Roger Marolt: The scenes of mass shootings are not symbols of freedom | AspenTimes.com

Roger Marolt: The scenes of mass shootings are not symbols of freedom

Roger Marolt
Roger This

How can we have prosperity when we know fellow workers are being shot in their workplaces?

How can we feel liberated when people are mass-murdered in nightclubs, movie theaters and concert venues seeking a night of relaxation and entertainment with family and friends?

How can we practice the religions of our choice when places of worship are recognized as traps for the faithful by madmen so they can be easily exterminated with semi-automatic weapons?

How are we supposed to accept that all human beings are seen as being created equal when a routine shopping trip turns into a bloody massacre targeted at a particular race of people?

How can we pursue happiness sending our children off to school, aware that there were days that started much like this one, at schools very similar to ours, with kids that were loved every bit as much as ours, in communities everyone thought were safe, that ended in the most hellish tragedies imaginable?

It is beyond the pale of any semblance of feeling secure that we have to consider these questions in the backs of our minds before we feel the panic to voice them publicly. We are scared. We do not see that we have done anything to address a problem that is escalating. We feel helpless. I do not know what the answer is, but I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs that this is not what freedom should feel like.

It is astounding that so few people with just a few guns have created so much fear, so effectively, so evilly, so visibly, and so close to home that they have managed to hijack our freedom. In and of itself, this is not an insurmountable problem. We can’t eliminate murder, but we can prevent it on the scale that makes killers famous in their own minds. The issue is that we refuse to take any action to stop these few people from getting their hands on the types of guns designed to kill lots of human beings very quickly. In the sick person’s mind, that is where the glamor is.

I am preparing you to examine some words printed in one of our local newspapers that made me feel about as disillusioned as I have ever felt by anything said in our town by one of us. I don’t say this lightly. Maybe I’m taking it too seriously. Maybe I got it out of context. All I know for sure is that I feel as sick about it today as I did the first morning it appeared in print.

Here is the statement:

“… Are you prepared to abandon your personal liberty and prosperity and that of millions of your fellow citizens to save the relatively few victims of senseless violence?”

Would the author ask this directly to any of the shooting victims’ family or friends? If not, it is cowardly. If he would, it is indescribably cruel.

Applying actuarial calculations to the pricing of life insurance policies works nicely, but to compare the cost of gruesome, terrifying death for a group of school children gunned down in the classroom to an imagined value obtained through the assassinations for the owners of semi-automatic assault rifles goes far beyond decency and makes any notion of a compassionate mankind, out of which a fellow member came up with such a disgusting comparison, a difficult thing to immediately have faith in.

There is great honor in the person who willingly puts their life in jeopardy defending a righteous cause in which they deeply believe for the benefit of others, so that many can live free. But, when innocent people are slaughtered in ambush against their will for the furtherance of somebody else’s cause, that is the time to start asking questions. This is not an act that betters life or society. It is an atrocity. It is the logic Hitler used to justify the elimination of 6 million Jewish lives before the world caught on.

If the horror we have seen in the hundreds of formerly safe places from Sandy Hook Elementary School to a Walmart in El Paso and all points between represent the price we must pay for freedom, we are compelled to reexamine what our ideas of freedom are and ask who exactly is defining it for us.

Roger Marolt does not believe freedom is living in fear so that others can own types of guns that are more dangerous than hand grenades. Email at roger@maroltllp.com.


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