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KATIE ZERR: We might not like it, but is their right

Our founding fathers believed in the importance of having the right to criticize the government. They believed it is a human right to take up a cause and express an opinion, no matter how offensive the subject.
Sometimes opinions are malicious or politically incorrect. Sometimes opinions are steeped in ignorance and based in lies.
Other times it is spewed forth with hate of another person, race or religion.
In any case, it is within the rights of every American to show others that there is no cure for hate or ignorance. Anyone can climb on their soapbox and proclaim themselves as the defenders of the American way of life. They claim to be freedom fighters as they degrade, degenerate and dehumanize others in order to make themselves look like a hero.
These are not defenders of freedom. They are defenders of their rights to their own opinions. They are defenders of only themselves. They are using the fear of others to elevate themselves to a level they perceive that is owed to them.
Other individuals see certain rules, laws, mandates and requirements as a violations of their rights. They are taking advantage of this time in our nation to voice their opinions to the masses. They use the internet, the entrance to Walmart or the local library to throw hissy fits about the violation of their rights. Their solution to what they view is unfair is to yell, annoy, threaten or harass others . They prove themselves as intolerant jerks hellbent to make the news or be an internet star.
What they don’t stop to think about is that their intolerant rant or their spitting on the employees of the business they are disrupting, can cost them their way to make a living. It can cost them friends and neighbors. It can cost them respect.
We have the right to our opinions and to express them. Lately, it seems more and more, we have the right to show people just what kind of selfish individuals we are.
We all form opinions about the things we watch, listen to, read online or hear at the local gathering place. We are entitled to express those opinions online or in public.
It is also within the right of people who employ us not to want these individuals to be represent their business.
So, when someone decides to go public expressing their opinion of certain matters, they need to understand the consequences.
“Karens” (the name given to those women who publicly rant about their rights) can’t believe it when they are fired for screaming at staff of a local business wanting to protect their customers. “Karens” are astounded when they lose their jobs after throwing merchandise off the shelf at an employee for telling them they are not allowed to shop in a business without a mask (which is within the rights of that business owner).
They think they understand the freedom of speech. What they fail to understand is that that freedom can and has come at a great cost.
So, when “Karen” suffers a little for jumping on her soapbox and abusing others at Walmart or the local convenience store, there can be a price she pays for expressing her rights.
Through the years of this incredible experiment that is our republic, so many lives were lost defending this right. So many men and women suffered beyond our imagination in order that we can promote our ideas and opinions.
The victories won on the battlefield, in the courts and on the streets of our nation can be marginalized by those who proclaim interference in their rights to express their opinions.
This is something we should hold as sacred, not taken up as a mantle when we throw a public tantrum just because we can.
If we believe we are defending that right, we must also shoulder the burden of that defense.
We cannot pick and choose what part of the freedom of speech we think is worthy of defense, but we need to defend it at all costs no matter the basis of that speech.