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Fri Jul 20, 2012, 02:42 PM

The other freedom.

Many people who are focused on their '2nd amendment rights' are focused on the ability to responsibly own and use a firearm.

When I was younger I was 100% against it and joined the anti-gun lobbies at the time, which in retrospect only helped the NRA get millions more single issue voters and contributors.

Here at DU and other places I have met many very responsible gun owners and am frankly quite impressed with how responsible most of them are. In my work I have daily contact with law enforcement officers who also are very responsible about securing their weapons.

I lived overseas for 2 decades and lived and visited almost all of the main countries in Asia and Western Europe. In these countries individuals generally don't have guns and if they do they are never visible and virtually never apart of the daily life of the average citizen. In many countries even the police don't always carry fire arms.

Americans are consumed with their litany of freedoms but it blinds them to other freedoms.

In this case the ability to walk around Tokyo, Singapore, Berlin or London, or most of the other cities of the world at 2 in the morning and simply not have to worry about violence, especially about guns.

Very very few Americans can ever experience this because we carry around a blanket of apprehension that is always with us. If you are in a foreign country for a few days you can't shed this blanket, but Americans who have lived overseas for prolonged periods of time know what I am talking about. Frankly it feels great. You can go anywhere any hour of the day and never have to look over your shoulder and worry about walking up the wrong street.

I have grown somewhat more sympathetic to the responsible gun owner. I know that there are too many people who have made this their only political issue to change it and I even suspect that when the NRA suggests that the current laws are not being enforced well and that if they were (which a fully functional database would assist) then a lot of gun violence would be eliminated. I also have traveled to see relatives that live in remote areas and pass by isolated farm houses in the country that have no neighbors for miles around and I think that if I lived in one of these houses I would want a weapon because no law authority is ever going to arrive in time.

But the bottom line is that having the right for everyone to have a gun is not an expansion of freedom, it is a trade off. You lose the freedom to go anywhere at anytime and not have to worry about someone showing up with a gun. If you haven't lived in one of those countries for an extended period of time you can never experience how liberating that is, and some Americans who do live in those countries never are able to experience the feeling of being able to walk around without any tinge of fear.

The 2nd amendment isn't a one way street to greater freedom, its a two way street and we lose that other freedom. For those of us that have experienced the freedom to walk around not have to worry about meeting up with the wrong guy who happens to have a gun, we know that it is a very high price to pay to give up that other freedom.

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply The other freedom. (Original post)
grantcart Jul 2012 OP
Confusious Jul 2012 #1
grantcart Jul 2012 #2
Confusious Jul 2012 #3
grantcart Jul 2012 #4
Confusious Jul 2012 #5
Igel Jul 2012 #6

Response to grantcart (Original post)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 03:22 PM

1. 2nd that

I'm 43 years old. Never feared walking around at night, never associated with people who needed guns in their line of work (criminals).

I was even shot last year while at home. A kid put 7 bullets into my apt.

I'm really straying to hate this gun craze becuase it makes me feel like I'm being pushed into a corner where I feel like I'm going to have to get a gun at some point because of all the yahoos running around with guns.

It's sad the amount of fear some people carry around.

While I think people have a right to defend thier homes, I think the guns should stay there.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 03:25 PM

2. sorry to hear that you became a target, I hope that you meant that

you were shot 'at' and your apartment was hit but that you personally didn't sustain any injuries.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 03:33 PM

3. Nope, I got it right

One 45 through the left leg. Got it on the outside of the leg, right through the meat, never seen so much blood in my life.

Could have been worse. I was up and walking around after a month. It's still healing though.

It was, for this reason and others, probably the worst summer of my life.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 04:47 PM

4. Sorry to hear about the leg


Good to hear your better.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #4)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 05:22 PM

5. Eh, as an old guy said

while the paramedics were taking care of my leg,

"it'll make a good story."

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Response to grantcart (Original post)

Fri Jul 20, 2012, 05:38 PM

6. Freedom from what?

That's the problem: We are so used to not having to define "freedom" that we forget that it has an argument, some sort of object, that we usually leave unsaid. Just like "good" has an implicit "for what purpose", so "free" has an implicit "from something."

The Bill of Rights lists freedoms. They're freedoms from government abuse and infringement on "natural rights." Rights that you, as a person, are born with and that government could take away.

There's no freedom in the Bill of Rights (except possibly of fairly recent vintage) of freedom from fellow citizens' actions or words, except to the extent they are government agents.

There's no freedom from our own actions and their consequences.

There's no freedom from things like the weather or earthquakes.

There's not even freedoms in the Bill of Rights from things that government could stop others or you from doing. You could be unemployed and starve, but there's no freedom in the Bill of Rights stopping that. Unless it's the government compelling the unemployment or starvation in ways that deny you your rights.


When I lived in an urban area I was less concerned with guns than with knives and cars. And in Germany it's a relative freedom: They still do have gun violence, just a lot less (per capita). Then again, it depends where you go in the US.

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