Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Responding to violence: inaction or action which costs more?

Regarding this speech:

FULL TRANSCRIPT, VIDEO: President Obama Speaks at Prayer Vigil in Newtown, Connecticut | Fox News Insider

Here is a portion of this speech:

We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.

But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that — then surely we have an obligation to try.

In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens — from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators — in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?

         The president is correct that this is a tragedy. He is also accurate when he says, "no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society."   However, he will probably act the opposite of what his statement says. Everything in life has pros and cons. Almost nothing comes without a price. Preserving liberty and freedom are very expensive. We pay for them with our lives on the battle grounds, with our time and money in political realms, and in many other countless ways. One way that liberty has a cost is that sometimes when we let someone make their own choice, they choose very poorly. Their choice can even do great harm and destruction to others. Laws exist for a reason to give consequences to people who choose poorly, but we must be careful when making laws. We do not want to strip freedom and liberty from people who make good choices just because a small percentage of people make bad choices. I am not saying we should always respond to these types of tragedies by doing nothing. I am however saying that sometimes inaction can be less costly than action. Obama implies that only inaction will have negative consequences and that action will always result in improvement. This is false.
       There is a cost regardless of that path our country and our leaders take. We can accept the risks of the liberties the 2nd amendment protects or we can remove some liberties in the hopes of creating safety and security. Both paths have expensive costs, but I prefer liberty (and I accept any risks that go along with it) over regulation any day. I believe we must protect our liberties and create a culture that encourages people to choose good over evil. I also believe the best way to do this to spread the truth of Jesus Christ. No other world view explains the existence of evil and provides a solution in a way that matches reality.

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