The Value of Freedom

I have a son that lives in New York, and he likes it there, so I’m happy for him.

I wouldn’t live there myself, given a choice. There are many reasons; I grew up rural, and I like the fact that I can have a two-acre yard. Since I live outside of town, I don’t have to sweat zoning ordinances or get approval from some bureaucrat if I want to, for instance, build a new deck on my house. When I was a kid, I could shoot my rifle in any direction, and if I missed the house, it was OK.

But I especially wouldn’t want to live in NYC because of this. Somewhere along the way, some people (mostly Democrats) have decide that they know what is better for you than you do, and so they like to mandate what you do – for your own good. Now, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is delving into telling you what you are allowed to eat. For your own good.

We’ve got to draw the line somewhere. What happened to the concept of personal freedom?

My father was an alcoholic. I didn’t want him to drink. I didn’t like it when he drank. But I never once even considered the idea of trying to take away his legal right to drink. That would be antithetical to the idea of personal freedom.

For the same reason, I’m against helmet and seat belt laws. Mind you, I wear my seat belt when I drive and I wear a helmet when I ride, because I know they improve my survivability, from personal experience in both cases. But I don’t think the government should be requiring me to wear them. That’s not their business. That’s just Darwinian evolution at work.

On the flip side, I fully support laws that require child restraints and seats in cars. Why? Because the children don’t have a say in the matter, and their parents may not care enough to make sure they are protected. The children can’t protect themselves, but they should have the opportunity to reach the point where they can.

But personal freedom is worth a certain amount of risk. When the government starts thinking it can tell me what to eat, that’s it. I’m going to go buy a 50 pound sack of salt. I like popcorn with my salt. And butter.


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