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Friday, April 29, 2016

What happened to personal responsibility?

We live in interesting times. The debate about personal liberty, and the right to express it in the way you choose seems to be a daily feature of a great many people's lives. I think there is a pressure group for pretty much every cause, and for all facets of every argument. The thing that links pretty much all of them is that they are all claiming to be 'standing up for the rights' of the individuals whom they agree with, and demonstrating which parts of the constitution are being breached if their argument isn't accepted.

Where these various pressure groups seem to have fewer answers is when you put to them the fact that in a great deal of these cases, to uphold 'the rights' of the people they represent, they unashamedly call for the rights of the people they disagree with to be curtailed. There are many examples of this, and I want to preface my remarks here with the rider that I hold no specific position on any of the issues I comment on here, with the exception of the gun issues obviously.

We have Christian bakers being told whom they have to bake cakes for, organizations being told they must rethink the whole where one goes to the bathroom 'issue', states being boycotted for reasons unclear to most, utterly irrelevant to the vast majority, people being shunned for views that only a few short years ago were not uncommon, and others being held responsible for the actions of their dim and distant relatives from 1 or 2 centuries ago, whom they can't even name.

And that brings us neatly to the firearms debate. There are some out there that would seek to inflict their will or opinion on those of us who choose the shooting sports as a pastime, and who chose to carry a weapon to defend ourselves, our loved ones and each other. They claim they don't feel safe seeing someone walking the isles of Walmart with a 45 safely holstered, as they might shoot them! I wonder how they would feel if they were in that same Walmart, and someone with less than legal intent entered the store and began randomly shooting at staff and customers, would they be a little more happy to see the 45 come out of that holster?

And there for me is the issue. I believe in live and let live, If someone doesn't want to make a cake for someone, hey if it was me, I would find someone who wanted my business, ever made an enemy of a chef before he/she cooks your food, BAD plan!! Do I care who uses what bathroom, though I would suggest that we have managed just fine with 2 bathrooms and no confusion as to who uses which one for as long as there have been public bathrooms. The same can be said of firearms.

Me carrying a firearm effects nobody else's rights, or ability to go about their day. Their insistence on trying to impose their opinion on me, now that can and does have consequences on how I go about my day. If you can see someone open carrying their gun, it's unlikely in the extreme that they have anything less than self defence in mind. If I am concealed carrying, the anti would never know, so no issue there. So we come down to perception, or to put it another way, profiling is a dangerous thing. We are told we cannot profile people, that to do so is wrong. Various court cases have supported this argument, as Sheriff Arpaio will no doubt confirm.

But what happens when there is a shooting? Those of us who do enjoy our sport, and who DO carry to defend ourselves again fund ourselves on the defensive. Maricopa City is taking a positive step, and allowing firearms onto city owned property, and rightly so. To accuse a large section of the community of being dangerous, and potential mass murderers, who should have their guns taken away makes as little sense as saying that car drivers are all murderers, and because a drivers of Fords killed the most last year, all Fords should be taken away!

Fact is, people kill people, they USE hammers, knives, cars, drugs and all manner of other exotic ways to achieve that end result, but to blame the tool is as pointless as blaming a vending machine company for the 3 people that will die as a result of vending machine accidents in 2016.

If we are going to defend peoples rights, we need to defend them ALL, not just the ones that affect us.

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