Life vs Liberty

January 18, 2013 in Government

The 5th amendment to the Constitution states that no person shall, “be deprived of life, liberty, or property”.  There are instances when our inherent rights to life and liberty cannot both be satisfied. For instance: a woman has the liberty to do as she pleases with her own body. If a woman becomes pregnant, the life that grows inside her is dependent for survival. It is her constitutional liberty to make the choice to remove it from their body. Some Americans believe the fetus is a person and that it is murder according to the constitution. There is no way to satisfy both of the endowed rights, so the right to liberty wins in this case.

There is another case in which liberty wins. The 2nd amendment gives us the right to bear arms, but it is difficult to decide which kinds of arms to allow and the rules that apply to arming one’s self. Just like abortions, in which rules apply.

It’s clear that guns allow people to easily take other persons lives without effort, similar to an abortion. So, does gun ownership infringe upon an American’s right to life? Based on worldwide statistics some Americans feel it does. Countries that have heavily restricted guns or have strict laws have seen a great reduction in violent crimes and murders. When compared to the US’s rates, there would be thousands of lives saved a year. The age old, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” is true, but it does nothing to address the fact that our neighborhoods would be safer without guns. It’s easy to kill then defend. Yet, liberty wins this battle because people should have the right to defend themselves.

What do guns defend against? Some say tyranny, but we live in a democracy; the majority isn’t a tyranny. Some say the US or foreign militaries, but our arms do not compare to theirs. Since the appearance of the atom bomb we have lost the ability to fight the power of military government. Some say criminals will still find ways to obtain guns, that’s true, but a few criminals with weapons won’t cause 10,000 deaths a year. Increasing prices and limiting production will reduce the number of deaths. On the black market, guns will be so expensive that your average petty criminal can’t afford it. Some people will always find a way, but some will not commit murder or suicide in the gun it more expensive… that is a fact. So, I want to be clear that I personally believe that as long as guns are legal, and you are wealthy, then you are safer if you arm yourself, but there is proof that there would be fewer deaths if there were fewer guns.

My point is this: Gun enthusiasts, you have to admit to yourself that your defense of your 2nd amendment rights leads to more deaths. Accept it. It won’t change the fact that your personal liberty will never be taken away.

Pro-choice enthusiasts, you have to admit to yourself that your defense of Roe v Wade allows an abuse of abortions and a loss of life. Information never dies. Accept it. It won’t change the fact that your personal liberty will never be taken away.

The solution to our moral dilemma with both of these rights is education and to stop being so damn defensive. Let’s put egos aside and set rules that make us safer, yet keep our personal liberties. It does no good to go around threatening and being rude to people. The best way to keep liberty alive is to behave ourselves and have respect for other people’s choices.