To the Editor:
The great debates of our era are about choices, those made for us and those made by us.
Some of the major ones, Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice, seat belt/no seat belt, motorcycle helmet, no helmet, guns or no guns, and smoking and non-smoking have been raging for years.
With the recent reports on obesity, I'm seeing another one coming down the pike.
However, behind all of the hype and "spin" on either side of any of these, there is a question of where does the individual have the inherent right to choose for themselves.
Where is freedom?
I am of the opinion that one has to take responsibility for their own actions and when someone else dictates to them by edict of some nature, the individual has lost some of their freedom.
Thus, make the choice to not have a child before conceiving one.
If you wish to carry a firearm, do so, but use it only for the purposes for which you may legally carry one, which is defense, hunting, or target shooting.
I've yet to hear of a license to carry being issued that authorizes the user to commit murder and mayhem.
The people with that intent do not apply for licenses, except under false pretenses.
In all of these debates, one side of the argument is that telling people what to do and how to do it will save their lives.
Is that a fact?
Who is alive today that was born at the end of the Civil War?
Well then, it will prolong their life.
Last week, I buried a friend with Alzheimer's and in the not-so-distant future; I expect to bury another relative who has it.
I've had the opportunity to observe people who have lived so long that they have become like children who must be watched constantly and restrained in bed, lest they hurt themselves.
I've known people with various diseases who fought death to the bitter end and endured agony and I've known others who fought until they no longer enjoyed life, and then committed suicide.
Why would a person wish to prolong their life beyond the point where they are enjoying living?
There is a line in the movie, "The Scorpion King," that sums up a good life for a person: "Live free, die well."
When people, for whatever reason, acting as a government, start dictating how a person lives beyond providing for the most basic needs of society to be governed, then the individual is no longer free to choose.
This has become apparent in the smoking/non-smoking debate.
If a business desires to offer its services to the smoking public, there are those who wish to tell them, "No, you cannot."
It is quite one thing for the government to establish practices for its own buildings, but it is nothing less than the subversion of the owner's freedom to dictate policy in buildings not owned by the government.
In fact, most government regulations are nothing more than curtailments of freedom of both the proprietor and the public.
Other than government buildings, there is absolutely no building in the world that a person must enter so why are we not allowed to "Live Free and Die Well?"
Leo L. Southworth,