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Certain Inalienable Rights

For in a republic, who is "the Country"? Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant — merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them. Who, then, is "the country?" Is it the newspaper? Is it the pulpit? Is it the school-superintendent? Why, these are mere parts of the country, not the whole of it; they have not command, they have only their little share in the command. They are but one in the thousand; it is in the thousand that command is lodged; they must determine what is right and what is wrong; they must decide who is a patriot and who isn’t.

In a monarchy, the king and his family are the country; in a republic it is the common voice of the people. Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak. And it is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catch-phrases of politicians. Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide it against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country — hold up your head! You have nothing to be ashamed of.

If you've never read the book Profiles in Courage by JFK, I suggest you do. When I read the quote by Mark Twain I thought of this book. About standing for what is right because you are obligated to do so. We have been born into a dynamic and amazing world, full of great opportunities as well as great oppression. But I believe that there has never been a time where so much freedom was available to the majority, and we have a duty, as citizens of whichever country we live in, to uphold what is right no matter the cost.

So how do we determine what is right? That's the hard part. Each person has been brought up and taught the importance of different ideologies and convictions. No one person will have exactly the same views as another, so where do we look for those common standards?

One might suggest the Bible, or the Koran, or whatever religious text you follow, but herein lies another complex problem, and it has become clear throughout history that maybe looking to religious texts for these rights may not be the best idea just yet.

The founding father's of the United States, I think, foresaw this, when they composed the Constitution. They call these "inalienable right," that every person regardless of race, creed or sex have. They did not make them conditional.

Martin Luther King called his time the test of the Constitution (of course I can't find the quote cause I packed the book I have it marked in). I agree. I believe that the suppression of those ever inalienable rights is truly a mockery to the Constitution and, if ignored, would inevitably bring upon it's destruction.

It is only when we fight for those rights, at the cost of all we hold dear, that we can ensure that the United States Constitution stands free and clear like a beacon. That it's truth's may resonate throughout the world. That all men (and women) are created equal and that regardless of our beliefs, our race or whatever differences may be between us, we are all deserving of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

These are the rights that bind us. These are the rights that unite and that we are obligated to defend, otherwise we are nothing but beings living day to day without a greater purpose. It is this commonality above all else that distinguishes us, and it is worth standing for.

"Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right.

This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences.

When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree besides the river of truth, and tell the whole world--

--No you move."
-Capt. America

And one more:

"The question isn't 'What does a country stand for when things are easy?' The question is-- What does a country stand for when standing is the hardest?"


Ivy said…
ok, this is what i think. i absolutely agree that one should fight with everything that they have in order to be free. what i don't understand is why many americans are so willing to give up their freedoms (not voting being one way to do that) but what about voting for gun control? (yes i'm picking on you now) who does that help? that was a hard won freedom that so many people would just hand over - to save lives?? i will never be convinced of that argument. crimminals will always have access to illeagal things because they obviously don't obey the law.
In the end i just wonder if the founding fathers see us sometimes and cringe or just really want to hit some of us. They gave so much and it seems so easy for us to let it go without fight. How long will it take for us to put ourselves right back in they spot they were in when they started a revolution?
cannwin said…
First, pro-gun control does not mean pro-gun prohibition. I don't agree that taking guns completely away is the right answer. I think everyone has a right to defend themselves. But if you've shown that you can't be responsible with a gun then why should we make it easy for you to get one?

I don't think the founding fathers had in mind 50-caliber machine guns when they said we had a right to bear arms. There is a happy median, somewhere, that protects our rights as well as protecting us from criminals.
Ivy said…
agree that some people should not be allowed to own guns (my brother in law is one of them) I think that gun control is taken way too far in our society. In my mind to be pro gun control at this time is the same as saying I think there should be further control on guns because what we have isn't good enough. They already take guns away from anyone that is deemed irresponsible or mental incapable and it's already illeagal to own a 50 cal machine gun. Once again crimminals don't obey the law. I think that the balance does not lie in more governmental control for guns. What about enforcing laws that are already in place. Wait that's a problem too because jails are too crowded and that's why the laws end up not being strictly enforced anyway. How about capital punishment for brutal crimes?(had to put that in)I guess i just think that it's not really possible to put more controls on guns without seriously impairing our freedom to bear arms. I don't know how to get people to stop doing bad things with them but i don't think that the answer lies in more government control.
cannwin said…
ha! see now you say that we have to many people in our jails and yet I know you also say that first time drug offenses ought to be punished by jailing. How then are we to jail the truly dangerous people if we are so busy jailing people that smoke pot once and get caught!?

There are so many more answers to societal dysfunctions than time behind bars.

As for our rights. The Second Amendment "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."

They're talking about defending the country.

As for gun control, to say that I'm against gun control would be to say that I disagree with the current laws and I do not.

The easier it is to get guns the more likely low level criminals are to carry guns, increasing the chances of violent crimes.

You are 40 times more likely to be killed by a gun in the US than you are in England/Wales.

That seems like a well no duh, they don't have guns. But if your argument is that people who want guns get guns regardless of the laws then the above statistic would suggest that to be inaccurate.

The Second Amendment 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."

That's it! One sentence that has been utterly dissected to mean that we have a right to NOT have our guns tracked, that we have a right to carry guns even if we are mentally unstable, addicted to drugs, convicted of felonies, ect. The only thing that sentence says is that we have a right to keep and bear arms in defense of our country.
Ivy said…
I see that we will never agree.

"The right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms, SHALL NO BE INFRINGED" that's what i see.

The stats i heard on England is that when they took guns away that crime went up 300%.
People that are mentally incapable or have been convicted of felonies are not allowed to have guns and you'll never be able to accurately moniter whether or not a person that owns a gun is on drugs.
Yes i do think that the punishments should be hard for first time offenders because the whole point is to scare them out of doing it. I think it is sad to see people suffer but at some point a person must take responsibility for their actions even if it hurts a lot.
With the jail thing our perspective is different because i DO believe in capital punishment. At the same time i realize that there is more to social problems than time behind bars but how can you fix that? Do you believe a person that's addicted to drugs when they tell you that they're going to stop? Do you beleive them when they say it was their first time to smoke pot (or do any other drug)especially what that person is a pregnant mother? The problem here is that neither a system nor a person can read the mind and heart of another person. That person can tell you anything they want but in the end if you beleive the sharade put on by every criminal then you are doing a disservice to that criminal as well as to society. People know what they need to do to get what they want and they will change some things for a time in order to get what they want. It doesn't mean that they won't return to what they were doing once they get out or jail or get their kids back or whatever it is that they wanted.

I'm not poking at you here, just expressing my opinon but generally speaking that's a big problem that i have with democrats. They are too idealistic and while the ideas sound lovely and wonderful there is rarely a realistic plan that goes along with that idea.

Now that's all i have to say. I'll let you have the last word but if you're irritated with me then tell me before you go. I'll bring you flowers and say sorry.
cannwin said…
I'll say I'm irritated if you bring me chocolates. :)

But really I'm not irritated. I think I realize the difference, I think that you ought to give people a chance to improve themselves. A little trust can go a long way. If they fail to improve themselves, with whatever measure's have been put in place (drug rehabilitation programs, etc.) then punish them. But there are people who do far worse things than smoke pot that aren't punished enough or at all. That's where the problems begin, not with the little guys but with the big criminals that enable, instigate and create the situations.

It's like attacking the infantry while leaving their fascist leader alone. When all is said and done, the big guy is still around and as long as there are people on this planet he will have more someone for you to punish. Eliminate him and you are one step closer to eliminating the problem.

It's all about trust and love. If you can't love them then how are you truly going to help them?

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