Thursday, February 16, 2012

Freedoms, Rights, and Responsibilities

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Recently I was talking to friend who's a police officer.  He asked me if I'd come to my senses and quit my Congressional campaign.  Smiling, I replied, "No, still in it."  "Well then," he said, "make sure you fix my taxes and protect my Second Amendment rights." As we got further into the discussion, we agreed that our freedoms and rights come with substantial responsibilities.

For example, our First Amendment rights include freedom of speech.  But that doesn't give us the right to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater or silence those with whom we disagree.   Our right to keep and bear arms comes with the responsibility to secure a "free State" and to demonstrate the mental capacity, physical safety, and shooting proficiency that goes along with using firearms.

Our right to representative democracy comes with the responsibility to vote.

Our right to trial by an impartial jury comes with the responsibility to serve as an impartial juror.

Liberty comes with the responsibility to be held accountable for our actions.

Equality comes with the responsibility to recognize that all people have the same worth.

Individualism comes with the responsibility to allow all people the possibility of reaching their own goals and realizing their own destinies.

Economic freedom and the chance to succeed on our own merits in a competitive environment come with the responsibilities of not inhibiting others that want to do the same and bearing all the costs of our own economic activities.

Freedom isn't free. Soldiers die protecting our freedoms and rights. We can best honor the fallen by jealously guarding our freedoms and rights while zealously defending the same for all Americans.