Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ben Franklin S/R

Ben Franklin Quote S/R

Ben Franklin’s quote, which was written in 1759, demonstrates that freedom and liberty are more important than temporary safety. To paraphrase, Ben Franklin meant that if people are willing to give up some freedom and liberty for a little bit of safety, then they deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Ben Franklin correctly portrays how freedom and liberty are more important than safety because people who choose temporary safety over liberty, deserve neither. The American government, which is by the people and for the people, has stripped citizens of their rights. The privacy of the American people has and will be violated constantly by the government, which is supposed to be for the safety of the American people. Studies from CNN have shown that Transportation Security Administration has missed a whopping 95% of guns and bombs in recent security “red team” tests. CNN also writes, “But there's another conclusion, inescapable and disturbing to many, but good news all around: We don't need $7 billion worth of airport security” (cnn.com). CNN claims that the $7 billion we are spending on TSA annually is basically worthless, and only gives Americans another false sense of security. With the inconsistent and ineffective screenings already in use, more money should not be spent in this area. Instead, a more effective system should be put into operation. The very rare smart terrorists will easily find ways to bypass whatever we to implement. Or, they will find an easier target. These statistics are shocking, and concerning as well. Why would the American people choose to give up our liberty, freedom, and privacy when these devices prove to be ineffective? The NSA has been secretly invading our privacy for about 14 years, and the number of terrorists found: 0. With technology so advanced, and being boosted by money, a better way to use this technology must be found. Instead, the government chose to use it in order to give the American people a false sense of security. Safety is non temporary, while freedom and liberty should be permanent. However, by invading some privacy of the American people, the government provides safety. Although no terrorists have been found through security screenings, these devices stop potential danger, and could stop terrorists from even thinking about doing anything in the first place. Martin Rivers, a writer for The Guardian, agrees that things like airport security are extremely necessary in keeping America safe. Rivers writes, “As long as al-Qaida is devoted to finding gaps in airport security, we must be devoted to plugging them” (Rivers). Martin Rivers, along with many other Americans, believe this is one of many necessary inconveniences the citizens of America must go through in order to be safe. Aviation officials must wake up to the game changing threat new terrorists pose. Although some controversy, there has been success in the attempt to stop terrorism through airports. Since 9/11, there has been zero terrorist attacks on any plane in America. Also, by going through social media and using security cameras, the government stops terrorist attacks before they even become a plan. The government also needs to monitor the Internet just as they need to set speed limits on the public roadways. Without some monitoring and regulation, the population would run amok and be a threat to each other. As an American citizen, putting something on the internet is completely a choice. If you don’t have something to hide, then you should not be worried about what the government does. In short, what the government does regarding privacy issues and the rights of American citizens, is only an attempt to maintain national security, and keep the American people safe. At first glance, it might seem as if giving up our freedom for interim safety might be a good idea. This does seem compelling because devices such as surveillance cameras and security screenings are there for our safety, and do in fact help protect the American people. This is a helpful interpretation, but it is missing a key point. Although the intention of these security devices might appear good, it is only giving Americans a false sense of security. While safety does seem tempting, it is only temporary. Freedom and liberty is a right that should be permanent, and should not be taken away for something that can only last a small period of time. These rights may never return. Obviously the terrorists have easily found ways to go around the little security our government has to offer, as shown through events such as Paris, San Bernardino, and the bombing in Boston. The whole nation agrees that these tragedies must come to an end, yet the government’s actions toward this concern don’t seem to be helpful. The government has no right to invade our private lives by monitoring our internet activities. Such would be like having federal agents inspecting your mail, tracking the stores you went to and the things you purchased, or barging into your homes and searching, just to "make sure" you aren't engaging in any illegal activities. Of course the government should investigate reports of suspicious behavior, just like in the "real world". The internet is no different. If you think about it, the internet is really no more than an advanced mail service, which in turn is not more than an advanced way of conversing with another person. No one would stand to have federal agents following them around all day to listen to their conversations. Activities on the internet are extremely similar. The message that Ben Franklin sends is that freedom and liberty are far more important than short-term safety. The American citizens who choose safety over anything else, should deserve neither safety nor liberty.

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