We all remember those days in school when the teacher would tell us that the whole room was going to be punished because little Jimmy, Suzy, and Casey could not learn to walk instead of run down the hall. Though the vast majority in the class had done no such thing, or taken no such action to validate, the whole room would be punished with a detention or time away at recess. This frustrating act continued until the little troublemakers learned, and I remember feeling very confused by the situation. I had not run down the hall. I had not broken the rules, nor did the great majority of my classmates. Why then did we need the same fate as those who did?
As an adult, I thought that personal responsibility would be the name of the game and that group punishments for individual actions would be a rarity. It seems now, though, that I must worry about the teacher of our nation—the government—punishing me for others actions that I had no part in nor deserve to be taken to task for. From removing soda from my cup and telling me I can only drink a certain amount because my friend drinks too much, to taking my cheeseburgers away because of my neighbor’s waistline, the reach of the government’s arm is creeping slowly and steadily toward greater power.
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee has once again redefined and underscored the nanny state in which we live. They approved a hard party-line vote to ban assault weapons. The justification surrounding the action has been safety and protecting a tragic gun-related violent explosion to happen again, which is effective right? That’s right, just ignore Chicago… the President does. But what this is really saying is that because of the actions of a few, deranged, and deeply disturbed individuals I am once again being punished. I am being punished for a crime I never committed and held accountable for massacres that were not at my hands. I am back in grade school once again, but this time, I do not think I will ever get to leave.