Dan Walters: Rights of individuals were the Declaration's core values

Dan Walters has a very interesting and powerful piece. The entire piece is worth reading.

As we celebrate the birth of the nation, we should not forget that the essential purpose of those who signed the Declaration of Independence 229 years ago was not merely to create a new nation, but to create one that would protect the "inalienable rights" of human beings to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Those rights were spelled out in more detail in the Constitution's Bill of Rights, but their essential message remained intact and remains valid today: Live and let live.

Ironically, as the concept of individual rights continues to spread across the globe, even into such unlikely locales as the Middle East, we Americans seem to be increasingly willing to trade individual rights away for other values, such as security - however we may define it - political correctness or economic gains.. . .

We see it in the proliferation of bills in the Legislature that harass law-abiding firearms owners, supposedly in the name of battling crime but really just because some folks have a cultural aversion to guns and their owners. . .

A free press may be intrusive and even irresponsible, but it also is a check on official malfeasance and is a civic educator. Strangely, however, many newspaper editorialists who cherish their First Amendment rights also advocate abridging the Second Amendment rights of gun owners. . . .

Thanks very much to Bob Harding for sending this to me.

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