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Freedom And Our Personal Liberties

Written by | January 22nd, 2010

Freedom, its a word that is flung around rather often these days, but how many of us realize what it really means? During my lifetime, at 42 years, which is relatively short, I have seen the gradual loss of many of my freedoms. As a child, I can remember eating ice cream while riding in the back of my dad’s pickup truck; something that today would get any parent a hefty fine at best. Other laws have slowly infiltrated our society; all of them implemented with the best of intentions… We’ve seen seatbelt laws, smoking laws, leash laws, litter laws, boating regulations, animal ordinances, etc. Face it, there’s no argument over the fact that we need laws… Let’s use smoking as an example of what happens when you pass a law that seems good. Everyone knows that smoking is bad; it is a proven fact that it causes cancer. Government has placed a heavy tax on cigarettes to discourage smoking; how is that money used? Laws have been implemented to prohibit smoking in restaurants; sounds good unless you are the restaurant owner whose main clientel are smokers. Wouldn’t it be better to just require that a sign be posted, saying, “this is a smoking establishment”? If you didn’t want to smoke then you wouldn’t eat there. I don’t smoke, but I have to sympathize with those who do. As long as they aren’t hurting others, what right does anyone have to dictate how they live their lives? Life comes with risk from day one… From that point forward, we have no guarantees as to what will happen to us. Shouldn’t we get to live our life the way we want to live it? With every law that is passed, even those that would benefit the majority of citizens, someone is losing a measure of freedom. When one looks at this in a broad scope and considers not just laws but bureaucracy, they have to realize that we have lost much of the freedom that we once had. Most of that time, bureaucracy comes with licenses and registration fees to pay for it. How much could be saved if there wasn’t so much bureaucracy to begin with? Anyone reading this, has probably thought of  The Department of Motor Vehicles, as they are reading… What a nightmare it is to deal with that bureaucracy.

Anyhow, the purpose of this post was just to provoke some thought, on laws, and their impact on our lives. So many laws are passed with such little thought on the cumulative effect on such laws on our lives. Much more attention should be given to laws that would seek to protect the majority rather than laws that would serve only to punish the few; the end result simply is, the erosion of our individual liberties.

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One thought on “Freedom And Our Personal Liberties

  1. markross

    You raise some very good and valid points! Some I have thought of, and others I have not.

    This is becoming even more apparent, these days, up in NYC, as Mayor Bloomberg is telling restaurants how much salt they can use when preparing their meals. That is really bizarre to me, and it seems way beyond the scope of what any "elected" official should really get involved in.

    Clearly, many of our elected officials went from responsible managers, to paternalistic; and, it needs to stop!

    Some of these things, like cigarettes, are a grey-area for me… While I respect and appreciate all people's personal liberties, undoubtedly, second-hand cigarette smoke is a public health problem, and has been shown to effect healthy citizens as well. Now, the slippery-slope of government, was to tell private businesses, you must ban smoking. 

    I am definitely more for incentivizing, and informing people, as opposed to mandating and controlling people. For example, food products, and menus, having labels that tell people the types of fats, calories etc. Then, if you decide to indulge, it could be to your own peril. Likewise, if restaurants allow cigarette smoking, place signs up that say, this is a smoking facility, smoking can be hazardous to you health. Therefore, you have been warned, and the business has no liability.

    A big portion of the problem may lie in getting our health insurance system straightened out, once and for all. If everyone could have access to affordable health care, perhaps, local governments would feel less responsibility to manipulate people's way of living.

    Certainly, there is something about The Progressive's mindset that seems to have this unwaivering desire to control society; but, with enough resistance, perhaps we can get some balance restored. If not, the freedom-loving people, hopefully, will continue rebelling against BIG Government! Get out your “Don’t Tread On Me” flags!

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