12: Constitution

Every kid doesn’t want the freedom of adults, but I did. For my tenth birthday, I got a scale-model, gasoline, radio-controlled race car that I could drive in circles in an empty parking lot, but soon this was just a noisy toy. I wanted to have a real car; I didn’t want to have to be driven, or to be told what to do. I knew what I wanted— I pushed my parents to let me drive as soon as I could get a permit. Later, I used to lie to get the car; I said I promised my friends, because their parents weren’t as nice. I wanted the freedom I thought was guaranteed by the Constitution, but I had to beg for it. I approved of letting kids drink and drive. If they couldn’t handle it and got in a scrape, then they would learn better. Like Jeff, when he rolled his mother’s car with too many kids in the front seat, or Betty, who slammed into a telephone pole and was in a body cast for a year. Her father didn’t want the doctor to take it off. And Skip drank even more to help forget what he had done. It turns out that life is rough, but I could dish it out as well as suffer quietly. Thank God I wasn’t born in a totalitarian state where you have to pass a psychology test to drive a car or own a gun. I used to think a lot about this. I tell you, I love my country. No one can take that away from me. Traffic jams and laws are moving toward the time when the State controls what happens in our back yards and bedrooms. There’s no better freedom than to be driving 75 through the country with the wind in your hair and nothing to slow you down. I hate to be stuck behind an idiot driving 25 when everyone else wants to go over 35. They shouldn’t have a licence if they’re going to drive like old ladies. Speeding laws treat us like children, and children shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

Lead soldier