Friday, June 24, 2016

BALANCING SECURITY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES

Following every attack America faced, our leaders vowed to protect the American way of life, our shared values, interest, and well-being. In the face of fear, adversity, and heartache, we pledge to carry on undeterred with our daily lives, no matter the difficulty, preventing our enemies from gaining even the slightest advantage. As a once we show fear and allow our enemies to intimidate us, we advance their cowardly cause and provide precedent for their unholy movement. In addition, we cannot let tragedy be the catalyst for government or any entity to usurp our rights bestowed upon our society through precedent and tradition.

In moment of challenges, society turns to their elected officials, but the response from our government, mainly those administering our national security and public safety, fail to meet the challenges of the moment. After the attack on a holiday party on California, our federal government used the event as an impetus to permit government to set aside privacy rights in order to provide public safety. While the general public could understand that the privacy rights of horrible thugs that took innocent lives are not worth protecting, the general public needed to realize the dangerous precedent afforded to federal government that would go well past national security. Innocent Americans should not be forced to trade in their rights in order for government to provide security and safety. The burden of government needing to innovate and think ahead should not fall on the shoulders of the innocent. As the current administration demonstrated, government is dangerous with limitless interference to the privacy of others.

In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously reassured Americans that all the public had to fear was fear itself. Diverting from this notion, our current leadership and many prominent members of his party press Americans to expand their fears, even fabricating fears to push their legislative agenda. In the face of such tragedy, opportunistic politicians shamefully sought to exploit the situation, promoting policies proved to not work. Keeping weapons out of the hands of dangerous criminals, terrorists, and those that wish to harm Americans is important, fostering fear in hopes of weakening our constitutional rights is not appropriate. Federal background checks are in place, but enforcement apparently is not. A person twice investigated by the federal government for terror incidents is able to pass federal checks.

The answer to these situations is not making citizens abandon their rights. Nor is it accepting this as a new normal. We cannot disavow who we are simply because of fear. Freedom and liberty do present a challenge, but the responsibility of government to find ways to punish the guilty not the innocent. It appears this administration is troubled in distinguishing the two.