On January 13th, at the daily White House briefing, a Russian reporter got into an exchange with Presidential Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about the shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

The Russian reporter, Andrei Sitov, a correspondent for Russia’s official news agency ITAR-TASS, said the following:

“This is America, the democracy, the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, the freedom to petition your government.  And many people outside would also say — and the quote, unquote ‘freedom’ of a deranged mind to react in a violent way is also American.  How do you respond to that?”

Naturally, Gibbs responded that he vehemently disagreed with that statement  and went on to explain why. (Politics Daily)

I would also agree with Mr. Gibbs on that point.

But—it does suggest to me there is a price to be paid, in some cases, by our society, for the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. The freedoms that we hold dear, as stated by the Russian reporter, also allows a “deranged” individual to buy and use a gun to commit an act such as in Tucson and in many other places around the country, or use a car or build a bomb, or simply to rob another person.

The sheer fact that our freedoms allow the sale of violent video games and things like that which inspire some young people to commit terrible acts of violence is somewhat disturbing to me. But at the same time, I am not sure I’d want it any other way.

Because in spite of the fact that there are sometimes bad consequences to the basic freedoms we have, without those freedoms, we would not be able to write these blogs, engage in strong political discourse, read the materials we desire, worship as we wish and peacefully assemble to make our feelings known on important issues affecting our lives.

The question is: Have our freedoms allowed too much violence in our country at this point that we are ready to restrict some of our rights? Or do we just have to live with the sometimes high price of freedom?