The Price of Freedom
Thomas Jefferson once said, “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” That statement has been proven true time and again in our nation’s history because our freedom had been constantly under attack from our founding. As Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” There will always be someone or something trying to take our freedom from us. So, we must be vigilant to protect our liberty. We must be willing to fight for our freedoms. The day we stop fighting for our freedom will be the day we are no longer free.
But there is another price to the liberty that we all have in this country. It is the cost to society when people use their liberty to harm others, to commit evil. Our freedoms and rights enshrined in our Constitution can be used for good or for bad. Giving people freedom of speech runs the risk that people will use that freedom to say things that others don’t like, that may not be true, or may be hurtful. Ensuring the people the freedom to own guns runs the risk that certain people will use those guns to harm others, or even to kill. Accepting those risks of liberty are necessary because the alternative is far worse.
The state of liberty is a scary place, but it is also the safest place in the world. What’s the cost of giving up liberty? What’s the cost of losing our freedom of speech or of disarming the populace? We get Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, or Maoist China. The state will always use and abuse their power to repress freedom in a far more nefarious way than the citizens will use their freedom. So, the price of losing our liberty is far more dangerous and more deadly than the price of exercising our liberty.
In the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, politicians and pundits are calling for “common sense” gun laws. Everyone wants “common sense” gun laws. But can anyone name one “common sense” gun law that would have prevented this tragedy? Certain politicians want to outlaw AR-15 rifles under the “assault weapons ban.” I’m a rational, reasonable person; I want to protect innocent people from being killed as much as anyone. So, let’s drill down into the effectiveness of outlawing AR-15 rifles.
In 2020, there were 13,550 homicides committed by firearms, 455 were committed by rifles, while 8,029 were committed by handguns. If we are considering banning certain guns to protect people’s lives, wouldn’t it make sense to ban the type of gun which is used in the most killings, the handgun? But they are going after the type of gun that is only used in 3% of the killings, the rifle. 18 times more people are killed by hand guns than rifles each year, yet, the gun control politicians only want to ban the rifles, why? If they cared about saving people’s lives from guns, why would they completely ignore the number one killer, the handgun? The answer. They don’t care about preventing gun deaths, they only care about exploiting the deaths to expand their power.
Their conclusions based on the numbers don’t add up. And when they are this wrong, it is not a simple mistake, something else is going on. Is it a coincidence that the rifle they want to ban is the gun of choice of hunters, of middle America, of Conservatives? Is it also a coincidence that the gun these politicians do not want to ban, is the one that is used in the most of the firearm killings, and is the gun of choice of gang members and drug dealers? It is almost as if they want to take guns out of the hands of the peaceful people who didn’t vote for them, and leave them in the hands of people who are creating the most death and destruction. The Democrats know that if gang members and drug dealers are fully armed, they will keep creating the havoc in our cities needed to destroy this country from the inside out, making everything worse and worse until the Democrat politicians have justification to crack down and exert their power over the country. And when they do that, they will also need to have Conservative America disarmed, so no one will fight their totalitarian takeover.
The conclusions of the Black Lives Matter movement do not add up either. They claim they want to protect and save black lives (which I do as well), but they only speak out against the killings of black people by white people and police officers which make up less than 10% of the killings of black people. They never address black on black killing which is responsible for over 90% of the black victims of murder. If they care about saving black people’s lives, why would they completely ignore the number one killer of black people? The answer. They don’t care about black people. They only care about power. And exploiting the deaths of black people at the hands of white people and the police helps them expand their power.
The Democrats have also been pushing new gun background check legislation. But we already have background checks for guns in America. In 2020, over 300,000 guns sales were blocked due to background checks, but they want to expand background checks even more. They are also pushing a Domestic Terror Bill which would put “domestic terrorists” and “white supremacists” on the FBI watch list, which would prevent them from owning guns. That sounds reasonable, except for the fact that Joe Biden and the intelligence agencies have spent the last year and a half designating parents who go to school board meetings, speaking out against the far-left ideology that is being indoctrinated into their children as “domestic terrorists.” They have also labelled anyone who questions the legitimacy of the 2020 election as a “domestic terrorist.” So, these people who are simply exercising their Constitution rights would be denied the right to own a gun because our leaders in the federal government have designated them “domestic terrorists” due to their political beliefs?
They are applying this same tactic against Republicans in general. The Democrats leading strategy against anyone who disagrees with them, is to label them a “racist”, even a “white supremacist” without evidence, just based on their ideology. So, if they can convince our intelligence agencies to designate Republicans as “racists” and “white supremacists”, they could use the Domestic Terror Bill to deny Republicans and conservatives their Constitutional right to own a gun based solely on their political beliefs. They can, in reality, disarm their political opponents, making them more vulnerable to violence by denying them the instruments needed to protect themselves and their families.
The danger of throwing terms like “domestic terrorist” and “white supremacy” around so loosely for political gain is that those terms become watered down and lose their power. Republicans are not “racists” and “white supremacists”; parents at school board meetings and citizens standing up for election integrity are not “domestic terrorists”. But the Democrats have used those terms so frivolously for political expediency so often that have stripped those terms of their meaning and clout. So, when those terms are needed to be used to thwart a real threat, they will no longer carry the proper importance and value needed to be effective.
We can never relax. There is always someone who is trying to strip us of our rights, steal our liberty. And they will use every tactic, fair or unfair, legal or illegal, to take our freedoms, strip us of our rights. We must remain vigilant. We cannot allow fear, or grief, or guilt to cause us to cede our Constitutional rights because once a right is taken from us, it is almost impossible to get it back. The ultimate price of liberty is to use our liberty, to use our Constitutional rights and freedom, not selfishly, but for the good of our country, and the good of our fellow citizens, and our fellow man, so no one will ever feel justified to take our freedom and our rights from us.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.