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“The whole purpose of the Constitution was to preserve individual rights, whether it’s speech, travel, privacy or self-defense from the overwhelming passion of the public.” – Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News contributor.

Ban all hammers.

There are many enemies of freedom. Our federal, state and local governments represent the greatest enemies of freedom, regardless of political party, because whenever the government acts, and it seems to act often around here, there is a resulting loss of individual freedoms. Government actions every day restrict your individual freedoms through laws like zoning ordinances, business regulations and gun laws that are supposed to make us “safer,” “protect us” or somehow provide for the “greater good.” We have many laws, some needed but many not, but I have to ask: If we had a million more laws and someone chose to ignore them, as criminals do, what then? How safe and protected are we? Can the government protect us from law breakers? Can the government even protect us from itself? Even if it could, that illusion of protection comes at the sacrifice of freedom. Keep in mind that the government can’t even always protect inmates within a prison.

The price of freedom is, occasionally, that someone is going to violate the law. Someone is going to drive drunk, someone is going to rape and, tragically, some crazy guy is going to kill his mother, steal her guns and drive to a local elementary school and kill 26 people, most just 7 years old.

As illegal and tragic as these horrific actions are, watching the government and media response is infuriating. What does the government propose? Greater security at schools to immediately protect our children? Nope. That proposal was deemed too costly at $5 billion a year. That amount is just a fraction of the $8 billion a year we spend on the Transportation Security Administration for airport security in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — not inclusive of the money spent to reinforce cockpit doors and arm pilots. Instead, the federal, and even our state, government wants to make it even tougher for law-abiding citizens to have guns for protection against those who would do us harm, including our own government.

You may not want to hear this, but “assault” rifles are less deadly than hammers in America, and anyone can buy a hammer for $3.97 at Walmart, no ID or background check required. Why not have a government ban on hammers? Maybe hammers don’t seem so deadly, but if the media could just expose their danger and how many times hammers smash thumbs as a warning sign to their deadly intent, we would all be much safer.

I think the greater tragedy is that so many Americans think that the government solves problems with little or no cost or consequences. What price do you put on freedom? Not even a $1 trillion coin could buy mine. And if your answer is that sacrificing any of my freedoms is worth the preservation of at least one life, you should immediately get working on that hammer ban. And while you’re at it, ban the other things people use to annually kill themselves and others more frequently than guns in America, including abortion, cars, alcoholic beverages, water (drowning), knives (and box cutters) and all sugary and fatty foods (obesity).

My life is guided by my Bible, my family, my freedoms as guaranteed by the Constitution and my guns, which help to ensure the protection of the first three. What path do you follow? Hopefully, you’re not on the path to government protection, because that path is long and bumpy and, ultimately, leads right back to you.

Paul Harrison, Huntingtown