Bad choices

Daniel Drew has some good points:

The Charleston church shooting flooded newsrooms around the world. Did the killer act alone? How much did he really hate black people? Should we burn every Confederate flag in the country? When will another racist strike next? Stay tuned for more! After reading this, one would assume there was an evil Confederate in every town, ready to open fire on every family in America. The reality is much different. The greatest danger to the average American is the cheeseburger they ate for dinner last night.

He goes on to give graphs and charts with the data on how people in the U.S. are most likely to die. The most common form of death is heart disease followed by cancer. I have no reason to believe anything he said not true. But there are some caveats I would like to add.

Heart disease is mostly preventable and someone that dies from heart disease after a lifetime of obesity and virtually no exercise isn’t going to get as much sympathy as someone who was killed by a drunk driver or a group of people murdered by someone they welcomed into their group. It’s the difference between self-inflicted “wounds” and being an innocent victim.

Hence expending public resources is more likely, and more appropriate, to get legislative approval when you have innocent victims that need protection from others. It’s appropriate to protect the innocent from those who would deliberately or carelessly inflict harm on them. Most people instinctively get this.

But protecting the innocent frequently goes astray when government extends its power to include protecting people from themselves. Examples include New York City banning large sugary soft drinks and high salt content foods. That’s obvious to most people.

But the same principle applies to recreational drugs. Alcohol and tobacco use has recreational benefits as well as potential for damaging your health. Crack, heroin, and meth have even more potential for risk. But it’s self inflicted harm. I don’t have much sympathy for those that inflict harm upon themselves. If they are stupid enough to harm themselves then why should I, or anyone else, expend either my or public resources to protect them?

Bringing this back to the gun issue we can apply the same principles to suicide. Suicide by gun is little different than suicide by car and only differs by degrees of certainty and speed from some of the worst recreational drugs. Those who advocate for gun control to prevent suicide are showing their totalitarian colors.

They are demanding control over how you choose to live and die. They are not trying to protect innocent life from predators. They are demanding control over you. Some may think I’m exaggerating. Perhaps this extrapolation is unfounded and I’m paranoid.

No. I am not.

If you think I’m wrong then explain to me why the big fuss over the Confederate flag isn’t conclusive proof that I am correct? Add in the multitude of laws, ordinances, and regulations affecting of tens of thousands of aspects of our lives and get back to me.

As Drew points out the media bears a lot of responsibility for this. But if we value our freedom we must recognize the freedom of the press to do despicable things such as their encouragement of totalitarianism. It may be inadvertent. Perhaps just recognize this is how they can best make money in the short time. Our response must be to recognize their actions for what they are and point out they are little different than the racist attempting to start a “race war” and differ only on the scales of time and scope from those who would incite a riot.

Freedom isn’t free. It appropriate to bring attention to these costs and appropriately minimize them. It is part of the job of the media to do this. But they would be well advised to note the costs of totalitarianism are immeasurable and should be avoided at any cost. They don’t do this. This is a bad choice for everyone.

The main stream media is going through financially hard times and if they were to die a slow and painful death I would have no more sympathy for them than a disease riddled drug addict dead in the gutter. They both made a lot of bad choices to get there.

2 thoughts on “Bad choices

  1. There are two kinds of “safety and security”. One is the political kind, and it’s protection is the purpose for which the U.S. was founded. Political safety and security refers to the safety and security of your rights. To the extent that government can advocate your safety and security, it can do so only by recognizing, upholding and protecting your rights. This we call “liberty”.

    The other kind of safety and security is the physical kind, and that is the responsibility of the individual, the family, and such organizations, partnerships, collaborations and associations as are a part of any free society. Don’t run with scissors, keep fire extinguishers in your house (which, of you’re insured against fire damage your insurance company will insist) carry a gun, wear a helmet in certain situations, etc., etc. Those things are your business and any government that can force you to do those things is a government that does not recognize your rights. Under that government you are not safe – not in the political sense and therefor not in the physical sense.

    If we do not or cannot recognize the critical difference between the political and the physical “safety and security”, we will have neither, for if your government does not uphold your rights first and foremost, you are certainly not safe.

    This is all of course a reiteration of Ben Franklin’s;
    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    However, it isn’t really a matter of what those who give up essential liberty “deserve” so much as a matter of the fact that they are, ipso facto, no longer safe. Having given up liberty, you have abrogated the very concept of rights, and without the protection of your rights you are in danger. You have invited tyranny and you’ll surely get it whether you “deserve” it or not. It’s like jumping off a cliff; whether you “deserve” to hit bottom is rather beside the point at that stage. You will.

    • Exactly. A more accurate statement than the one Ben Franklin made would be “…will have neither Liberty nor Safety”

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