Americans, for the most part, are a bunch of spoiled little brats.
And here's my rationale:
What I'm betting is that James Madison and his posse couldn't have possibly imagined that our nation would evolve into the train wreck it is today. And if they would have been able to see into the future, I'm thinking there would have been a few more caveats to those Bill of Rights - a few more asterisks and disclaimers. Because I'm wondering - is James Madison rolling in his grave right now? Do you think maybe he's screaming "Hey! You guys took this too far! This is NOT what we meant!"
I say, with my signature eye roll, "Perhaps."
But back to us. It's always about us, isn't it? We selfish Americans, all puffed up with our Bill of Rights stuffed in our back pocket - right next to our guns, our free speech, and our fair trials. We're free Americans. We're entitled. We're DESERVING. And we want MORE.
Because "the Bill of Rights says so", we've taken what our founding fathers gifted us as a privilege that we should thank God for each and every day and tortured it like a CIA official interrogating a Saudi terrorist. "Freedom of speech" has turned into "it's suddenly OK to show sex and hear curse words on TV during prime time" and "it's fine to glamorize killing in movies - and the gorier the better - let's just make sure we squeak by with a PG-13 rating so we can get those impressionable kids in here and make some real money."
You know what this all reminds me of? The incredibly selfish tendencies of ignorant children. Children - not unlike we adults so many years ago - who think money grows on trees. Who are too immature to fully realize that what they have - no matter how sparse or how abundant - has been worked for. Who have no clue that the steak they just threw in the garbage could feed a family of four in another country. Or that the cable going out isn't a crisis in a third-world nation. See, there's so much more for them to HAVE. To WANT. And it's their God-given right to have it. Why? Because it's HERE. And because WE TOLD THEM SO. And we have this whole life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness mumbo jumbo that we continually shove down their throats.
And what do the enabling parents do? They GIVE. They GIVE and they GIVE. They give to keep up with other parents. To keep up with society. Here's a cell phone, son. Not good enough? Oh, here's a 16GB 4G smart phone. Goodness, you only have a PS2? Let's upgrade you right away to the PS3 - and we should probably throw in a Wii and an Xbox just to make you popular with your friends. And here - I don't want to seem uncool so you can go to this R-rated movie with your buddies, even though you're only 15. And by all means, let me give you full access to the internet and all its dangers, because hey, as long as you're in your room I know you're safe. So how are kids being raised? To feel ENTITLED. To feel as if they DESERVE all of this - simply because it EXISTS and their friends have it.
Back to us. We're no better than these ignorant spoiled children. We should be able to have guns, because the Bill of Rights said so. No matter that they couldn't have possibly in their wildest dreams suspected that the world would be the free-for-all arsenal of death that it is today, with pickup trucks sporting bumper stickers that say, "You can have my gun when you pry it out of my cold, dead fingers." Naw, that's not egotistical and righteous AT ALL. We should be able to SAY whatever the HELL we want - in movies, in television shows, on the internet, in press conferences. Free speech in 1791 = NO FILTER in 2012. WE'VE TAKEN IT TOO FAR.
To me, this is what we're saying to our children:
Eat as much as you want. That's why they've supersized everything and created these bulk grocery stores - for your enjoyment and gluttonous pleasure. Doctors are making a killing (no pun intended) on diabetics, heart patients, and bariatric surgery. Knock yourselves out.
Guns are OK to have because EVERYONE is morally responsible and has completed intensive safety training and would NEVER use them for anything other than their intention. (Wait - their intention? Guns were created for target shooting, right? That's all, right?)
Smoke and drink as much as you want. Even though there is absolutely no physical or mental benefits to smoking, we continue to advertise and sell these cancer sticks because they're money makers. What we'll do instead is keep them around so we can keep taxing them and make even more money for our government. Same with alcohol - we'll plaster beer and hard liquor signs everywhere so you won't be able to WAIT to look old enough to get your drunk on. And if we catch you driving, we'll give you a DUI and another chance. And maybe another after that. So don't worry.
See as much as you want no matter what your age. No parent can possibly police you from the violent, graphic, sexual and otherwise inappropriate images on television, the internet and in the movie theater. Oh, and if they try? Here's a tip - go over to your friend's house who has a more lenient parent. Works every time.
P.S. Make sure you grow up to be a good law-abiding citizen and a pillar of the community.
It's a sad state of affairs, how we've become spoiled children with a chip on our shoulders; narcissistic squeaky wheels who demand what is "rightfully ours". Then when something bad happens - like the Colorado shooting - we suddenly become all defensive and blame it solely on the killer, and poo-poo any influences that we as a society have made acceptable to everyone - no matter what their age and ability to handle it all.
What if when we had decided that instead of television and motion pictures becoming a sex and gore free-for-all, we would have required a proportionate amount of comedies, dramas, crime shows and documentaries of Liberia, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia? What if we would have limited the right to bear arms to military personnel and police officers? What if we would have made it a law that all restaurant foods had to comply with nutritional guidelines and within RDAs?
Lemme guess. Unconstitutional!!!! What a crock. I wish I could have an hour with Mr. Madison and ask him what he thinks of this whole "Bill of Rights" fiasco. I wonder what he'd say. What do you think he meant when he said, "Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power"?
A premonition, perhaps?