Evil, Risk and Living in a Free Society
In a free society where men are able to move about and conduct affairs in their self-interest, responsibility for maintaining a civil environment rests with each individual. While that social contract has been recognized by both the gun-grabber and 2nd Amendment proponents, another more difficult reality is present, one that hasn’t gotten much attention in the main.
In a free society, risk necessarily abounds… we are all at risk in our everyday world. We are at risk when one of us decides (regardless of motivation) to break the social contracts we have established and massacres others. We are at risk when someone breaks traffic laws using a multi-thousand pound vehicle. Our personal safety and that of our loved ones is at risk, each and every day, from a myriad of sources. Not only do we have a responsibility to uphold social constructs, but we also have the responsibility to be aware of risks of living in a country that offers choice. We are in large measure responsible for the safety of ourselves and our neighbors.
We cannot legislate risk out of our lives. Those who would attempt to do simply have not adequately thought through the issue. Perhaps they simply refuse to see the truth about our world. Anyone who offers a ‘total’ solution to the problem of risk in a free society, in my view, is ‘totally’ suspect. We cannot remove risk; we can only ameliorate risk to the best of our abilities.
My heart aches for the loss of innocents, for their families and for all of us who have been starkly reminded of one of the many risks that accompany living in a society where rights and responsibilities go hand-in-hand. Evil exists and one of the risks of a living in a free society is that evil can (and does) appear within our midst. We cannot legislate evil from out of our presence; we can only individually and corporately prepare to face it when it does.
I pray that our elected representatives understand and remember that all free men and women accept some measure of risk to in live and be a part of a society that promotes and protects basic freedoms. I would ask them to keep in mind the truth about the existence of evil, a free societies assumption of some measure of risk, and while doing so, that they search for meaningful and effective methods to address the risks we live with without trampling our basic freedoms. Don’t infringe my freedom (and yes, my Responsibility) to ameliorate the risk of being hurt or killed in the public square; to defend myself, my neighbors and my loved ones against evil, whenever it appears.