The Price of Freedom…

Bill of Rights, 09/25/1789
Bill of Rights, 09/25/1789 (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

I am sure you have heard the old cliché about the “Price of Freedom” being “Eternal Vigilance”.  You might have even wondered why people keep saying it.  After-all it is a cliché,  and probably has no meaning in our modern world…  If you do think this, then you are missing the point of a cliché..  It got to be a cliché because it had enough meaning to be repeated many times over the years…

Lets look at this particular saying.. “The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance” and what it means which is that we must continually watch for the erosion of our freedoms and rights.

You might say “we don’t have to worry about that, we are protected by the United States Constitution and our Bill of Rights”.  Yes, we have one of the best Constitutions in the world, and it is a remarkable document but, that is all it really is unless the people who are supposed to administer it believe in it.   If the people in charge do not believe in the principles set forth in that document then all it is is a piece of paper…

Years ago, in the 60s, one of my teachers explained that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had one of the best constitutions in the world…  Yes, the USSR, or Russia, had one that was supposed to safeguard the people rights.  The problem there was that, to the people in charge, it was just a piece of paper, and so they did just what they wanted.  They had to build an Iron Curtain to keep people in their area of influence.  This country has to try to keep people OUT.

This country, the United States of America, recognizes that the people have many rights, which are spelled out in the Bill of Rights, and we also have many responsibilities.  You have the right of free speech, so you have the responsibility to tell the truth.  We have the right to bear arms in order to protect ourselves from enemies, both domestic and foreign, so you could say we have a responsibility to protect the weak.  We have the right to remain silent when charged with a crime, it is afterall their responsibility to prove the charges NOT YOURS.

These rights can also be abused.  Free speech might be turned into libel and slander, just look at any of the recent elections.  The right to bear arms can be abused by the murder of innocents.  The right of a free press can be abused when reporters slant the way the story is told, or if they don’t bother to verify facts….  Not long after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, when the fact were still coming in, one station stated  that he was carrying an “AK-47 automatic assault weapon”.  It has since come out that he was carrying an M-16 knockoff AR-15 Bushmaster which was not an automatic weapon.  Some reporters like to use “trigger words” such as “assault weapon” to describe anything that might look like it could be used by the Military.  So, is the average pump action shotgun and assault weapon if it is the same type used by the Armed Services?  NO.

In the days since Dec. 14th, the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, there has been talk, mostly from the left, about a renewal of the dialogue about “Gun Control”.  After President Ronald Reagan was shot, by John Hinkley with his .22 cal revolver/assault weapon, we had the start of the Brady Bunch trying to disarm the American public. The problem with the Brady Bill was that, as pointed out by a member of congress, NONE of the provisions of the Brady Bill would have effected Hinkley’s ability to get a firearm.

If the left is really interested in controlling the flow of firearms they might like to let THEIR Attorney General, Eric Holder, know that we do not appreciate that programs   such as Fast and Furious were helping to arm Narcoterrorist gangs in Mexico, or that Mr. Holder seemed to think that this was a good way to push for more “Gun Control”.

So, where am I going with this?  Think of it this way.  As people talk about what kind of firearms we don’t need, they should look at the fact that our constitution give us the “right” to have them when it says that the “right to bear arms shall not be infringed”.  Maybe the solution would be to preface the “Bill of Rights” with the words “as needed”, and they could make up a panel of experts who would choose which of those rights we “need”.

The National Rifle Association is often accused of pushing an agenda on its members but, in reality, not something the left understand, the NRA is made up of people who have an interest in seeing that their rights are protected from people who would try to take them away.  This is part of what that “eternal vigilance” refers to..

The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People are groups that aim to protect the rights of their own groups but, few people have ever said we should control them…or what they say..  Freedom of Speech you know..

O.K. so maybe I don’t really NEED a drum magazine, with enough ammo to blast an intruder back out to the curb, all with out having to reload.  Maybe I don’t really have a need to feel safe in my home, though it is nice.  After some event, such as the Sandy Hook shootings, you will see stories, in the news, about people buying weapons for their own protection, and the firearms ranges do a brisk business.  These are all indicators that people do NOT really feel safe in their homes.

Here is another thought that might, or might not, make you feel safer.. I just read a timeline on  It says the first 911 calls came in at about 9:30am, and the first responders arrived on scene about 20 minutes later.  Maybe this timeline refers to when both the Police and Fire personnel got there, maybe it has to do with when a large contingent of responders got on scene, or maybe the Sandy Hook PD sent someone around to see what was going on before they launched a panic response.  It might be nice to know why they took 20 minutes to get there..  Did they have t look the school up on the GPS?  Were they all in the doughnut shop?  Did they do like the Police at Columbine did and wait for the shots to stop?  If I called the Sarasota County Sheriff’s office and thought that it would take 20 minutes for a Deputy to respond, on a “shots fired”, call I would be really worried.  Especially if the left is able to take away my home defence.

So the question might be “how many of our rights do we REALLY NEED, and who will decide which they are.   Right now the legal ownership of firearms, of any type, is not regulated by need but, by constitutional rights granted by the “Bill of Right”.  If they want to disarm the public, in order to make the criminals feel safer, they would have to change the Constitution, or get more liberal Judges in to say “we will pick which of your rights you need”.

Then again, if there ever comes a time when no longer have the “right to bear arms”, just remember the news reports about Police weapons being stolen out of their cars.  Does that make you feel safe?


That Joe Guy.

P.S.  The next time you hear about an accident involving large numbers of vehicles and multiple deaths, think about this, we could also make the roads safe by banning cars.  Who cares that you might be punishing the carefull drives, he can alway call a cab.



By Joseph Bowen

Ex SSgt in Air Force Security Police... I had 10 years of active duty and inactive reserve. I have a total of 20 years, includes Air Force SP, security experience. I also worked 8 years and 4 months in the Garden Center of the Sarasota Cattleman Walmart. I also took the CCNA class at Sarasota Vo-Tech, when it was still called that. I am now, since 2010 a caregiver for my Mother. While I am now a registered Republican I am more likely to vote for whichever person I believe will do a better job.. In the last presidential elections I voted Libertarian, as I the two main choices seemed to be between lying crook, or an uncouth babler who could not be trusted.

1 comment

  1. I was okay with most of what you said until you mentioned the highways and the cab! Who the heck are you that you think a “normal” person can afford to ride in one??! (Hah hah hah…)
    I had to take a cab less than two miles from Manatee General hospital to my apartment and it cost $10. Did he get a tip? Nope…
    But I do have a tip about gun control. Are you okay with having to pass a proficiency test (firearms safety) in order to own one? Would you mind a firing range test to see, if like in the movie “Cat Ballou”, you might MISS the entire barn?!! Like an automobile driving test, it sure doesn’t huirt to know that you can perform safely with an instrument of death. Thank for bringing it up Joe!


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