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.