Opinion

My Fellow Americans: Have We Come to a Crossroad Yet Again?

We must take an honest look at where we are and where we may be heading in order to make sure that our country does not collapse around us, and become that very thing many Americans have fought and died so selflessly to prevent.

Many valiant Americans have fought both on American soil, in the formative years of our country, and during conflicts many thousands of miles away, to prevent the loss of the very freedoms that our country was founded to ensure for us—we the people. Shall we allow the very fabric of that to be torn and thrown to the winds…to go where it may fall? I pray not.

I feel we are coming to a crossroad again in our country. We have come to these before, during the Revolution, during the Civil War, and during the wars that enveloped most of the world. We have endured. All fought to preserve the United States in the form that would stand the test of time. All fought by brave Americans who believed that they were standing up for something bigger than themselves, something so important that their lives were put on hold. They traveled away from family, and some paid the ultimate sacrifice with their very lives. What could hold that type of meaning to an American?

I say to you that it is that very thing, freedom, that is what they and many before and now hold so dear. We grasp at it, cherish it, and yearn for it because we know that without it, we are not truly Americans but may as well be part of the very countries’ subjects we fought to win our freedoms from.

True Americans believe reverently in those iconic words written by Thomas Jefferson so many years ago: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This was such an important part of why we became the country that we are. They wrote those very words down when declaring their independence from others! We fought a war amongst ourselves, and hundreds of thousands of Americans died, fighting to make all men free and citizens. Racism has no place in the America that I see. All are created equal, and all have the rights we share.

But the definition of that word that was so important to our founders seems to be losing it’s meaning and it’s worth for so many today. And, therefore, we find ourselves at the crossroads today. What is freedom? And what did it mean? What should it mean to us today? Should it mean anything different than it did to Jefferson, Adams, Washington and the rest? I say no! It is no different now than before and, in the future, that none can see, it should be the same.

A citizen is free because they are just that, a citizen. As those wise Americans said, every citizen must be able to pursue life, liberty and happiness. And as long as those things do not harm or restrict another’s same rights, it is then an individual thing, this freedom we have. This is where many today fail to see what freedom really meant then and should mean now.

Freedom is that choice of choosing between what is right and what is wrong. Choose wrongly and you may have consequences, some of which could be forever and affect you for the rest of your life. Who decides what is right and wrong? That is already set in the fabric of our founding documents, and our basic principles as outlined in our Constitution.

Freedom was so important to our country’s founders, they codified it in our most precious of founding documents: the Constitution of the United States of America. They felt that freedoms all citizens should share were so important that they listed some that they did not even want the very government they were forming to be able to take away. This became known as the Bill of Rights. Many today have never even read this iconic document, yet they call for it to be changed because it is “outdated” or “does not apply” to today’s America. I say to them you are ignorant of the meaning of the document and it’s entire purpose. I say that you who think that way are not only wrong, but the very kind of threat that the authors were worried about rising up in this great nation, generating that very document to stand against such uprisings.

We have the freedom to choose. We have the freedom to decide our own fates. We have the Bill of Rights. No more should one desire to give up their rights than their very lives. As without those rights…are our lives any better or for worse? The founders wrote in the preamble to the Bill of Rights these very telling words: “The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added…” declaring that they wanted to make sure that the Government did not restrict the very thing they were voting on and passed: the rights of the citizens.

So how have we drifted so far away from where we were to where we are today that one may strip the rights from this group or that? By the use of the courts and the controlling parties. America was meant to be a land of the free. A land where citizens ruled themselves, and when they had common interest the government could aid them, not restrict them. The government was established to help make the United States stronger, not more divided; to make the country wealthier, not poorer. We have lost the vision of our founders.

I say to you that we are free Americans. We have basic rights that the Constitution does not create but were given to us at the beginning of time, and are protected by the Constitution. Lest we allow those rights to be given away and restricted by the very government we the people founded, we must decide what road we take.

We must choose carefully. If we give up one right, what is to stop the rest from falling along with it? Do we want a government that is all powerful? One that can disregard the rights we have now and, say, enter your home whenever they wish? Maybe incarcerate you for a crime without a trial of your peers? How about seizing your property or land because they think that they are better stewards of it? And of course one that is hotly debated today, the right to defend yourself, your family and property from lawless criminals.

Do we become that country of the subjects to a government that is our provider of all, or do we work to become that country in which the citizens work to provide for themselves and have the right to become whatever they wish and can achieve? I say the latter.

I will leave you with this: freedom is never pretty or safe. It has always had its dangers and perils. Yet it is the very reason we are here, where we are, and in this wonderful country we are part of: the United States of America. My ancestors came here and fought to free this country. Some of them fought to maintain it. And in the future, should it become necessary we must be willing to defend it again. Freedom is not safe, it should not be, it should be hard- fought and cherished like the prize that it is.

God Bless you and keep you safe, may He watch over you and your family. God Bless the United States of America.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Chris Wagoner

Chris Wagoner is a U.S. Army Veteran and has been in law enforcement the last 35+ years. He specializes in LE Firearms Instruction, and is in charge of a large Police Academy in North Florida. In his spare time Chris is a freelance writer and posts his articles on "Down Range with Chris Wagoner".

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