Sunday, June 2, 2013

Civil Liberties

I'm finding it more and more difficult to maintain a friendship with people I've known a long time; our outlooks are becoming so diametrically opposed that I'm having a hard time getting beyond things I just can't accept as rational thinking. This might be a product of feeling more strongly about things like civil liberties the older I get, but when long time friends act in such a way that makes me question their ability to think critically.

For example, I'm finding it difficult to accept the notion that gay marriage should be continued to be made illegal based on the religious beliefs of a minority. Nowhere does it say that the United States is a Christian nation; even if this were explicitly stated, I would question which Christian sect has the authority to determine the acceptable morality of the majority.

Gun control is another thing. Guns ownership is really big in Utah, and I really don't understand why people here feel such a strong urge to own a gun. I understand owning and using guns for hunting, but for no other reason. Why does someone need a gun? To protect themselves? There are some very compelling arguments that say differently, that guns do not actually or necessarily make us safer.

The biggest argument I consistently hear for the continuing legality of gun ownership falls in the "Because it's in the constitution!" line of thinking. This smacks of blind obedience, the feeling that we must accept something as legitimate or "our right" simply because it's legal. Abortion was legalized in 1973; women's gained the ability to vote in 1921. There are 27 amendments, so our thinking and acceptance of acceptable behavior changes at least somewhat regularly.

Someone explain to me why gun ownership is necessary. Simply because it "says so" in the Constitution doesn't mean you have to actually own a gun. Tell me why it's necessary to own and use one.

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