Sometimes I think back on news stories that have bothered me over the years. There was one in Mobile and one in Huntsville, where the city council was trying to decide how many chickens people could have in their yards, and whether or not they could have a rooster at all.

Man, that one really got me fired up. What kind of world are we living in where it’s not people’s God given right to own chickens just because their neighbors don’t like the sound of a rooster crowing. The argument a lot of people made was that if you want to have chickens you need to live in the country.

There was another story out of Huntsville a few years ago where this couple wanted to live off the grid and be self-sufficient, but the city wouldn’t let him. Apparently if you live within city limits you have to use city utilities. That poor couple wasn’t hurting anyone, not even the environment, and it was against the rules.

Did you know it’s illegal to sell raw milk for human consumption in Alabama, and many other places in the United States. That’s right, we don’t have the freedom to buy fresh, unpasteurized milk, from local farmers.  The government says it poses a threat to public health.

Those are just a few of my grievances about personal freedom. Maybe it sounds redneck that I think people should be able to own chickens and use rainwater instead of city water and drink milk straight from the cow, I don’t know.

But, the thing is there is no such thing as true freedom. Not really.

I mean, we don’t have the freedom to grow pot or drink and drive or leave our kids in the car while we run in the store or kill people who need killing or steal a loaf of bread when we can’t afford it.

There are all kinds of freedoms we don’t have. Some make sense and some don’t. Some things seem obvious, and some don’t. 

What I’m getting at is, I don’t know why people are screaming that the government is taking away their personal freedom when it tells them to wear a face mask to protect themselves and others from a virus that is contagious and deadly for many people.  It’s really not that uncommon for the government to give us rules, and some of ya’ll are out there acting like this is something new.  Furthermore, there are a great many rules out there that really are stupid and deeply infringe on our rights as human beings. So many I can think of that it just seems petty to be upset over being asked to wear a face mask. Find a freedom that’s actually worth making a fuss over for goodness sake.

I saw this show a while back where this guy was talking about how he thought aliens had infiltrated earth, because why else would we do so many things that aren’t in our best interest, like destroy the planet with pollution and what not.

I’m starting to think that maybe that doesn’t sound so crazy.

Danielle Wallingsford Kirkland is a former Sentinel staff writer and correspondent. She can be reached at

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