The question posed in the title of this blog seems simple, as does the answer. And yet in today’s America we are constantly relinquishing our freedoms, or being asked to do so. Our collective compliance will only lead us to a totalitarian, tyrannical world in which a very tiny segment of our society decides what’s best for us and how we should live our lives. The weak among us are less afraid of this scenario. They wish to be led. They find self-responsibility and risk, which go hand-in-hand, very uncomfortable.
The latest issue that brought this issue to mind is the TSA‘s (Transportation Safety Administration) decision to once again allow small pocket knives on airline flights. On the surface it sounds like a crazy idea. And the mass media and liberal pundits are jumping up and down screaming we’ll be less safe and planes could be taken down again like they were on 9-11. But when you look at the decision and break it down to its basic truth this represents a very rare occasion where government is returning rights to you it had previously taken. And this should be applauded.
Prior to 9-11 carrying small pocket knifes, or large ones for that matter, onto air plane flights was not illegal. In the time before 9-11 you could also travel with your own shampoo. But in the hyper-safety-conscious period following 9-11 the TSA was created and new rules and laws, like the passing of the Patriot Act, took away our individual rights in the name of security. At the time it was understandable to temporarily suspend some of our individual liberties because we didn’t know how great a danger we faced as a people, as a nation. Lincoln suspended habius-corpus and declared Marshal Law during the Civil War. So, it’s been done before, for temporary and emergency circumstances. But 9-11 was 12 years ago. There have been no major terrorist attacks on Americans since. And yet the Patriot Act was renewed by a Democratic Congress at the behest of President Obama.
And before you argue that there is no need for people to carry knifes and therefore they should be denied the right to carry them. Please keep in mind the Constitution of the United States was written and intended for the protection of the people, the individual person, from their government. Also keep in mind how hypocritical opposition to the small knives on airplanes really is. The TSA already allows screwdrivers up to 7 inches in length, and small scissors. Both these implements can do as much, and possible more damage than a 2-inch knife.
Also in the news this week was the story that a New York Judge has struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s law preventing the sale of large (32-ounce) soft-drinks. Here again, what Bloomberg fails to understand is that it is every American’s right to get as fat as they want. Bloomberg says New York will appeal the judge’s decision. Apparently, he is still convinced that he knows best and therefore can and should restrict the rights of the people in his city.
Folks, it is every American’s God-given right to do something stupid. This right should never be restricted unless a person’s stupid decisions endanger or harm another person or inhibit another person’s rights. And, to be clear, carrying a pocket knife doesn’t harm anyone; only using a pocket knife in a violent way can actually hurt someone. And there are already laws against that.
Every time you think you know best, just realize you may be wrong, what you know best may only apply to yourself, and you can’t legislate against stupid.
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