[Some]* Americans have lost sight of the truth that pointing a weapon at someone else comes at the cost of your own freedom.
To attempt to further either clarify or muddle this, I would suggest that certain "rights" are actually diminished by their exercise - and bearing lethal weaponry is one. When a person crosses that line, and chooses to participate in the regulated militia, their range of freedoms is reduced in a fairly severe fashion. Sadly, this diminishment carries with it a penumbra, and they also deprive an undetermined number of people - non-consenting people - in their vicinity of *their* rights and freedoms, too.
This is why the United States is one of the least free of the developed democracies at this time, and possibly meaningfully less free than some less-developed and/or more autocratic nations.
The constant threat of violence is a horrific force for the human spirit to have to contend with - with being the willing threatener arguably far worse, as it is a chosen position, not one that can at least be struggled against and healthily opposed. It is to welcome darkness of the least enlightened kinds deep into one's hearth.
*Qualifying edit suggested by Chuck Galle
printed 30 January 2023
© Huw Powell