Control Act of 1968. Then, due to mass shootings in schools and other public places, public fear prompted the government of the United States to enact the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
Bans restricting Americans from exercising personal freedom are not limited to guns, however. Take, for example, the hijacking of American planes on September 11, 2001 by Muslim terrorists. The result of their attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC made it so that we cannot carry pocket knives, box cutters, even finger nail files with us on an aircraft.
Then we have the shoe bomber Richard Reid on American Flight 63 back in December, 2001. The aircraft, a Boeing 767-300 with 197 passengers and crew aboard, was flying from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France, to Miami International Airport in the U.S. state of Florida. Now, before we are allowed to go to the terminal where we would meet our plane we currently have to take off our shoes at the TSA checkpoint.
Do you see my point yet? I could go on and on about how someone abused their freedom resulting in the restriction of ALL citizens’ freedoms by that act.
If you watched the news during Spring Break, we saw hundreds of college students at the beaches in Florida, Mexico and other locations getting drunk and partying together despite the Coronavirus seemingly not caring about its spread to others.
The result of their abuse of freedom is quite evident in our country at the time of this writing.
Our State governments are restricting most of us (except what they consider essential) from assembling – even from going to our places of employment or worship!
We can’t go out to dinner (except takeout) at a restaurant, we can’t go to work, we cannot go to worship together, we cannot even assemble within 6 feet of each other!
Does this sound like a totalitarian form of government? Well, it IS!
Fear causes people to give up their liberty or freedom for safety.
Benjamin Franklin once said it, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
Hey folks, wake up! When fearful people clamor to the government to “do something, anything” they will most likely get it!
Fear of having no “safety net” in the event that one has no health insurance prompted the “Affordable Care Act” (aka “Obamacare”), which was neither affordable, nor was it able to care for the many people it was supposed to care for (but that’s another topic – “You’ll know what’s in it when it passes”).
So, to condense what I have already written: We are restricted from owning certain guns, we are restricted from carrying arms in certain places, we are restricted from flying on a plane without going through an extensive and personal screening process, we are required to have some form of health insurance, we are restricted today from peaceful assemblage even at our places of worship.
What’s next? Must we restrict everything that someone fears? Is that what must be done?
Well, to be honest, the only place where its residents are not allowed to have guns, are restricted from certain assemblage, are taken care health wise, are protected from what the masses of Americans could do to them are those locked up in our prisons.
Total restriction of movement, of ownership, of assemblage, of freedom to choose our own health care and other freedoms comes only when the government takes total control and insures that all the hue and cry from fearful citizens crying out against our freedoms are enacted to their satisfaction…and the government, any government, is most happy to comply. As the late President Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help. “
The more we abuse our freedoms, the more people will fear the freedoms we have. The more we get the government involved in allaying their fears, by restricting our freedoms, the more power we give it. Sure, those people’s fears will be reduced, at least for a while until something else occupies their attention and those new fears need to be alleviated (like “Global Warming”).
What was once, in the founding of this country, “We the People” has now become, “We the fearful people give power to our government to protect us from all things that may harm us, both real and imagined…”
No longer is the power held by the People of the United States of America, it is held by the government of the United States of America and the bottom line reason is the abuse of our freedoms by the few that eventually restrict the freedoms of the many.
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