“All the world over, so easy to see. People everywhere just want to be free.
–Three Dog Night
“I am liberal, but to a degree. I want everyone to be free.”
“With liberty and justice for all.”
–Pledge of Allegiance
Reflecting on liberty and freedom: There are those on the far right who believe that gun legislation and vaccinations are an impingement on their freedom and liberty. Some would say “God given”, as in “by God they can’t tell me what to do.” Some keep arsenals locked and loaded to protect against left wing hordes or minorities who are coming for them. They are making a stand.
You can see this attitude reflected in some states. For example, in Texas, the governor has opened up all businesses without mask requirements despite the pandemic. The governor of Tennessee just signed legislation that allows people to open carry firearms without registration or background checks. Freedom for all—except for those gunned down by those who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place. Yesterday President Biden came out with strong proposals to regulate firearms, some of which can be apparently implemented by executive action—like regulating “ghost guns” that people build at home from kits. Other action advocated by gun control advocates, such as red flag laws, and restrictions on assault rifles, will require congressional action. With the filibuster in place in the Senate, and most Republicans against any gun control measures, good luck with that. History shows that any gun control legislation is dead on arrival as long as the National Rifle Association and other related groups oppose it.
Speaking of justice, we are now in the second week of the Derek Chauvin trial, the cop that put his knee on George Floyd. The prosecution contends that Chauvin substantially contributed to Floyd’s death by kneeling on his neck and restricting his air flow. The defense contends that Floyd died of drug use and underlying health conditions. Yesterday expert doctors for the prosecution denied Floyd’s death was due to drugs or health conditions, but rather due to pressure on his back and neck from the police. Today more experts will testify, including the medical examiner who did the autopsy on Floyd. Time will tell how it all shakes out, but keep in mind that to convict Chauvin all jurors must agree. They are at liberty to form their own opinion, and free to draw their own conclusions.
Which brings to mind a phrase from the Warren Zevon song Burning Down the House: “It’s the home of the brave, the land of the free, where the less you know the better of you’ll be.”