America…. tie your shoelaces….

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.”

http://www.cc.com/video-clips/o5lyhg/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-trevor-addresses-the-orlando-shooting

I’m extremely frustrated, and this conversation has become stifling as its come up far too many times for us to continue to brush off. There is a saying that “You can’t reason with the unreasonable” and to be honest, I’m starting to feel like our nation is simply becoming unreasonable and unwilling to listen. We are so overly obsessed with “individual rights” and “individual freedoms” that we choose to not take intelligent action to adamantly support what should be our “collective rights” and “collective freedoms” as citizens of this nation.

I get that statement will cause ire, but I can’t honestly say that its untrue of how I really feel at this point in time.

Don’t get me wrong, individual rights and individual freedoms are great and have their place, but honestly I get the feeling we’ve been sold a “dream” here that isn’t able to accommodate completely what people now expect or now feel themselves personally entitled to. We’ve seemingly freed people from a community responsibility in favor of individual freedoms. This honestly makes my heart hurt.

In reality we are a collection of people, and part of being an organized collection of people is that through cooperation, basic guidelines are generally made to balance out things so that overall the benefit of being together is more positive for all associated rather than negative. Otherwise there is no reason to be a part of that organized group. Its through cooperation and aggreements that we are all supposed to reap some kind of collective benefit.  There are basic rights that simple human decency and respect lead us to support, and typically these are some of what a group of people working as a whole (like a country) would promote.

Things like a right to Life, Personal Security, Freedom from Slavery, Freedom of religion, Freedom of speech…etc..  Those are basic rights that shouldn’t be devalued. That said, the reality is that because we are all individuals, and perceptions vary… these ideas can often be morphed into perceptions that are more self-serving than actually right overall.

The reality is that if you are deciding to be part of an established group of citizens, there is some give and take involved in order to promote safety and protection of the whole. I feel like America has forgotten this truth. An ample example:

The official definition of Personal Security is:

PERSONAL SECURITY. The legal and uninterrupted enjoyment by a man of his life, his body, his health and his reputation.1 Bouv. Inst. n. 202.

What is currently happening though is that by using fear and an intense focus on “individual rights” rather than “collective rights”, we’ve gotten to the point where we’ve let even “Personal Security” be stretched into meaning something else.

The Second Amendment literally says:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

We’ve cherry-picked this. We’re not exactly following through with this constitutional notion entirely.. and we seem to be ok with that as long as it doesn’t impact us individually. We’ve taken it to mean that everyone individually should have a “right” to keep and bear arms (no matter what)… yet we kinda gloss over the “well regulated Militia” portion and pay no mind to that part.  I’ve heard people say that putting any limitations on a person’s access of guns is unconstitutional…. yet no mind is paid to how constitutional it actually seems towards a document that claims to desire:

” to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,”

… For there to be so very little “regulation” involved when so many gross examples are constantly made where it comes out that these weapons are NOT being used in conjunction to insure personal safety, or in protecting an organized state’s right to self-defense. When instead those weapons are instead being used to deny fellow countrymen, friends and family of their right to life at all. Why have we stopped working towards a “more perfect” solutions… stopped considering improved methods of dealing with these individuals? Why is it that we seem content for loopholes to exist where we actually make it easier on these individuals to acquire destructive tools against our population? When did America become that extreme?

The silent unasked question… at what point did it become more important for an unstable individual’s “rights” to supersede that of their neighbors and even their own safety? To the point where even those who have vocally and openly expressed  harmful/hateful intentions towards others – How is it that we STILL feel they should STILL have such unrestricted access?

Freedom of speech is one thing, but freedom from the consequences of threatening other Americans should not be tip-toed around. If you believe something enough to vocally spout or post it.. then you should be subject to dealing with the consequences associated with those threatening statements, and it might not be really all that bad that your “right” to “bear arms” be questioned or even temporarily suspended until your mental stability improves and is less harmful.

I totally get that even that extent wouldn’t resolve all issues… but why are we so NOT willing to brainstorm about this? Saving even some to me seems preferable to taking no action at all, and having another record broke… having to yet again hold another press conference or candle light vigil in the near future.

Don’t be fooled.. choosing to take no action is infact making a choice to stagnate as a society and cause no change.

It drives me insane how the instant you start talking about this subject, how quickly the American flags and pride instantly present as if to signify that even the thought  of having the conversation about changing the current ways of dealing with the ever changing world we live in today, is somehow unpatriotic.

To me that honestly is an exhibition of “false patriotism.”

To so quickly shut down and devalue the simple conversation is pretty unpatriotic.  America was not founded on accepting the ways of the past as being the “only option” to consider. This isn’t such a black and white conversation. There is a middle ground that people are trying to achieve and ignoring it without consideration isn’t actually “Patriotism” ….. its idiocy.

How patriotic is it really to NOT be willing to learn from our resent history, and give it the attention due to at least try and avoid tragedy in the future with the way the world is right now? How patriotic is it to disregard the suffering of your fellow countrymen… and to allow it to occur over and over and over again without any push for improvement.

I’m not a fan of guns in general. Yet I’m still willing to talk it out and have the conversation. I’m quite honestly of the opinion that gun ownership can’t simply ever “just be taken away” here nor do I think it would entirely have to for there to be actual improvement over our situations. Especially since other countries have successfully minimized their mass shooting numbers pretty dramatically with some responsible adjustments.

Australia is one such example. In Australia the changes they made were to coordinate and standardize the laws between their states so that they weren’t so vastly different across the board. This measure minimized the existence and abuse of any “locale” loopholes. Can you personally own a gun in Australia? The answer is Yes. People who possess or use a firearm in Australia must have a firearms licence. Owners must be at least 18 years of age and have secure storage for their firearms.

The attitude that anyone who would desire responsible gun reform in America is obviously unpatriotic is nonsense. The thought that it is unable to be improved upon or attained at all  is laziness. There is a middleground when it comes to public safety measures and a continued option to own firearms, and the real truth is that it has been found elsewhere and successfully instituted for the last 20 years.

I don’t know… perhaps we should go as far as defining an actual difference between what a basic “right” here is versus what is a “readily available privilege given freely to those who qualify” is.

Driving a car can lead to serious loss of life. Driving a car requires us to get a license by proving we know how to drive, and what the laws of the road are. We have to go back every 4 years to renew it, and sometimes we even have to be re-evaluated as to if it is still safe for us to be on the road. Why can’t gun ownership be treated similarly?

Either way, its time for America to get over themselves…. tie their shoelaces (as Trevor Noah relayed) learn from mistakes and actually work to DO something.

 

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