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The Cost of Freedom

June 11, 2009

In America, we have the inalienable right to be whatever we choose to be.  We have the right to speak our minds, and to participate in open discourse with our fellow man or woman.  We even have the right to protest vehemently our outrages at events and ideology that we happen to disagree with.  These freedoms can sometimes come at a terrible, terrible price.  Witness yesterday’s horrible tragedy in Washington, D.C., where a lone elderly gunman entered a national landmark, and tried to attack innocent people inside.  He managed to kill a National Holocaust Museum policeman before being critically wounded.  The complete story can be read here.

The cost of freedom can be treacherous.    The broken and bloodied bodies that stain our soil prove it.  The alleged attacker was an 88 year old white supremacist.  Imagine that.  He must have felt so secure and validated by his inalienable rights, that he decided to smuggle a gun into what most consider hallowed ground, and extinguish the freedoms of people that he had never met.  It’s a sickening feeling, this cost of freedom.  However, it’s one we all must pay.

What I’m becoming increasingly more concerned about, is the casually flippant attitude by some in the media in its coverage of this terrible event, as well as other domestic terroristic acts in the past 3 months.  There is an air of political juxtapositioning involved that demeans the loss of life, and the frightening importance of the acts themselves.  The likely beginning of this right and left jousting began with the announcement of this by the Department of Homeland Security.

Here some reactions to the report.

Fox News:

MSNBC:

If you can make the distinction between conservative Americans and right-wing extremists, then you know more about politics and your country than most pundits who actually get paid to know the difference.  Then again, how surprising is that actually?

Freedom is a wonderful, glorious thing that can’t be quantified.  It sustains us and drives us, to do magnificent things if we so choose.  It also breeds madmen, maniacal causes, and extreme groups and organizations.  It is our burden to bear, and we should do it fully prepared to acknowledge that there are people who are our countrymen ready to do us harm.  Some of us are too blinded by our own ideology to see it clearly.

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