I take my responsibility to my fellow (wo)man pretty seriously. I would never harm another simply because it is within my power to do so. I also trust my fellow (wo)men to do the same. When passing oncoming traffic, I expect that the other person will not cross the center line. I expect that there will not be razor blades in my pizza or arsenic in my latte. We all have an awesome responsibility to each other, not because it's required by law, but because it is the right thing to do.
Think about how many interactions you have on a daily basis. Like the ones I've mentioned above or others. Hundreds, thousands, millions even, when you are out and about. How many of those have resulted in personal harm? Very few, I would imagine. It's because we trust each other. We fundamentally know what is right and what is wrong, despite differing viewpoints. Yes, there are exceptions. Human nature is not perfect and occasional abnormalities, psychosis, and/or accidents happen. Also, I believe our awareness of how we are interrelated is diminishing.
I take issue with those telling me that I'm not responsible enough to make my own personal choices. I know what is best for me, and make my decisions accordingly. It has nothing to do with what is legal, in most cases. For (a bad) example, as a teenager, I knew it was against the law to consume alcohol. That did not stop me from drinking nearly every weekend. It did not make the alcohol harder to get in most cases. I made my decision to do it and did it. Now, I'm not saying that underage drinking is right, it isn't. I'm merely illustrating a point. If there is something we desire badly enough, the law and its penalties tend to fade in importance (especially when you are an angst-ridden teen).
I respect others enough to make their own decisions as well. For example, I'll see someone in the grocery store who is unhealthy (by my own standards) putting Cheetos and Mountain Dew in her cart. Do I say anything to her? Hell, no! I am not arrogant enough to judge someone else's choices. She is not harming me by her decisions. Personal choice - I'm a big fan. Do what you want, as long as you understand how your decisions are affecting, or not affecting, me.
I do not own a gun. Meaning, I do not have one registered in my name. My husband does and I like to shoot them. It's an awesome stress reliever and I like trying to hit targets of increasing difficulty. I like to hunt, but I just can't kill anything - personal choice. I enjoy being outdoors, watching my dog work, and seeing nature in all her glory. I have never been around or known any irresponsible gun owners and I've known a LOT of gun owners. I believe most people respect the power and responsibility they have when they have a gun in their possession.
Recent events in Connecticut and other places have everyone horrified, and rightly so. Human nature is to DO SOMETHING to prevent something so unfathomable from happening again. We want action! I wish it were as simple as passing more laws saying you can't do this or that. I wish we could guarantee the safety of our children and everyone else in the world by simply signing pieces of paper. The truth is, no matter how many laws we pass or how many speeches we give, it will not matter. What does make a difference is teaching our children right from wrong and our power to cause harm or keep each other safe. The guns are not the issue, it is the lack of awareness of how we fit in with the rest of the world. Of how our choices ripple through the world. Sort of the butterfly and tsunami effect (look it up).
Personal choice rocks,