An Argument for Civil Disobedience Are acts of civil disobedience ever appropriate? According to American history, acts of disobedience in the face of tyranny are not only appropriate but expected. The very fabric of this nation was shaped by acts of civil disobedience and rebellion. Human morality is not always defined by governmental regulations and when those regulations are in direct defiance of morality, it is the people’s obligation to stand with their beliefs and change the government.
The United States of America as we know it was created by acts of disobedience. Thoreau states “the character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished”. Our own founding fathers embodied the principles of disobedience by rebelling against the tyranny of England by writing the Declaration of Independence because their morality conflicted with English governmental policies. Even colonists, refusing to be over taxed on imports, were responsible for the Boston Tea Party.
The freedom we enjoy today was the direct result of disobedience. The government created by our founding fathers was not immune to its own conflict with moral conscience leading to disobedience and rebellion. For example, the civil rights movement of the 1960’s was fueled by acts of civil disobedience. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, her passive defiance personified civil disobedience. In the minds of civil rights leaders, the Jim Crow laws which defined segregation were inappropriate. They believed skin color did not define human worth.
Civil rights activists actively defied the government, changing policies, and earning equal rights for all races. Our current presidential administration is not immune to defiance. In the passage “Civil Disobedience”, Thoreau summarizes that elected officials can pervert the concepts of government and its power to satisfy personal agendas. The Obama administration and its efforts toward gun control have spurred a new generation of disobedient citizens across the nation. Ordinarily law abiding citizens are purchasing guns and ammunition at an alarming rate and are daring the government to take them away.
Americans even use social media, such as Facebook, to challenge the disarming of its citizens. Law enforcement officials are writing statements vowing to disallow federal officials to confiscate the guns our president is trying to ban. If our past dictates our future, the people will prevail and President Obama will fail. The spirit of the American people is by definition, disobedient. Our conscience refuses to allow government to abuse its citizens physically, mentally, or financially. “The government is best which governs not at all. ” -Henry David Thoreau
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