There’s been a lot of controversy lately that has to do with the rights of the American people. The right to bear arms, the right to marry as we want, the right to be treated fairly, and other rights have been disputed and contested. I think it’s time for us to take a look at what rights we are entitled to and how we can secure them.
The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
These are our basic rights. Any other rights we desire branch off of our right to equality, life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. Nobody can or should take these rights away. So, you and I are completely entitled to any rights that:
- Ensure that we are treated as equals to our fellow Americans,
- Ensure that we continue living,
- Keep us free from oppression, persecution, or slavery,
- Or allow us to pursue happiness in whatever way we see fit.
If a right we desire falls into one of those categories, we are entitled to and should fight for that right. Nobody can take these rights from us.
There is, however, an exception to this rule. Yes, we are entitled to any right which helps us achieve any of the aforementioned goals, on the condition that our securing those rights does not infringe on the rights of others. We can not remove the rights of others to get what we want. That is hypocritical and small-minded.
For example, everyone has the right to marry whoever they want. However, we do not have the right to force someone else to participate in a marriage they disagree with. Doing so would remove their right to liberty. Just as you want others to respect your right to marriage, you should respect their right to practice their religion or moral system in peace.
Another example could be the matter of gun control. We have the right to bear arms and to have the means to protect our families. To misuse that right by killing someone unnecessarily would remove their right to life.
That being said, fight for your rights, but don’t you dare use those rights to take away the rights of others. We as a country need to focus on fighting for and defending our own rights as well as one another’s. So, secure the opportunities you want or need. Pursue happiness however you want. Just allow others the same freedom.
That is how we can be unified as a country. Let’s all stop being childish and start helping each other, whether or not we agree with each other.
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