I wonder if anybody else has large amounts of presumptions made about them because of other choices they’ve made or things they’ve said.

Are you with me?

I doubt it… I didn’t even follow that myself.

Many of my friends, a better term would be associates, probably assume I am ‘pro-gun’. A few of them probably prefer the term ‘gun-nut’ because I ‘sound like it.’

In truth, I’m actually just a strong supporter of the Bill of Rights. All of them. Equally.

So, adding to the presumption of being a gun nut: I’m often presumed to be a conservative. Because large groups of people often link them together.

I believe in small government. That the best and most long-lasting and sustainable governance is local.

I believe that federal programs designed to help groups of people most often do the opposite. But I believe that a local program could help. I believe that these national programs have moved us away from each other. Moved us away from knowing each other. Knowing our neighbor. Knowing when our neighbor has lost their job or a loved one. Knowing when they needed help. And then giving us the opportunity to step up and do so.

Some years ago, I read a little story with the purpose of showing the reader that asking for help gives a gift of usefulness to the helper. That giving a gift is as important as the ability to accept it.

These programs take us out of the equation. We just pay higher taxes and assume that somebody else will take care of those in need. We assume that if the guy across the street needs something, there is an agency to provide it. And we carry on with our lives. And our lives become smaller and smaller.

And the world becomes bigger and bigger. And we seem more and more different from everybody. Foreign.

And so when someone says they support something, we make assumptions. Particularly if whatever they support is something we don’t. And we therefore create a huge chasm of assumptions. A chasm we created out of fear which too often turns into hate. It’s different from us. It must be wrong. Based on nothing.

I had a thought this afternoon, while driving. (I love driving because I can think). My thought was that if I were to make a list of all the basic things I wanted for myself and my country and my planet, without details of how to accomplish them, practically everyone would assume I belonged to the same political party as they do. No matter which party it was.

But they’d most likely be wrong.

I want people to find peace in themselves. I want this country, and the rest of the world, to hum along without strife. I want us each to know that we are responsible for ourselves. Our lives and our success in our pursuits is up to each of us.

I believe we each have the freedom to express ourselves as we choose, as long as we are not hurting somebody else or treading on their own right to express themselves.

Marry who you want to marry. But don’t force someone else to participate.

Follow our beliefs with as much or as little passion as we choose.

Protect yourself and your family as best you see fit. Whether that be by owning a firearm or 20 firearms or calling 911. The choice is yours.

That’s what sets this country apart from every single other country. We have choices. And it’s not until we try to force one way for everyone that we have problems. That’s when we have to start drawing conclusions as to what is better than something else. That something is right and therefore something else must be wrong.

But we can all be right. If we are all allowed to live our lives in our own way. To make our own decisions. To have choices.

If the the world outside our homes is neutral, we can have choices inside our home. But when we lose the neutrality outside, it is only a matter of time we lose our choices inside.

So, yeah, I believe in the second amendment and our right to bear arms, without question, no ifs, ands or buts.

I also believe in our right to confront our government. I believe in our right to discuss openly what we think or believe for ourselves or the government. I believe we have the right to be secure in our homes unless a judge feels there is a damn good reason to enter our homes.

I believe in our right to shut up.

I believe we have the right to confront our accuser publicly and be judged by an impartial judge. And that this should be done quickly, not dragged on for years. Because if I’ve not done anything wrong, I want this over fast. I have a life to get on with. And I also believe that if somebody has lied about me to start all this… and it is exposed…. then that person should be charged.

I believe in a statute of limitations. I don’t think that even if somebody has done something wrong, that they can have that over their heads forever. And if somebody does not come forward in the prescribed time, that they need to be quiet. Their chance is over. Done.

If a person knows of something that should be told, they have a responsibility to tell it. If they, for whatever reason, do not tell it quickly, they cannot tell it later if past the prescribed time. That is the cost of freedom. That is the cost of choice. It is a price I’m willing to pay.

I think most people, when you get them alone, and talking about these things… would agree. It’s when our rights are abused by a few individuals that our rights become precarious.