by Candace Oathout
Columnist Frank J. Fleming defined essential liberty in a very unique way. He said one’s attitude towards guns is a very good indicator about whether one is liberty-minded or not. If a person is okay with the police (authority) having guns but panicked by the idea that they or their neighbor may have guns and use them for self defense, he does not think like a free person.
The essential liberty is being able to make decisions for yourself and deal with the consequences of those decisions. There is no aura of power that surrounds those in authority. They are no more powerful or knowledgeable than you or I. They are simply others who have chosen a pathway in life that leads them to assume control over others.
Unfortunately, those choices often encourage the worst behavior in us not the best. It is a basic trait of human nature to try to control others in your sphere of influence. Parents exercise this trait in child rearing. Children will attempt to control playmates first through persuasion and then through force which can escalate all the way to bullying in many circumstances. Governments tend to act in similar fashion.
It is significant that the men who were inspired to develop the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution chose to limit the power of government in order to identify and confirm the unalienable rights of man. Their goal was to empower individuals to practice essential liberty in their daily lives. How you may ask?
Their vision of a functional government was one that controlled only those activities that the people needed to work together to implement. They did not expect to empower a ruling class of life long politicians. They envisioned a country of citizen leaders who would see serving in government as a short term duty rather than a lifetime career. We have only to look at the number of family dynasties who have and are serving in the Federal Government. The Bushes, the Dingles, the Gores and the Kennedys, come to mind, to see this is not the case. Most Americans have become disconnected from the systems and processes of governing on every level. This will be the downfall of our nation. This nation was built by people who chose to act, not to be acted upon. Those who understand and insist on their essential liberties must educate and encourage others to act as our forefathers did.