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12NR08 - MRF News Release - The Definition of Freedom

22 March 2012

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Ralations and Public Affairs

The Definition of Freedom

I was having a conversation with a good friend the other day who is widely loved and respected in our community. He is an wise old man. I really cant stress the old part enough, I mean this dude is older than old but wise, well sorta wise.

He asked me a question I have thought about almost daily since he asked me three months ago. "What is the definition of freedom?" he pontificated.  After thinking about it, I can say that I do not have an answer. I think its a lot of things to a lot of people. I think it is relative to everyone and totally limitless. But can also disappear completely in a second.

Freedom stands for something greater than just the right to act however I choose.

Certainly, freedom does mean the right to do as one pleases—to think, believe, speak, worship (or not worship), move about, gather, and generally act as you choose—but only until your choices start to infringe on another person's freedom.

Abuse of freedom leads to its demise, think about some yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. Think about laws that limit sound emissions for motorcycles.

Some say the sharpest interpretation of freedom is the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. I guess I could go along with that.

For me, freedom is about living my life the way I want too, having a government that is not oppressive (or too oppressive anyway), the freedom to own firearms, and riding a motorcycle without the possibility of mandatory roadside checkpoints. Right now I don't have all of those freedoms.

So ask yourself, what is your definition of freedom and do you actually have it?


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