After a ruining a couple of marriages and years of frustrating my kids, friends and co-workers, I’m finally ready to admit that I’m a control freak. I hate being controlled and it freaks me out when I even think that anyone is trying to control me. That’s what a control freak is … right?
To be clear I’m not opposed to the concept of control. I believe that self control, parental control, cruise control and even volume control are good things. I start resisting when the government, religion, the media, my peers, my employer, doctors or random policies or procedures of any kind attempt to control my personal freedoms.
I know that I take it too far; I just resent institutions dictating behavior to me. I once quit a bar dart league because they asked me to read and sign a copy of their by-laws. I just wanted to drink beer and throw darts; bylaws … we don’t need no stinking by-laws!
As a rule I don’t join any organization with by-laws … the concept just annoys me. Don’t even get me started on homeowners’ associations! I’d rather be homeless than to sign a piece of paper agreeing to pay for the privilege of having my neighbors scrutinize my yard work. I’m a taxpaying American and as long as I pay my mortgage I’ll paint my house any freakin’ color I want to … and stay off my lawn!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an anarchist. I’m a little guy with a big mouth; I realize that without the rule of law my life expectancy would be relatively short. I don’t have a problem with laws that protect the general public from actual criminal behavior like murder, rape and assault … anything that protects the good guys from the bad guys. I have a problem with laws that are meant protect me from myself and stupid rules imposed to control the behavior of free adults.
This isn’t a political statement; it’s a very personal statement. Insulting and offensive attempts to control the personal behavior of adults transcends the political spectrum. Those are some pretty fancy words and if they mean what I think they do, I’ll show you what I mean.
Liberal thinkers tend to believe that passing gun control laws will help reduce violent crime. That’s ridiculous! Murder, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and other gun related crimes are already … well … crimes. It’s illegal for convicted felons to purchase or possess guns yet, somehow, there are repeat armed robbery offenders. How is that possible? Could it be that criminals don’t have any regard for what is or is not legal and get their guns from illegal sources? Duh!
It’s not about the guns.
Conservative thinkers tend to believe that the government has the right to determine what substances I, as a free American adult, choose to ingest into my own body. There’s no logical reasons behind which substances are banned and which are legal. I can impair my judgment, make myself sick, get fat, get cancer, ruin my complexion and even overdose and kill myself by consuming products that are perfectly legal and available without a prescription. With a prescription I can do all of those things plus get addicted, have suicidal thoughts and suffer from anal leakage … legally. Yikes!
How in the world does the government have the right to tell a free and equal adult tax paying citizen what they can or cannot ingest in their own body? I can buy 101 proof Wild Turkey (and I do), ingest it as I see fit but it’s illegal for me to buy and ingest marijuana. As an adult I am held responsible for my actions by the law if I do something stupid or my wife if I do something really stupid, regardless of what I have chosen to ingest; so what difference does it make?
It’s not about the weed.
I’m not advocating armed defiance of bowling league by-laws while stoned … however cool that might be. I’m simply saying that as an adult I’ll make my own choices and live with the consequences of those choices. I don’t need the government or anyone else trying to control my behavior; not because I’m a gun nut or a stoner or a stoned gun nut … but because I’m an American.
It’s not about the weed or the guns, it’s about control… it just freaks me out!
Next week I’ll be funny … almost.
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist.