Friday, April 20, 2007

Freedom Or Security, You Choose

Lorie Byrd has a great article at Townhall today about the price of freedom and how it relates to the security of the places we frequent everyday.

As more becomes known about the Virginia Tech shooter, there will be more arguments made that if only a specific gun law had been different or if only a medical privacy law that might have kept the information of the shooter’s mental history concealed were not in place, or any number of other things had been different, this horrible event might have been prevented.

Certainly we should examine the specifics of the recent rampage at Virginia Tech and seek to learn any lessons from it that might prevent future school shootings. In the short term, a likely reaction will be to strengthen security measures in our schools and public places, and to attempt to understand and treat the underlying reasons a person might commit such an insane act.

But, unfortunately, without being able to read the murderer's mind, there is often not much that can be done. Short of erecting maximum security schools, it is difficult to stop a madman determined to kill. That is a horrifying thought, but sadly it is true. These are senseless acts of cruelty that are difficult to prevent.

I am often amazed that there are not more frequent terrorist attacks in the United States considering the great freedom we enjoy. There is little that could stop a madman with a weapon (gun, bomb, or whatever it may be) intent upon mass murder. We enjoy being able to go shopping and to the movies and to eat in restaurants without being stopped and searched by security. Most Americans don’t want metal detectors in every school and church and other public gathering place -- we already have to deal with them at all the airports and court buildings. But we do want to feel safe.
Read the entire article to get the full picture of what she is saying, but the truth is that freedom and security are a trade-off, the more of one you have the less of the other you get. We as Americans have to make a choice, do we value security so high that we are willing to give up personal freedom?

For me the answer is a definite NO! Criminals sitting in a jail cell are completely secure, but they have no freedom. With freedom comes the individual responsibility to take care of yourself and not play the blame game every time something happens that effects you adversely. As Americans we should have the utmost respect for our freedoms and liberties and do whatever it takes to keep them in their entirety.