Letter: Land of the free, home of the brave | VailDaily.com

Letter: Land of the free, home of the brave

Oh how I love to hear this song, our national anthem … every time I hear it my heart gets heavy with pride for all those who fought and lost their lives for me and you.

I’m proud to be an American. I’m proud of what America stands for, I’m proud of all the men and women who have fought for our country (most of my family).

However, it occurred to me today while I was going about my daily business entering and exiting stores, while in church, dropping off my son at school and doing my job, the last lines of the national anthem have taken on a different meaning.

“Land of the free” today means that because we fear our freedom being taken away we allow gun manufacturers to create and sell guns that are made for mass destruction and profit from it. And no one is going to take that right or their profits away, even if that means you could be gunned down while grabbing milk.

“Home of the brave” now means I must be brave going about my daily life checking for exits in every building I enter listening for any noise that doesn’t fit my surroundings for a possible gunman, looking around the parking lot to see who the next gunman in the nightmare of a mass shooting may be.

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Those words used to be reserved for the free people of this country to do their daily business without fear, and for the brave men on the battlefield.

Today the word freedom helps someone who wants to gun down as many people as they can and for the brave citizens of this great country to just try to go shopping or to work and the brave young children that practice lockdown drills.

I’m all for gun rights and believe in protecting your home and family. However, I also believe in sensibility. Would driving 80 mph in a school zone at 3 p.m. be reckless? So, would allowing the gun manufacturers to make a profit off our fear of losing freedom. I don’t know what the answer is, but I believe we need to be sensible, just like we are sensible to draft laws about speeding in a school zone. I’ve heard about the new world order, just like Jesus coming back, as long as I can remember — and neither have happened. Let’s stop living in fear.

Joe Shankland


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