I agree with John Kerry on something.
But, in my defense, I have been saying this for years; he has been living it for years.
And, I'm not sure we both mean the same thing.
Our Constitution, and in particular the Bill of Rights, allows us freedom to be in charge of ourselves. We aren't wards of the State, to be cosseted and controlled.
We can, for fun and recreation, jump out of perfectly good aircraft. We can climb shear rock walls, depending solely on our fingertips and toes. We can jump off of cliffs, and hang suspended by 10 yards of fabric and an aluminum frame.
We have the ability to determine for ourselves what is fun and safe.
Do some of us make bad decisions when it comes to safe and fun?
Indubitably. The phrase "Hold my beer and watch this" comes to mind.
Some also make the wrong decision when it comes to what is recreation, or over indulge in that recreation. Drugs and alcohol in particular. A few beers every now and again isn't a problem. Staying drunk for weeks on end is. But we are allowed that stupidity. We may have family and friends who will work toward making us sober up, but the state cannot intervene without being asked to.
The symptoms can be addressed- public intoxication for example- but the state cannot forbid us from purchasing and consuming alcohol.
That is our right; the right to be stupid.
The Constitution created a limited Federal government, and the Bill of Rights further limited the reach and scope of that Federal Government. Why was that?
Look at two Amendments in particular; the Second and the Ninth.
Take a look at the Aurora, Colorado shootings. One person in that room had weapons. That person became the one in control. He alone determined who would leave that room unscathed, wounded or dead. Everyone else had been disarmed, by law and custom, and were, barring random chance, at the mercy of the armed shooter. He was in control, and it was the weapon (a weapon held illegally) that gave him that control.
The Second Amendment hands us the ability to be in control of our own destiny. We can use that weapon to hunt and feed ourselves. We can use that weapon to defend our lives and property. We can use that weapon to defend our liberties, just as the men who wrote the Constitution had done.
The choice is ours. We determine what is worthy of defense; which life, which property, which liberty.
We also have the choice not to arm ourselves. To choose not to defend our lives, our property, our liberty. To submit to the control of a cosseting government; to surrender our labor to the government for a doled out share of health and wealth. a share not determined by how hard we work, but by a far off bureaucrat, more interested in our political worth and reliability.
But that would be stupid, wouldn't it?
The Ninth Amendment also limits the power of the Federal government; reserving to the individual all of the powers not reserved to the Federal government.
And believe it or not, not withstanding a lot of.... Well; most of the recent activity in Washington, the Federal government did not retain the right to act with acute stupidity.
I have no idea what Kerry meant by his statement, but I do know what I meant by mine.
We may have used the same words, but I doubt we really had the same meaning.