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Rights vs Responsibility.

June 18, 2016

The idea of the individual along with the community are the two pillars upon which a society is built. Weakness in one is dangerous for the entire structure. And while there is a lot of talk about rights, specifically the right to own guns, right now; there is a notable absence of talk about responsibility. And how can we be serious about protecting one without cultivating the strength of the other? 

 

The individual with an abundance of rights may have a great sense of satisfaction, but how will he/she be of benefit to the community or society if there is not a sense of responsibility to accompany?

What good is the right to marry if you don't have the sense of responsibility to love and nurture your spouse? What good is the right to speak if your words are poisonous? And what good is he right to own a gun, a tool capable of inflicting untold amounts of devastation, if one doesn't have a sense of responsibility to go with it?  A person that possess a tool to end life has the responsibility not only to understand the detailed workings of that tool and its proper use, but to at least attempt to understand, sympathize, and empathize with the detailed workings of the lives of people; to have a sense of the value of life in its many forms, peculiarities, and histories.

It's a big job, but necessary. Maybe not to accomplish the task fully, but to at least get started. And while governments are capable of establishing and regulating certain individual rights, doing the same for people's moral and spiritual compass is an altogether different story (see police - black people).

We're all grown, for the most part. But really in terms of our capacity to posses that level of humanity, we all are very much like children. And while a two year old full well have the right, I'm not giving her a hammer and setting her loose in a room full of fine china.

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