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Third Century | Josh Powell

Third Century | Josh Powell

Josh Powell has traveled the world with his shotgun, participating in sporting clays competitions and observing many varieties of “freedom.” From those travels, he has concluded that American freedom is truly one of a kind.

Yet as a Chicago resident, Powell also knows that freedom infringed can result in devastating consequences—like one of the highest murder rates in the country. That’s why Powell is working to help restore freedom for all Illinois citizens.

Our country was founded on one primary principle—individual liberty. This simple principle has led to the rise of a nation, and with it an incredible amount of innovation in less than 250 years. It’s no surprise that Americans top the list of human innovators. When free people are left to pursue their passions, ideas and concepts with no guarantees, the results are nothing short of spectacular. Just a few notable accomplishments include the light bulb, automobile, microchip, mobile phone and the Internet.

These successes are not a result of Americans being smarter, but merely that America provides a platform for success and attracts the world’s finest minds and risk takers to embark on invention, ideas and dreams.

Our country has accomplished this with one simple standard—freedom. In America, we agree that you are in charge of your own accomplishments. It started as a simple concept. We won’t tax unduly, regulate or oppress. On the contrary, we will encourage you to pursue your dreams and ideas. 

Now, our freedoms are under attack from both within and without. We mustn’t give in to this idea that letting government take just a little bit of our liberties will somehow make us better off. That somehow they know what’s better for you and me. That somehow taking a little bit more freedom will make us all safer.

As I write this from Chicago, I am sadly reminded of these freedoms that are under attack. The freedom and choice to protect oneself is not recognized here, where we have some of the most oppressive firearms laws in the country. Ironically, this oppression has resulted in one of the highest murder rates in the country. Worse yet, among 90 federal districts, this city recently ranked dead last in the country in prosecuting gun crimes. 

It’s a truly odd combination that leaves many guessing and asking, “Exactly what problem are we trying to solve?” Rather than prosecuting criminals—really putting our boots on and addressing what’s at the heart of all this—politicians offer half measures of one new law on top of another that never get enforced, slowly pecking away at our freedoms. To infringe on our right of how we choose to protect ourselves—the most basic of rights—is unacceptable. It is a fundamental responsibility of survival born within us. As a basic human right, it should never be voted on, discussed or amended.

Freedom comes with no guarantees, no ribbons for participation. It doesn’t guarantee you are special, or that you will have the American dream dropped in your lap. No, freedom simply gives you the opportunity to find a way, or to make your own. It does not come without risks or failures along the way. 

Freedom is not perfect. It’s messy. It’s hard work. And it’s the best system the world has to offer.

Our country finds itself in a fog of blame and division, but we will find a way. The beacon leading us is cloaked in freedom and our innate ability, as individuals, to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and get to the job at hand. 

We will win. Freedom always does.