So we're sitting in the coffee shop and this guy near us has some books on the table.
He's reading three things:
- The Holy Bible
- Second Amendment Primer
- The Heller Case (the landmark decision by the Supreme Court in 2008 protecting an individual's right to bear arms for self-defense in "federal enclaves").
So somebody says jokingly, "You think he's a Republican?"
It made me think how we get judged by not only our behaviors, but also by our apparent beliefs, politics, and associations.
Even if we don't necessarily do anything wrong or controversial, people see us, sum us up, and place judgment upon us.
Moreover, while we may have a legal right to do something, people may still look disparagingly on us for exercising our rights.
Speak your mind freely, practice your religion openly, stand firm on privacy, own a gun in a liberal part of town, and you may find yourself being stared, pointed, or sneered at, whispered about, threatened, harassed, or otherwise disapproved of in small and/or big ways.
My question is how is something a right if people still can mistreat you for exercising it in appropriate ways?
I've heard people say things like you're eligible for X, Y, or Z, but you're not entitled to it.
They confuse rights with eligibility, rather than entitlement.
So some people water down our Bill of Rights that way--thinking, saying, and acting in way that you are eligible to do something, BUT only if you ask nicely or do it a certain way that the other person arbitrarily approves of, and not that you are entitled to it as a basic human right!
Yes, of course, we all need to behave responsibly and not yell fire in a crowded theater, but that doesn't mean that human rights are subject to the whim of people's mood's, tempers, personal views, and bullying behavior. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)