Balancing Security vs. Liberty

Security vs.  Liberty

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Benjamin Franklin once said, “Anyone that gives up essential liberty for momentary safety deserve neither.”  It is amazing how this once commonplace sentiment has changed over the years.  In today’s America it is almost considered required to exchange liberty for safety.  It is important to realize that neither option is a right, nor can it be guaranteed.  In most of Europe, violence is never considered morally justified.  This thought leads to slavery.  If there is nothing worth fighting for, then nothing is worth having.  This trend of choosing security over liberty is becoming more accepted in this country than the founding fathers ever believed possible.

In America we have gun-free school zones.  We also have school shootings.  Jesse Ventura was forced to apologize when, after the Littleton Colorado School shooting, he commented that, “If someone in that school had a gun, they could have saved a lot of lives.”   His statement was considered outrageous.  It might be a distasteful subject, but the idea merits thought.  In Israel guns in school are commonplace; they also have little if any violence in the education system.

An American citizen cannot sue the police for failing to protect them.  They have no right to constant protection by the police.  They also face prejudice, up to and including incarceration if they protect themselves.  States of this country do not allow lawful citizens to carry firearms in pubic.  Many businesses in right-to-carry states disallow firearm possession in their stores.  Do any of these stores hire full time security whose sole job is to protect their patrons?  Do criminals intent on mayhem follow these laws?  If given a choice, would an armed criminal chose a location where firearms where allowed or disallowed?

Is the idea of violence so terrible that we as Americans should give up out Constitution in order for a measure of fleeting safety?  How important is the Bill of Rights to you?  Should we allow police unrestricted accesses into our personal lives for the sole purpose of protection?  Should we allow the trend of the government to dictate who is dangerous to us, without question.  This trend was seen in Nazi Germany, Communist Russia, China, and other countries where people lost the right to protect themselves.  Have we as Americans lost the will to do what is needed?    Do we have to delegate the distasteful to others?  If you as a responsible person feel violence is evil, what is your justification to give over your power to someone else to use violence on your behalf?

Government is needed.  Without it there would be chaos.  However, government is not always right just because it exists.  President Washington said, “Government is like fire; it is a wonderful servant but a fearful master.”  Government should serve the people, but it has a tendency to have the people serve it.  Before you blindly accept what is presented to you as your best interest, decide for yourself if it truly the case.  Our country was founded by men who chose liberty over security.  Should you do any less?

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