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Words from Winterbilt

Sometimes we have strong beliefs – both ways

Shannon Bohrer

(3/2013) I was with a friend, Mike and we were driving to Frederick. We stopped at a traffic light and Mike was looking to his right when he commented that THEY should enforce the law. To our right was another vehicle that was very annoying because of the music (it was really just noise) emanating from that direction. Mike is a curmudgeon, not unlike me, and he is prone to make judgments, sometimes that are actually correct. However in this instance he was not correct. With my background in law enforcement I felt the need to correct his perceptions. I replied that yes there are noise laws, but the noise coming from this vehicle was lower than many trucks. A short distance down the road and Mike commented again, this time about another perceived vehicle violation. I again responded and assured Mike that what he observed was not illegal. Mike continued examining his surroundings and from time to time he would explain to me why something was not right and how it should be corrected. Mike is a good man but sometimes his vision of the world is just different than mine.

A short while later I said "You know what’s wrong with this country?" When Mike looked at me I commented that there were too many government regulations. He smiled, voiced his agreement with me, and repeated that there were too many government regulations. Of course as we drove He continued to point all of the things that he believed needed government regulations and/or oversight, including laws that needed to be enforced. There is no doubt that he believes that many of our problems require laws, government rules, regulations and or oversight. And conversely there is no doubt that he thinks there are too many government regulations. Is it just him, or do we all think that way, or maybe sometimes - both ways. Or, is my perception?

A common trait of the human, my wife would say particularly males, is that they often make judgments and offer solutions about problems and/or things that they really know little about. It is my belief that we all do this – it is just a matter of the degree. A problem with this trait, or gift as some think of it, is that not all problems have simple causes and or simple solutions. Of course if most of the problems we faced had simple causes and solutions, they might already be solved and therefore the problem would not exist. But with the problems we do have we often seem to have strong opinions, and sometimes our own opinions are in conflict. How can someone think we need more regulations and at the same time think we have too much government?

I was thinking about this issue when I was in the company a co-worker, Eddie. I explained to Eddie what had occurred when I was with Mike. Eddie knows Mike and his response was simple, Mike is old and he just likes to complain and since he complains so much he does not realize that there is sometimes a conflict with his positions. While this did somewhat descript Mike, as well as many other people, I thought maybe this is Eddie’s simple solution to a complex problem, well maybe, or not.

After a few moments of silence Eddie started talking about the proposed gun ban. The more he talked the higher and louder his voice became – and from my perspective it was very obvious he was agitated. He believes that banning guns won’t stop anything and it would take away our second amendment right. I would say it would be a fair assessment that Eddie has very strong beliefs about this issue. He went on for several minutes justifying his position, explaining the history of the world as it relates to freedom and the right to bear arms. He said with great emphasis - that every time a free society is willing to give up one of its rights - it is also giving up its freedom. I replied that it was Abraham Lincoln that said "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." Eddie smiled - probably believing I was in full agreement with him.

After a few moments I asked Eddie if he remembered the "Patriot Act"; the federal law that was passed after 911. Eddie said nothing and had a slightly puzzled look on his face. I stated that it was passed after the 911 attack and the complaint about the "Patriot Act" was that it stepped on the 1st Amendment, spit of the 4th and kicked the 5th down the road – and it suspended Habeas Corpus. I added that Habeas Corpus was then official suspended in 2006 when another law was enacted that required all "Terrorist" to be tried in Military tribunals. Eddie responded that as long as you are not a terrorist you have nothing to worry about and why should our constitutional rights apply to terrorist? Eddie appeared deep in thought for several moments and then said, besides how many innocent people have you heard about that have been arrested under the "Patriot Act"? My response was, I have never heard of any innocent person being arrested under the "Patriot Act", and then I added - how would we know?

Thinking about this conversation I came to the conclusion that if one has no attachment to an act or event, they don’t care. Conversely, the stronger the attachment they more they do care. Then again, maybe we don’t want to believe something if it conflicts with what we believe to be the truth. Or, maybe we want simple solutions to complex problems. Or - maybe some people just like to complain. I do find it strange that some people don’t see some opinions they have – as sometimes being in conflict with other opinions they also hold.

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." Abraham Lincoln

It really does matter who’s Ox is being gored so your perspective really is from where you stand. I wonder what Freedoms President Lincoln was thinking of?

Read other articles by Shannon Bohrer