Monday in Baltimore, MD peaceful protests over the death of Freddie Gray from injuries sustained while in police custody turned violent. After days of peaceful demonstrations, riots broke out. Stores were burned and looted and several police were injured. There is the video that has now gone viral of the mother who went out into the chaos to grab her son and bring him back home. Tuesday morning saw another encouraging sign, citizens taking it upon themselves to clean up the damage from the riots. Kids offered police bottles of water, men stood in front of the police picket line, putting themselves between the police and potential troublemakers. As a result, Tuesday night was much quieter, the citizens seem to have taken back their city from a violent rabble. They found the internal fortitude to take things into their own hands. They made a collective decision to exercise personal responsibility for the well-being of their neighborhood.
Those interested in personal liberty should take note, freedom comes with responsibility. It’s not easy, sometimes it can be downright dangerous. My sincere hope is that these citizens will build upon their new-found commitment to personal responsibility. Those who want to have freedom, in this case the simple freedom to walk down the street in safety, will hopefully make the connection between their decision to change their circumstances, taking direct action and the success they achieved in restoring order to their city. Freedom to live in peace sometimes requires exercising one’s freedom to act in one’s own behalf.