“The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance”

6 Jan

Thomas Jefferson said that. Was he correct?

Right before the new year, in Idaho, a 2-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his mother after he reached into her purse while visiting the local  Wal-Mart and her concealed gun fired.

Mrs. Veronica Rutledge who had a concealed weapons permit in what is also an open carry state was shopping with her son and three other children, when the young boy who was left in a shopping cart, reached into his mother’s purse and grabbed a small-caliber handgun, which discharged one time.

Deputies who responded to the tragic scene commented: “It appears to be a pretty tragic accident,” In neighboring Washington state, a 3-year-old boy was seriously injured in November when he accidentally shot himself in the face in a home in Lake Stevens. In April, a 2-year-old boy apparently shot and killed his 11-year-old sister while they and their siblings played with a gun inside a Philadelphia home.

Over 30,000 citizens are killed by guns every year and There do not appear to be reliable national statistics about the number of accidental fatalities involving children handling guns, nor of those shot and killed by police officers, nor of suicides and other misadventures, and 2 years after the tragedy at Sandy Hook, Congress has still passed no significant legislation to help better regulate guns in our country…nor does it really even appear to be a pressing problem amongst legislators, media members, or moms and dads throughout America.

We live in a Democratic Republic where our well respected constitution defines our rights, one being the right to bear arms…and we as a country collectively bear about 300 million of them. We do it so proudly that in over 30 states we are allowed to show our right off, by openly carrying them. But now we also seek laws to allow us to conceal those guns so as to not appear too showy, I guess…or to perhaps “get the drop” on the bad guys that we know are out their, lurking, in the shadows…or in plain sight…and with their guns.

But is that really what we are so afraid of… here… in the Land of the Brave? Other people and their guns? Who is it who is out there who is so dangerous in the Wal-Marts of Idaho and Kansas and North Carolina that make us feel the need to carry guns in our pockets and purses? Do we have something other to fear but the fear of ourselves? Or don’t we?

“Tragedies happen”, we like to say…even when we say it about guns over 30,000 times each and every year. But that’s certainly not an apparent reason to limit our god given rights… and clearly to many members of our society it is the victims of gun violence’s own fault for wandering about in “gun free” zones…without guns…or for being so careless. People should know better…and yet still others say that we don’t have a gun problem at all in our country. What we have is a mental health problem!

I would certainly question the mental health of a populous of 300+ million people who own 300+ million guns…but that’s just me.

But alas, we are free after all, in a free country, and so as Mr. Jefferson once said so famously, we must remain vigilant lest we lose our freedoms!

And I believe, quite tragically, and in the end, it is going to be only ourselves who we must so vigilantly watch out for.

8 Responses to ““The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance””

  1. momshieb January 7, 2015 at 2:53 am #

    You have asked the very question that I have been asking, “What in God’s name does someone have to fear in Walmart in the middle of the day?”
    Personally, if I felt that my life and those of my children were in imminent danger in Walmart, I wouldn’t go there for my laundry detergent or my low priced sneakers. Rather than carrying a deadly weapon in the cart with my baby, I guess I’d shop on Amazon.
    I don’t mean to make light of this: I am beyond disgusted and completely bewildered by a nation where there are nearly more guns than humans.
    And no matter what anyone says, (including the not so Supreme Court), the words of the Second Amendment clearly refer to a “well regulated militia”, not the average person who wants to play cowboy.

  2. Snowbird of Paradise January 7, 2015 at 3:48 am #

    As a visitor to the US, I am more in fear of the good guys with guns than I am of the bad guys with guns. I am more likely to come across the former than the latter.

  3. TamrahJo January 7, 2015 at 8:50 am #

    I agree, “in the end, it is going to be only ourselves who we must so vigilantly watch out for.”

    I disagree that gun control laws will give you the end result you’re looking for.

    As a follower of your blog, I’ve disagreed with you before on your perspective with regards to gun control/laws – even while I so applaud your many other perspectives on a myriad of subjects, – I hope that I do not ‘strain’ our blogger relationship too much by disagreeing, rather bluntly, again, on this subject – – – – 🙂

    Yes, there are a lot of gun-totin’, revenge – heavy freaks out there that scare the livin’ daylights out me, too – – -BUT, I was very thankful to have a shotgun readily available in my home when a bear, (who had gotten great rewards by breaking into nearby vacation cabins), decided to find the weakest portal he could and break into my year round home that contained, along with me, 2 small children – – -the bear did not care if the sheriff’s office and Dept. of Wildlife officers were on their way and he was about to be caught – – he did not care that I was willing to be diplomatic and fair and use my inside voice – – – –

    And yes, whether a bear or a human rapist/burglar, etc., I feel the same way – I’m glad that I do not have to endure anything more than a back ground check to attest to my good, non-law-breaking nature to be allowed to purchase fire power to protect my children and myself, in my own home.

