Friday, January 21, 2011

Freedom vs. Safety

Over at Roberta X's blog, she had a great post about the TJIC situation (here).  An Anonymous commenter in his/her last paragraph said:
" You can't have it both ways; you can't have a secure public AND respect their personal rights and freedoms."  
(As an aside, I'm noticing on just about everyone's postings about the TJIC situation is that when someone is defending the thug-tactics of the Arlington, MA police, they are commenting anonymously.  If you believe in your statement, you should at least be able to state it within the semi-anonymous working of the internet using your handle.)

My reply to the Anonymous commenter on Roberta's blog is:

Anonymous--There is absolutely no way to have a completely secure public. Life is risk. I'm not sure who said it originally, but there is no safety this side of the grave.

Personal rights and freedoms should always trump an unreachable goal. Otherwise we end up with the TSA and the confiscation of personal property without due cause.

The 1st Amendment came first because it was considered by the Founding Fathers to be the most important. To punish speech through the violation of the 2nd and 4th Amendment rights is abhorrent in a free society.
 I know that it's considered to be tacky in the blogworld to quote yourself, but I really want to expand on what I wrote above in stronger terms than I'd use on someone else's blog out of respect for their space.

It is completely incomprehensible to me that anyone could possibly excuse the actions of the Arlington, MA police and their actions, which anywhere else would have been the theft of private property, just as anyone would excuse the actions of the TSA and their intrusion into the free passage of the citizens of the United States through intrusive technologies and 'enhanced pat downs' that in any other situation in our society would be considered to be pornography, sexual harassment, and child molestation.

If anywhere in this country, a person can have their personal property confiscated because of a posting on the Internet (such as this one) that leads a bureaucratic hack to investigate their 'suitability' to be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights, then people need to, as Borepatch said, "Shine the bright sunlight of attention on them.", on their shady tactics.

The American public has slowly been leached of their sense of personal responsibility and and self-reliance, which has led to the government, on all levels, feeling that they are now above the citizenry that put them into place and that they can then trample the rights of those citizens at will "for the security of the people".

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.--Benjamin Franklin


Michael Fagan said...

"...I know that it's considered to be tacky in the blogworld to quote yourself..."

Not in this instance it's not; in this instance this is exactly the correct, non-tacky sort of thing to write.

I'd never heard of TJIC until reading about him the last couple of days, and being a Brit and on the other side of the world I'm an "outsider", in more than one sense, and enough so to disqualify me from the intended range of Martin Luther King's words when he wrote "..."Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality...", but I say that, in the relevant ethical sense, his delimitation of those remarks to the borders of the United States was wrong: I'm TJIC too.

Midwest Chick said...

Michael--yes you are. All freedom-loving folks are. Welcome and thank you!! :-)