To the Editor:

History is a long story of tyrants and authoritarians. America is the great exception: It is an experiment of self-governance; a declaration that all men are endowed by their creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We have acclimated to this declaration of freedom and individual rights; it is easy to forget this isn’t the common experience for all peoples, in all places, at all times. The rubber hits the road for our national experiment in the First and Second Amendments of our Constitution: Perhaps nothing more clearly defines this freedom, and the final means of preserving this freedom, than these two measures.

The First Amendment proclaims our freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, freedom of press and assembly without offense from the government. This is the nature of a free state; and our free state is under necessity preserved by the right of the people to keep and bear arms defined in the Second Amendment.

Therefore, it should be a chief concern and red flag to the republic when politicians, even in the White House, demonstrate a willingness to curb free speech and infringe on the right of citizens to bear common-use, civilian rifles. The White House has been open that it wishes to regulate speech: It has worked directly with the digital public square (Facebook, Twitter, others) to influence and restrict speech.

Moreover, it consistently presses infringements on the Second Amendment; presently in the form of calls to ban common-use, civilian rifles like AR-15s. These are red flags, small steps (or not so small) that hint more at world history than the great exception of our country.

Our constitutional republic gives us the democratic tools to address this: Use the power of our votes in elections to remove from office those politicians, at every level, which offend the fundamental principles contained in the First and Second Amendments. If we don’t address these issues now, while still relatively small, we may never have the opportunity to address them in the future, when they expand beyond our control.

Freedom is the exception, it is fragile, not to be taken for granted: Let freedom ring!

Brent Kaseman

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