Category Archives: Free Speech

Responsibilities and Consequences

The United States of America is a wonderful country. It gives its citizens certain unalienable rights. We have the right to free speech. It is one of the things that helps keep a government honest. We are free to voice our support for 1Direction and Bieber Fever. We have the right to trash a TV show we don’t like, to let everyone know how much we love-hate our venerable President. We also have the right to bear arms – to own guns and use them to protect ourselves and our families. However, what many people seem to ignore is that every right comes with its own set of responsibilities and consequences. If you fire a gun, prepare to face the consequences of that action. Ask any police officer what happens when they fire their weapon, the weapon they were trained to use on the job, and they will tell you the hoops they must jump through to show it was appropriate. If a homeowner shoots an intruder, they must prove that they felt their life in danger. If a soldier fires an assault weapon, it must be during an approved situation (during combat and not in a crowded shopping mall). All of these individuals understand that there are acceptable times and places for use of guns. The right to bear arms comes with an inherent responsibility to use them responsibility. If people fail to do so, they must face the consequences. The same can be said for the right to free speech. Just because you are legally allowed to spew hatred and vitriolic diatribes does not mean you are immune to their consequences. When a person tells the world that they hate a certain ethnic group, is it any surprise that certain companies (ones that don’t want to be seen as prejudiced) will refuse to hire him? If an actor rant and raves again the immorality of the television show he is in, can you blame the network for firing him? If a politician singles out women for causing their own rapes, is it any surprise that women in turn use their free speech to denounce him? Knowingly spreading falsehoods about a person or company can leave a person open to legal consequences. If a woman decides to write a blog about her mental and physical help, express her political opinions for all the world to see if they choose to read her words, can she then yell “Foul!” because someone doesn’t like what she has written.

I accept the consequences of my actions. Do you?