So, what are the things for which I am grateful (as a citizen)? There are three and all are enshrined in the US Bill of Rights (and upheld through the law):
- The right to bear arms (the right, not the obligation)
- The right to freedom of speech (and the right to suffer the consequences accordingly)
- The freedom of the press to monitor the actions of both the government and the people (admittedly, I am an NPR - National Public Radio - fan)
The key part of all three of these things is that they all be practiced in moderation. And herein lies the point of contention with many who inexplicably (at least in my mind) oppose them in given situations. Just because you have the right to own a gun does not mean you have the right to use it on your fellow citizens. Just because you have the right to speak your mind means you should do so without thinking first. And the power of the media should be moderated to ensure that it is not a power unto itself but a moderating force upon those it should report.
It is a delicate balance and there have been, and continue to be, the occasional errors. But, for the most part, it has worked and I am glad and grateful that it does.
(As a side note, I should also mention that writing early in the morning makes it more difficult to recall certain words that I wanted to use but couldn't immediately recall. I reserve the right to edit this post later when I remember the proper words. EDIT - "arbitrary" was the word I was looking for.)