A Reader’s Comment:
A Facebook visitor asked why I didn’t list VGNP as a pro-gun site. I answered that VGNP is pro rights. The gun thing is just really pressing in our lives up here currently and, I feel a need to share my thoughts on the subject. In particular, infantilizing our young adults. (I’m sure I’ll have more to say on that down the road)
I also shared that the current discussion on guns sheds some light on, what I think, are some of the challenges and opportunities we have to discuss and resolve. One of the most common themes is, “no one needs that type of gun.” I find that stance to be fascinating. In that one statement, the speaker is honestly trying to make the case that he or she knows what the 626,000 other neighbors need. THAT’S some talent!
I think what is meant to be said is that, with all of the information available, HE or SHE doesn’t need “Weapon X”. That decision is then applied liberally (pun intended) to the rest of HIS or HER neighbors. I see a couple of problems. How can a person possibly know what each and every other person in the surrounding one hundred miles needs? Nostradamus was more humble. Beyond doubting supernatural powers, it is not a neighbor’s job, or more importantly their right, to determine what a neighbor needs. The exception being if they are asked for their opinion. The right to assess needs is not written in any record of our state or country.
A Granting of Needs:
I’m not sure when. Over time we developed a taste for determining what others needed and should be allowed to have. If we as a community have some of our tax dollars being used, yes, we should all have a say in how our money is being spent. A piece of each of us is connected. Not so with a neighbor’s decision to own a certain type of weapon, grow marijuana or do anything else that is not infringing on anyone’s rights. I bet you didn’t see the pot reference coming! And, no, I don’t use it. I encourage anyone who asks to not touch the stuff, the same with alcohol. I do however, entirely support my neighbor’s right to live their life as they see fit. As long as their decisions do not infringe on my rights and freedoms. With weapons ownership, drug and alcohol use; if you abuse your rights and freedoms, absolutely, you should be punished and held accountable for your actions. In our state, you should have the freedom to enjoy those rights. Remember, if you are not free to make mistakes, you are not free. It’s part of the package.
But the title said, Wants & Needs? Yes! With respect to the “The Granting of Needs”, I state that; It utterly doesn’t matter what the rest of the entire planet thinks. In our country and our state, in particular, if you want to do something, you are free to do it. You are not free, however, to avoid the responsibilities of your freedom!
Owning Your Want:
“They don’t need that type of gun!” You’re 100% correct! They wanted it! They got it! It is their right. If your neighbor is sitting at home, admiring their gun collection, how is that infringing on any of your rights? Its not. Would you even know? Not unless they shared that information with you or if you were invading their privacy by snooping.
When you wake up in the morning and start your day, do you first check-in with the neighbors to see what they think you need and want? Do you go to bed agonizing over what your neighbor needs or wants? In the Vermont I grew up in, and it was a great state, I would step outside in the morning and the world was the limit. It was an awesome feeling! There were a few simple rules: stay out of other people’s yards, unless you had permission; respect other people’s property; mind your own business; if they’re not bothering you, don’t bother them; don’t break anything and try to not get hurt. Those simple instructions led to outstanding adventures and allowed our minds, imagination and creativity to explode.
My friends and I also new which houses to avoid. Those were the grumpy, busybody neighbors, who were anti-everything it felt like. I’m sure you know the type. They didn’t like the sound of us kids playing, exploring and doing our thing. We learned to stay away from those folks. It seems, as of late, those folks seem to fill our state house, choking the fun and creativity out of our state. Maybe, we need and want a change?