Skip to comments.Little freedom on Independence Day
Posted on 07/06/2004 6:53:11 AM PDT by qam1
Well, most of us are returning from the long Independence Day weekend with a deep recognition we have little to truly celebrate.
Aside from spending time with family, being outdoors (weather permitting) and eating more than normal, your celebration probably consisted of watching others on TV "celebrate" or possibly watching a fireworks display put on by professionals.
Isn't it ironic that on Independence Day, a day supposedly established to recognize our freedom and independence, we cannot even shoot off one single bottle rocket legally?
You can't light off an M-80. You cannot set off a string of firecrackers.
You can hold a sparkler.
On this Fourth of July it occurs to me, and perhaps you, that we really are eroding our freedom.
Each day we send overpaid so-called representatives to our various government offices and buildings, many with the primary task of making more laws and regulations to restrict our freedoms.
And we encourage them to do it.
In Virginia, if you are under 18, you cannot smoke or carry tobacco products, or you get a ticket.
If you ride in the back of an open pickup truck, you might get a ticket.
If you ride your motorcycle without a helmet, you will get a ticket.
If you forget to buckle up, you might get a ticket.
This is freedom?
It was only a short 30 or so years ago most of these "offenses" and more were not illegal, just considered not the best choices, but choices nonetheless.
So what happened?
It seems to me the baby-boom generation has forgotten what freedom is.
It is this age group, now from 45-65 years of age, the post-World War II kids, that are responsible for pushing for most of the ridiculous, intrusive, meddlesome laws and regulations that exist today.
In fact, today's children do not have the foggiest idea what it means to live in a truly free country ... from their perspective, they are surrounded by rules and restrictions that defy logic and choice.
And isn't that what freedom is really about? Choice?
Why have we made it our mission, boomers, to take away the choices people can make?
Because you know what's best for everyone else?
Because you feel it is our duty to choose for others, the right choice.
Am I the only one who sees it this way?
Remember when kids who smoked were punished by their parents, shunned by adults but admired by their peers?
Now, via education, more parents have shirked the responsibility to the police, the adults tolerate underage smoking, their peers probably reject smoking a little more than in the past, but it is illegal to smoke.
Aside from making more children criminals, has making smoking a crime really accomplished anything?
Is it worth the cost to freedom?
And how about those motorcycle helmets? Adults MUST wear a helmet. Why? So they don't crush their heads in an accident.
Have you ever ridden without a helmet? Remember that feeling of freedom and excitement?
Why is it my job to tell you that you must wear a helmet?
Are you hurting me when you ride without it? I think not.
Why can't you decide what is best for you?
I believe you can.
And I feel the loss of freedom costs us much more than the few heads we will save.
In fact, I would argue that without a helmet blocking your side vision and hearing, and without all that helmet heat causing sweat to roll down into your eyes, you might actually be safer WITHOUT a helmet.
I believe that should be your decision.
And finally, the most recent example, and how symbolic ... fireworks.
Remember when we were kids, we set them off ourselves, in the yard, as a family.
Remember all the laughing, the excitement, the family unity.
The adults supervised ... we kids made the rite of passage ... held the match, lit the fuse, then watched that rocket shoot a mile (it seemed) into the air, screaming all the way (both you and the rocket) until it exploded brightly in the night sky.
Something like what it must have looked like over Fort Sumter. Or at Guadalcanal. Or Bahgdad.
Remember that feeling?
Your kids won't.
We took that away.
But hey ... they are safer.
And they wouldn't make the right choices anyway.
After all ... we didn't.
Funny, but we are here, though.
And better for the experiences we had ... making choices.
Freedom. It's easy to lose, and even easier to give away.
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social aspects that directly effects Gen-Reagan/Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
In Arizona we can't even have sparklers. With good reason here, though. Dry, droughted desert + fireworks = big fire.
I guess the dipsh|t who wrote the article doesn't own a home with a cedar shake roof.
Good article about nannystate freedom grabbers!
Thanks for the ping, CSM!!!! Good article here!
But I think he misses the larger point. The Founding Fathers established a nation with great liberty, premised on the assumption of self-government according to the revealed morality of the Bible. Like it or not, John Adams correctly said that this was the premise; otherwise, there aren't enough policemen in the world to control the resultant lawlessness.
So it's all well and good to say there are too many laws. I agree. But many of these laws are the result of the people's failure to police ourselves morally. We fire off those fireworks irresponsibly, start fires and/or cause injuries, and force everyone else to pay the price. We bike irresponsibly, and expect everyone else to pick up the ticket for our consequences. We sleep around, do drugs, steal, lie, indulge perverted desires and refuse to accept the consequences.
