I got this image from Occupy Posters on Facebook.  When I first saw it, I was slightly bothered by the obvious ‘gimme, gimme’ handout attitude.

According to their Facebook page:

Occupy Posters –NameRemoved – The issue is *status in law*. A “privilege” and a “right” in law have different statuses. Courts view a “right,” and rational state abridgements of a right with much stricter scrutiny than something encoded in to law as a “privilege.” In law, obtaining post-secondary education in the U.S. is a privilege whereas obtaining a gun is a right. That’s askew to say the least. Does that help?

    Now, if their objective is to amend the US Constitution so that all citizens are guaranteed a right to higher education I could probably support that.  But, I don’t think that’s their end game.  There is nothing in common here, you can’t even complain it’s an apples to oranges comparison. This a comparison of apples to lug nuts.  Notice that little ball-and-chain called ‘debt’?  It seems they’re asking for the right to a Free education.  Also, notice the blood on the NRA figure’s chest.  It seems they are saying that everyone with a gun is a bloodthirsty killer.  Such overly broad generalizations are a major sore point for me.
    Now, I’m a believer in a good education.  And, I do think college/university is getting rather too expensive (we’ll be paying my wife’s student loans off for decades to come).  But, I can’t say that I support a free higher education for every-single-American.
    The reason the founding fathers included a right to bear arms in the Bill of Rights was because they saw the value in an armed citizenry.  They just dealt with a regime that actually tried to take their firearms from them. The British tried to seize the arms of Lexington and Concord in April 19, 1775, leading to the famous ride of Paul Revere regarding The British are Coming.  And, on April 20, 1775, Patrick Henry faced off with the Governor of Virginia over an attempt to seize a gunpowder store in Williamsburg.  Of course, firearms confiscation and limits have continued in this country right through today.  Notices reportedly went out to New York City residents in mid-November 2013 to surrender their rifles and shotguns able to hold more than 5 rounds to their local police department, or permanently remove or sell the firearm.  The state of New York also has the SAFE act, which limits firearms to 7 rounds.  Nationally, we’ve had to deal with firearms limits starting with the National Firearms Act of 1934 which put constraints on fully automatic firearms and their ownership.
    It’s estimated that there are approximately 300 Million firearms in the US, with a population of around 309 Million people.  According to recent Gallup polls, somewhere between 35 and 40 percent of the population owns a firearm.  About 74 Million people are under the age of 18 and can’t legally own a firearm (though they may in fact be in possession of one), and then there are restrictions on people convicted of felonies, domestic violence, are under a domestic violence protection order or who have been adjudicated mentally deficient by a court.  So, if you own a firearm, you likely have four or more.  In 2010 there were a little over 11 Thousand homicides by firearm.  As a simple thought experiment, 308,745,538 – 74,181,326 = 234,564,212 adult people, of which we’ll say 37.5% own a firearm = 87,961,579 people.  If we say that each firearm homicide (11,078) was by a different individual, and add in non-fatal assault (53,738) and unintentional injuries (14,161), once again assuming a separate responsible individual for each victim you end up with 87,882,602 firearms owners that didn’t kill or injure someone else. In other words, 99.91% of firearms owners didn’t hurt anyone else.
    So, because less than 1/10 of 1% of firearms owners hurt someone else, it’s apparently wrong to let the rest of the country’s citizens to own a gun if they want one?
    The cost of higher education has skyrocketed over the decades.  I do agree that this is a problem.  But, there are plenty of options available for those that want to continue their education.  Four decades ago when my dad went to college tuition and books were several hundred dollars.  When I attended in the early ’90’s it was several thousand a year.  Now, it looks like costs have roughly trebled since I attended and are only looking to go up by the time my daughter graduates high school.  However, those that want to attend can apply themselves while in high school to earn scholarships or get grants.  Another option is military service. There are also student loans.  But, I guess that is the problem here.  People taking out too much in student loans that have to be paid back.
     Of course, where you attend can make a big difference in how much you have to pay.  Wisely choosing your institution of higher learning is very important.  Not everyone should attend Harvard or the like when State is less expensive but just as worthy.  In state tuition is cheaper than out of state.  A community college may even be more appropriate for your needs.  But, the biggest factor is your determination to get a college education.
    Sacrifice may be in order if you’re not already wealthy.  Ramen and macaroni could end up being a staple of your diet.  Second hand clothes and a used bike may be your routine.  Working a full-time job while attending part-time classes might be your path.  You aren’t entitled to a free college education, just as you aren’t entitled to a free firearm.  The choices you make in life will determine much about how costly your education is.  And, those choices start well before you decide to attend college.
    According to the US Census there were over 133 Million adults with a college degree, that’s 56.85% of the adult population.  I haven’t seen anyone proposing legislation to restrict people from attending college.  No one is saying you can’t attend, just that it’s going to cost you something.  No one is trying to take your degree away from you.  No one is trying to abridge your right to a college education. That’s kind of the point when delineating when to make something a “Privilege” and versus a “Right”.
    There is something ‘Askew’ here, but it’s the mentality that something should be handed to you simply because you want it now.