Good Day World!
On occasion, I like to share articles written by other bloggers that I believe have done an excellent job expressing their opinion on tough societal issues.
Todays blogger is PAUL WALDMAN, a daily blogger for The American Prospect.
Waldman writes about how our society is divided by two visions for America. One, has all Americans packing guns, all the time. The other, a world without guns on display everywhere.
Which one is your vision?
“One of the things that makes a society work is that people have rights that are protected in the law, but they also exercise those rights with consideration for the society's other members.
For instance, we have a strong commitment to freedom of expression, such that many things that would be deemed obscene and get you tossed in jail in other countries are tolerated here.
So if I want do a performance art piece that involves lots of cursing and tossing about bodily fluids, I can do it. But I'm not going to do it on the sidewalk in front of your house during dinner time, not because I don't have the right, but because that would make me an asshole.
In the exercising of my rights, I'd be changing the conditions of your existence, even for a brief time, in a way that you'd find unpleasant. So because I value having a society where we all live together, I'll choose to find a theater to put on my performance, and you can choose to come see it or not.
In the same way, if you choose to have a gun in your home because you think it protects you, that's your right. I'm going to choose not to let my kid come play with your kid at your house, and we can all get along.
Our liberty is protected by our laws and institutions, not by our ability to wage war on our government. Canadians and Britons and French people aren't any less free than we are because they are less able to start killing cops and soldiers when they decide the time for insurrection has come.
Nevertheless, that basic right exists and it isn't going to be taken away. But the rest of us should also be able to say that there are limits to how far your exercising that right should be allowed to change the rest of our lives, and if necessary the law should enforce those limits.
The goal of many gun advocates, particularly those who promote concealed carry, is that we make it so as many people as possible take as many guns as possible into as many places as possible.
That's been the focus of their legislative efforts in recent years, not only passing concealed carry laws nearly everywhere, but also passing laws to make you able to take guns into bars, schools, government buildings, houses of worship, and so on, and also advocating for laws that would let you take your guns to communities where it would be otherwise illegal to carry them.
Which would mean that your right to carry your gun trumps the right of everyone else to say, this is a place where we've decided we don't want people bringing guns.
Is it possible that on my next visit to the local coffee place, a madman might come and shoot the place up? Yes, it's possible. And is it possible that if half the patrons were armed, one of them might be able to take him down and limit the number of people he killed?
Yes, it's possible. It's also possible that I'll win the next Powerball. But if holding out that infinitesimal possibility means that every time I go down for a coffee, I'm entering a place full of guns, it's not a price I'm willing to pay.
But gun advocates want to create a society governed by fear, or at the very least, make sure that everyone feels the same fear they feel. "An armed society is a polite society," they like to say, and it's polite because we're all terrified of each other.
They genuinely believe that that the price of safety is that there should be no place where guns, and the fear and violence they embody, are not present. Not your home, not your kids' school, not your supermarket, not your church, no place.
But for many of us—probably for most of us—that vision of society is nothing short of horrifying. (Condensed from “Here a Gun, There a Gun, Everywhere a Gun” -JANUARY 18, 2013)
Time for me to walk on down the road…