And it isn't nearly enough for one or two to be able to say, "I don't!" That's great, and that's perhaps one reason why we're not totally annihilated already. Yet.
But the erosion of freedoms has paralleled the corrosion of personal, Biblically-based moral behavior.
Like it or not, accept it or not, that's the way it is.
Biblical Christianity web site
Don't shoot fireworks at your house and you won't be the dipsh*t with a house on fire.
If you were old enough to understand what freedom really was you might just have a different outlook about the article. I don't think the government has the right to tell me I have to wear a seatbelt. He!!, when I was a youngster
my friend and I drove my old '55 mayflower down the railroad tracks. Somehow we managed to survive.
No...they haven't forgotten. They just became lawyers, and became the people who go and get a lawyer to sue someone for their own stupid ass decisions and placing the responsiblity of that decision on someone else (i.e. spilling drive-thru coffee on themselves, doing 200 mph on a motorcyle...hitting a bump in the road and smashing their head, not to mention not exercising common sense when operating an automobile, using fireworks, using firearms, along with a host other things that are banned from use now or have a warning label on them). Remember...everyone's a victim...of the percentage of the population that are plain dumb.
Glad this was written from the conservative view - and FINALLY pointed out all the nit-picking laws we've gained in our *every-day* lives - all due to the LIBERAL mindset of "safety at all costs". (Usually I expect some stupid lib rant about the Patriot Act when I see an article worrying about freedom.)
You know what 1 of the excuses is for these petty laws now? Insurance costs. That's what "moderates" will argue about. That if you hurt yourself more in an auto accident w/o belts than w/them, your insurance goes up and so does every1 else's. So it's protecting ALL the public by keeping down insurance cost.
THAT'S how it affects you (when you ask, how does his foolish behavior affect me?)! Didn't you know?
What a tangled web we weave. Seems to me we'd be better off w/o insurance and every1 just pay up straight from the bank like in cave-man days.
Another thing I suspect is corporate enrichment. Or at least, that is an "unintended" consequence of these stupid kid laws. Think of all the new baby and toddler car seats, helmets, pads, etc, people have to buy NOT JUST ONCE, but multiple times to keep up w/a growing kid. Those stupid car seats are exhorbitant. Making millions of people plunk down $100 a year until the kid is 5 (even more now!?) is getting some co's like Graco and Gerber rich. It's essentially corporate welfare. These liberal asses who so loathe big companies sure do benefit them greatly!
Each year, the use of fireworks (not just firecrackers) has increased in my area. This weekend, it was like driving through a battlezone. Not only were the fireworks tall and bright, there were a ton of LOUD fireworks. This went on until after 11.
I loved it.
I am going to write a letter to the editor suggesting that the people have spoken, and why should IN get all of the sales tax? People must have spent at least $500, if not more, per house setting off fireworks. I know 2 years ago, we spent $600 total.
I see it as a sign of a good economy, if nothing else.
The problem is that the dipsh*ts don't shoot their fireworks at their own houses; they tend to hit their neighbor's houses.
I'm on the young side, lived w/all the stupidity that has bred like rabbits since the '60s. But 1 thing always sticks out at me that is different from childhood for me.
I am SO grateful I lived when we could still ride bikes in freedom. I see all these kids w/pads and those dopey helmets and feel sorry for them. 1 of the great things of gravity down a long slope in the summer was the "wind" in your hair. Having a helmet of any kind would've ruined that. Not to mention pads getting in the way of peddling, etc.
These idiots today will have 5 year olds in knight's armor before long. Foam padded inside, of course.
And my personal experience isn't limited. I rode bikes so much around our trails in the suburbs and on streets at home. Once I hit a rite-angle trail turn to fast and fell off on the pavement, scarred up a bit enough to hurt and cry and have my cousin walk me back home.
Worst that happened to me was starting down my hill driveway w/o realizing there was a car coming, and while I somehow managed to rite-angle so I didn't hit it in the side dead-on, I cased it w/ until the dilemma zone of my neighbor's mailbox looming ahead and I grazed the car door and fell over at speed on the neighbor's driveway. I broke my arm (as a 9yo).
But I survived. Not all that much happened to me. I could have had a broken head, or neck. I didn't. We're much stronger than these libs think, generally.
Cost-benefit analysis - I'll go back to freedom from safety items any day!
Don't be a puss. Return fire.
Fat lot of good it does when your house is burning down because some idiot two blocks away didn't look at a wind gauge...
How moving it is to hear someone whine about how much freedom we don't have rather than being thankful for the freedom that we DO have.
But piss off and leave the rest of us "not hurting any one" responsible types alone.
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