It’s Never About What We Think It’s About

When I find myself in a disagreement, it tends to start off one way and the more we talk, the more it turns into what it really is.  No longer are we talking about who’s turn it is to do the dishes, we’re talking about fairness.  It might take some childish banter, a raised voice or even a few low-blow insults but eventually the real subject of the matter will allow itself to be heard.

This dissonance occurring right now among us isn’t strictly about guns.

It’s about the definition of freedom.

Freedom is a word that means something deep to all of us.  It’s a notion that all Americans are willing to defend–and that’s where we might get confused.  We feel that we need guns or weapons to defend our rights.  What we need least right now is guns.  What we need most right now is logic and love.  And a big dose of empathy.  Common sense is what we need.

The definition of freedom, according to the internet, reads like this:

free·dom

/ˈfrēdəm/
Noun
  1. The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
  2. Absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.
Synonyms
liberty – independence – license – licence

1.  Throughout history, we’ve had our discussions of what “the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint” means.  We had to pick apart what “one” meant.  We had to march and protest and kick and scream so that equality to could add up to actually include everyone.  “One” now includes not just white men but also women and non-whites.  We still have a way to go on making things completely fair, but hey, we’ve made a lot of progress.

2.  We obviously don’t have a “despotic government” in America.  If we did we might have been obliterated by an A-bomb by now.

I understand that the second amendment was created to keep us safe from a foreign invasion or a despotic government.  It was a rule written to protect our freedom and empower us, as Americans, to defend that freedom.

But hasn’t anyone noticed?  We are free!  America is a country that has long-achieved that vision of freedom.  We celebrate and enjoy freedom, not just on Independence Day but every single day as Americans.

The only tyranny we are facing is when guns fall into the wrong hands.  Which is, lately, about every other day.

While the issue of guns might be deeply entangled in the constitution, let’s not allow the definition of the word freedom to get wrangled up in that mess, too.  Nowhere in the definition of freedom does it mention the second amendment.

Freedom is what brings us together as a nation.  It’s what unites us in pride–beyond religion or politics or opinion.  How dare we allow a skewed vision and a limited definition of the word become the very thing that divides us?

This certainly is a time of grief for our nation.  To guns we have lost children, we have lost countless innocent lives.  At home we have also lost a sense of safety in our own neighborhoods.  Beyond our borders we have lost our credibility in the free world.  Wake up, America.  Guns aren’t just taking lives.  They are taking our freedom.  If that’s not worth amending an amendment over, God help us.

gun

/gən/
Noun
A weapon incorporating a metal tube from which bullets, shells, or other missiles are propelled by explosive force, typically making a…
Verb
Shoot someone with a gun.
Synonyms
noun. cannon – rifle – shooter – pistol – firearm
verb. shoot – fire – hunt
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