Reading Col. James Haun's memoir Spitfire Wingman from Tennessee the other day, I came across this story from 1936:
"Hook wanted to fly and I took him on. I had him in the back seat of a Cub for his first lesson. We were cruising around south of the airport when there was a shocking loud report in back of me... Hook had his false upper teeth sticking out, his cap on backwards, and was shooting at a buzzard with his .45.
"I was suitably impressed and judging him to be the sporting type, pulled up and over in a loop, followed by a three turn spin. We became great buddies."
I'm a private pilot. My first, instant reaction on reading this was, "If that happened in a plane I was flying, I'd land ASAP and boot him out of the plane." My second thought was, "Wait a minute. What's wrong with that?"
These young men were flying a small plane in a rural area--there was no one to get hurt by the bullets (except maybe the buzzard). Yet my first reaction was something like, Hey, that's not allowed.
I was reminded of a story a neighbor told me once, from the same era. Someone had been seen skulking around backyards at night. One early morning, her Dad saw him and fired a shotgun from the bedroom window, and the guy ran off, never to be seen again.
Nowadays, if you did that, the neighbors would call the cops. On you.
It's not just guns. How many of you have wanted to build an addition onto your own house? How much paperwork and inspection does it take?
I've been a conservative most of my adult life. I cherish freedom. Yet the freedom our forefathers enjoyed, even three generations ago, is almost unimaginable to me, because I've got a little censor in my head that says, That's Not Allowed. Where did it come from? Our schools? Our media? I'm not sure. But I know I'm not the only one. Just today Ace of Spades wrote a post about the same idea.
How many of us have--slowly, imperceptibly--accepted this conceptual straitjacket? How long until freedom suffocates completely as it tightens? How can we fight back?