Friday, July 6, 2012

Well, So Much For That Promise

Today is July 6th, and this will be only my 4th post.

In my defense, I did take on a project for work that has eaten into my time more than I expected. And the 4th of July was a day long affair.


My oldest boy and the #1 grandson showed up at 9:30 on the 4th. And they weren't the first guests.

Some folks came on the 3rd and camped out. So, technically, we had company on the 4th at 12:00 midnight.

Folks came and went all day long, right through the last of the fireworks about 10:00.

It's kinda hard to leave your own party to do a blog post.

The Young'un asked what was so special about July 4th. So I started reciting the Declaration of Independence. She looked at me a little sideways and said: "Really?".

It made me realize how hard it is to explain our freedom to somebody who has never known any other way of life. And it is equally as hard to explain what we are losing to the youngsters who never had it.

I guess that's because so much of what used to a FREEDOM has been redefined as a RISK. Like smoking inside and actual building. Or riding a bike without a helmet. Or not wearing a seatbelt. Or riding in the bed of a pickup truck.

Each of these activities is a risk, but a calculated one. Yes you can get hurt, but what are the odds?

And individual behavior would moderate the risk. Like riding in the bed of a pickup. Sitting with your back to the cab while the truck is in motion minimizes the risk involved. Walking around with a beer in your hand while on the entrance ramp to the expressway tends to increase the risk.

Guess whose activities were cited when making this activity illegal? So the millions of folks who minimized the risk are criminals, and the idiots with the beer are still dying. Sure, they're dying as criminals, but the law has not modified their behavior, just the behavior of the folks who were modifying the risk anyway.

And now we have a precedent for the next step.

That is the interesting thing about Freedom; we win it all at once, and lose it one little piece at a time.

The Magna Carta was in some respects a Declaration of Independence for English Noblemen. Those freedoms eventually migrated down, as the noble class increased in size and their descendents became less noble and more common. And then they started disappearing. Especially in the colonies. Freedoms that were once held as inviolate, became violate.

The trouble was, at least for the King, was that the people KNEW what they losing, and fought to keep the Freedom they had.

A percentage of the Founding Fathers did not want to found a new country. They wanted to stay a part of Britain, but as an equal partner, not a slave state. The King had a choice, and he choose unwisely.

And over the last 70 years those hard won Freedoms have been chipped away at. Always for good reasons (remember- Never Let a GOOD Crisis Go To Waste), and but never, in my opinion, is there a reason good enough to stifle Liberty.

Well, maybe next year we will have more reason to Celebrate.

Or, possibly, won't be able to celebrate at all.

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