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Thursday, December 9, 2021

When individual rights conflicts with social responsibility


      The pandemic in the United States has clearly shown how the conflict between respecting individual liberty and having a social conscience has meant that we pay a terrible cost in COVID deaths. We are a country with enormous health resources yet we are the country with the highest death count.  It is frustrating to many of us that we need to have mandates to force people to take a vaccine that can save their life and the lives of others in their community.  Our personal liberty should not supersede our social responsibility when we are talking about a virus that is easily transmitted from one person to another.

    This conflict also applies to a person's right to own a semi-automatic weapon that was designed as a weapon of war.  The danger to society of such weapons being used in mass killings should override an individual's right to possess a gun.  Why do we outlaw machine guns and grenades and not semi-automatic weapons?

    Individual liberties have to always be balanced with social risk.  Liberties should never be viewed as absolute.

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