The Divide and the Incompatibility

Roger Kimball made a nice  point:

But behind the panoply of motivations there is, I suspect, this fundamental philosophical divide: On the one side are people who see that we live in a free society, understand that freedom is not free—that it can often be quite an expensive quality—and who understand further that preserve freedom requires that individuals stand up for themselves, physically as well as in other ways.

On the other side of the divide are people who see that we live in a free society, who may also understand that freedom is not free—they, too, might admit that it can often be quite an expensive quality—but who wish to cede important parts of that responsibility to the state. The former are likely to be small-government, low-tax supporters of the Second Amendment. The latter are likely to be big government, high-tax critics of the Second Amendment.

Mr. Fu can understand the impulse to let the state handle some things.  But it is the nature of freedom versus a big government that is at least a big question mark, if not always a sure sign of less freedom.  Mr. Fu also suspects that the divide is also between those who accept the responsibility and consequences of living in a society with “freedom of” versus those who are not as ready to accept responsibility and consequences of living in a society with “freedom from.”  “Freedom of” costs and requires little, while “freedom from” can break the bank from just a few bad cases and requires a tremendous police force to compel compliance.

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