    IF – IF you get what you appear to be asking for – you are now leaving me defenseless against any who are committed to getting what they want, when they want, how they want -whether their motives make sense or not – – whether I or others ‘deserve it” or not – – – (- for all I know, the monsters at the door could be terrorists from Al Queda or they could be British Regulars, if I”m to believe Republican version of the story – – )

    For the love of god, can we please find a happy medium between carrying a loaded pistol,off safety, within the reach of a 3 year old that has not been given a single lesson in gun safety and what it takes to keep 30,000 children from starving to death, every night?

    Because I’m certain that unless it speaks to some political platform objective, I and my children could die tonight and it wouldn’t even be a blip on the radar unless, our death was in a manner that could be manipulated to get votes – which means I either have to be stupid enough to leave a loaded gun in reach of the children I failed to teach gun safety to, , or I have to be a lazy, good-for-nothing mother who let her children starve to death – – –

    In the end ( and I realize this is harsh, and blunt) People are born, People will die – – every second, all around the world – what does 30,000 really mean in face of starvation, war, aides, ebola? Really?

    I don’t require you to believe as I do – but I do hope you read and ponder upon upon my point of view – – I may not be right – – there may be a compromise to be found between our differing views – but I don’t believe further gun control laws to fulfill the end result you seek- – – and because I was damn thankful to have fire power available, when I needed it – regardless of what the statistics are, I will continue to disagree with the staunch measures proposed whenever stories of misfortunate choices by people continue to make the headlines.

    • gpicone January 8, 2015 at 2:20 am #

      It wouldn’t be hard at all. Make gun laws that require the same standards as getting a driver’s license. You wouldn’t even feel any pain at all and you could still get all the guns you want. Just register with your state, take a test, prove you’re a citizen, prove you can use the gun safely and prove you can see. And if you prove to be a drunk or convicted drug user we get to take it away. Why should gun owners have more rights that car drivers? And we’d all still be able to shoot or run over as many British Regulars, as we do now.

  4. avwalters January 7, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

    Geven the most recent spate of tragedies, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s high time we ban toddlers.

  5. 98maryanne January 7, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    It boggles my mind the mental gymnastics people will utilize in order to make their “want” to have unlimited access to any and every kind of gun and ammo with no effort at all on their part a moral imperative. Because owning every kind of gun and ammo with no effort at all is not a “need” as much as they’d like you to believe. Take the reply from above who actually says that what’s 30,000 deaths in the scheme of things, really? Why should I have a hard time having access to any and every kind of gun and ammo when people are going to die anyway? I’m sure it was the same argument people used when seat belt and infant car seat laws went into effect, bringing down the death rate in motor vehicle accidents. Owning a shotgun out in the country or even in the city for home defense IS NOT the argument. Never has been. These people always try and muddy the waters with invalid arguments just so that they can continue to have access to every kind of gun and ammo they wish with no effort. What’s truly insane about the same people is that if they were harmed in any way, by any thing else, any where else, they would be suing the pants off of the who, and where. The difference being that gun manufacturers have a sweetheart deal with Congress that people don’t get to sue them when their product causes harm. Because guns don’t kill people, people kill people, right? Sorry, but that argument is the biggest load of BS in the bunch. Guns in the hands of people kill people just like knives or blunt objects or anything else, they just make it very easy, less messy and less likely for the enraged PERSON to calm down before pulling the trigger. And sorry, but it is a truth, you can’t fix stupid. And allowing all the stupids out there access to every kind of gun and ammo with no effort is how you get so many “accidental” deaths. Responsible gun owners, my a**. Unless and until the American people wake up to the propaganda of the gun lobby (NRA) there will continue to be too many needless deaths that I’m sure are mourned by those that love them even though apparently gun enthusiast are “too bad so sad” about their deaths. I don’t believe very many people, despite gun enthusiast protests otherwise want a complete ban on guns. Just sensible rules for ownership and making it enough of a hassle to get one that the average idiot joe blow takes a pass.

  6. emmylgant January 8, 2015 at 9:39 am #

    Perhaps it is time to reflect on what freedom is? And while pondering that, mull over the notion of human rights…

  7. Merryn January 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    So incredibly sad reading about those very young kids having access to guns and the tragedies that followed.

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