Freedom begins with minor liberties

Freedom-Editorial

On Jan. 23, Jennifer Stahl was arrested for advocating against the smart-meter program in Naperville, Ill.

Stahl was arrested when she refused to allow the city to install a “smart” meter on her property as part of a city-wide law.

A smart meter is an electrical meter that records the electric energy intake during a certain amount of time and monitors consumption in households or buildings.

According to stopsmartmeters.org, smart meters are very controversial right now because many people have claimed that their bills increased since installation and now companies can control the amount of electricity use with these meters, which infringes on people’s privacy and control.

Another issue in the forefront of society is gun control. The series of recent shootings, such as Sandy Hook and Aurora, have kick-started a federal and national debate on gun control.

According to a Fox New report, President Barack Obama is pushing to expand background checks, restore the assault weapons bans and ban high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Dianne Feinstein, senator of California, also proposed banning assault weapons and outlawing ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, with her ultimate goal being to “dry up the supply of these weapons over time,” according to www.cnn.com.

Another familiar face who is supporting the gun ban is Mayor Bloomberg of New York, who is also known for his ban on soda.

In 2012, Mayor Bloomberg put a ban on soft drinks over 16 ounces in restaurants and movie theaters in an attempt to improve public health.

So what do meters, guns and soda have in common? The freedom of choice, of course.

Freedom doesn’t disappear in one swift movement; it starts to fade as smaller freedoms are removed over time. Once a freedom is lost, it’s even harder to attain again. What gives government officials the right to take freedoms away from us that have been granted to us since the beginning of our great country?

Since the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were drafted at the dawn of our nation’s birth, America has been built and formed on principles of free choice.

While these small changes to our freedom may seem insignificant right now, we are paving a long road for government restrictions and regulations if we do nothing to protect even the little freedoms.

Freedom is not a luxury that Americans can assume will last forever. It is something that must be continually fought for. It is something that thousands of people have died defending, and we must continue protecting it.

 Dissenting Opinion: Freedom still exists regardless of limitations

Many Americans have a false definition of freedom. It’s seen as the right to do whatever we please, whenever we please and however we please as long as it doesn’t physically harm or infringe on the rights of another.The truth is that freedom has always had limits, which are a constantly changing organism, thanks to local, state and national governments that are freely elected by the people of this great nation.Freedoms are gained and lost all the time, yet we tend to focus on the lost ones more and cry “tyranny” when they’re gone or restricted.So why, then are we not furious over San Francisco’s recently revoked right to walk around in public naked?

Why do we not clamor at the doors of congress for the freedom to buy a bazooka?

Is it really fair that I be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt if I don’t want to wear one?

There don’t even seem to be major protests in cities that enforce a curfew on their youth.

These restrictions and regulations exist because freedom walks hand-in-hand with justice and responsibility.

Yes, there are freedoms, big and small, worth fighting for, but enforcing smart meters and expanding background checks for gun owners are not part of some big government conspiracy to enslave the people and enforce tyranny on our nation.

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