Safety vs. Freedom


Safety vs. Freedom


Americans take pride in their individual freedoms above safety. We as Americans have fought for our freedom since the building of our great nation. In the past, the people of America took pride in their freedom as a nation and a group of people. During the time, safety was an irrelevant issue. However, as time progressed to what we consider a contemporary society; safety became a co-existing factor in the systematic balance. Constant threats and dreadful attacks have been made by people because they were considered to have “too much freedom”.
Safety in our everyday lives did not become prompted until people have taken drastic measures to ensure their freedom. Drastic measures have been taken by people because “too much” freedom was placed into the hands of the people. The correlation of freedom and safety now lingers onto a thin delicate balance that can be toppled when there is too much of freedom or safety. In today’s contemporary society, people not only want freedom, but they also feel the need for safety in their everyday lives. H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) wrote, “The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe.
” His statement over the topic may have been true for the time, but in today’s society, matters have changed dramatically in that safety and freedom are needed. The topic of freedom and safety has been constantly debated. In order to fully understand the situation, definitions must be provided. Freedom is defined as “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint”. In other words, freedom is a power that is passed down to the people from the local and national government. On the other hand, safety is defined “as the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury.”


Does the average man want to be free or safe?


Interestingly enough, these definitions overlap. Ambiguity and confusion seem to be interwoven in this case. These definitions are an underline proof that the average man desires both freedom and safety. No matter how the question is phrased, the same pragmatic, convoluted response should be given. Freedom and safety are relative to each other, usually tipping back and forth like a seesaw. The balance between each virtue is rather delicate, but always negotiable, depending on the influence of events at home or even internationally.
Freedom is the benchmark of the American value system. As long as Americans remain to place importance on freedom, it will endure. Safety is equally significant, but often manipulated. Most Americans seem to be rather susceptible when it comes to the safety of the nation state and will usually agree with legislation that will “make us safer”. To this discussion, there are usually two opposing sides. The sides in this situation are people who stay faithful to pure freedom and people who are aficionados of safety.
Some people have belief that freedom is the only thing that matters and that freedom should be the prioritized factor across the nation. On the other hand, there are people who believe that safety is more important. On both sides, however, there is always an argument involved with gun control. Recently, there has been an uncontrollable force that has swept across America and that is the use of guns for mass murdering. The Sandy Hook incident left people traumatized. During this issue, people who stand true in safety want nothing less than the ban of wielding arms. “…
the stronger our gun control laws are, the fewer acts of violence…. ” (Sandy Hook quotes). At the same time, those for freedom still want to be able to wield arms even though such tragic events have occurred. Even though there is a constant heated debate over the topic of freedom verses safety, there always has to be a fine line that defines both freedom and safety. With the latest shooting tragedy in Colorado, gun control is undoubtedly on everyone’s mind. People who have a stance with “pro-gun” seem to cite freedom, liberty and the 2nd amendment while talking about their right to carry guns.
And people who are “anti-gun” might cite the safety and well-being of the general public, as criminals and people with mental disorders will not have such easy access to weapons that kill. People who say that freedom and safety have no correlations, and that safety is more important than freedom or freedom is more important that safety, have not considered it’s daily applications. In society today, people demand both freedom and safety. While more and more Americans demand freedom to do things as they please, they want the feeling of protection and safety.
Safety is needed when more freedom is given. An example of this lies in our homes. As children have later curfews as they grow older, their parents demand for more of their own protection for their children. Ultimately, curfews are reasonable guidelines and should be followed. It is important to maintain respect for your parents and the rules they set throughout your adolescent years. “While it may seem unfair or unreasonable at the time, you will eventually realize how beneficial such rules were and will thank your parents for looking out for your well-being. ” (Why Curfews Should Be Enforced).
This correlation is evidence that with more freedom, people need more safety to keep them in check and to keep people in line. Freedom in this case cannot exist without the need for safety and safety is not necessary if there is no freedom. Freedom and safety are desired by everyone. However, unlike popular belief, they cannot be separated. Like a well-balanced formula, freedom and safety intertwine in a well-defined system. In this contemporary society, freedom is important for the liberties of the people; however, safety is important for the security of the people. Both freedom and safety are important factors for people today.

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