This I believe, a citizen of a nation represents it. Tom Plate you wrote “Our famous Constitution, about which many of us are generally so proud, enshrines — along with the right to freedom of speech, press, religion and assembly — the right to own guns. That’s an apples and oranges list if there ever was one.” I disagree quite emphatically with the statement. The right to act and protect ones actions is the founding principle of the nation. We as a people have long realized that forfeiting freedom for anything is often not worth the cost. Having guns available to the general populous is something the founders of this country wrote very specifically into the constitution because they believed this country would be founded and built by the people and for the people. That statement has great meaning when the phrase built by and for is understood. Each and every citizen young and old is a defender of the country as a whole and the rights of each and every citizen within it.
You may not see you self as required to take up arms to defend your rights, that is why you pay taxes and vote I bet? However I do see it as a solemn obligation to personally be prepared to fight for my country. Not just to maintain its integrity as an entity but to maintain it morally as well. Those items were written together because they speak of our rights as citizens, to be just that citizens. We are more than just voters and tax payers. A citizen does not see the army, the justice department and all state institutions as the end all be all of the government, we are the government. A proper citizen sees the buck stopping at his/her door and will work and die to make sure the country is what they think it should be. Don’t take away my right to be a citizen because of fear. Freedoms should only be constrained because it is the right thing to do not the easiest.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.