We have become confused about the Bill of Rights because it does not mention our responsibilities in connection with each of its ten sections.  In particular, we have lost sight of our responsibilities with regard to freedom of speech and to the right to bear arms.

Certainly we should have freedom of speech, but we must speak the truth of what we know, not what we imagine or have heard or read. Opinions are not facts, so it’s important to not let them manipulate our sense of reality. All news is biased, and some is actually untrue.  Is our information source reliable?  We need to use critical thinking and assessment skills to find out.  One of these, online, is to check on the source of a website that for instance, makes scientific or medical claims.  If a site claims smoking tobacco is ok, or good for you, who would want you to believe that?  Likely a cigarette company, so find out if one published the article.  In politics, it’s important to try to look behind extreme statements of any kind, and also to think about what might not be mentioned.  The abortion issue, for instance, fails to mention on either side that access to prevention (birth control pills, iuds, patches, condoms, etc.)  would greatly reduce if not eliminate abortions.  Remember that news outlets make money by what I call the racquetball game, where our heads are the ball, whacked back and forth between good and bad, black and white, with no in between.

Yes we have the right to bear arms, but along with that right we have a responsibility to keep our tempers, to practice self-control and sobriety. Even if say, I get angry on I40 because someone sped around me on the right or left, resorting to gunfire would only cause chaos and misery, as we’ve seen.   We have a responsibility to look critically at our frustrations and fears before acting on them. This takes the effort maturity (I hope) grants us, but once found, it can be taught to our children.

What are we spreading with our words?  Is it hate and fear, or is it calm and reason?  Is it hearsay, or fact? If you can think of an idea or plan that contributes to a solution to any of the problems we face today, spread words about that.

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