Leave it to the nanny mayor to use the Boston bombing as an opportunity to argue that we need to be willing to give up our Constitutional liberties and live in a surveillance/police state in order to be more safe and secure. After all, let’s not forget that we still live in a post-9/11 era (and will for the rest of eternity), and things aren’t like they used to be in the “olden days.” We live in a dangerous world now with people who hate us for our freedoms. They seek to do us harm as evidenced in Boston. Here’s what he said at a press conference in Midtown:
“The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry. But we live in a complex world where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change… Look, we live in a very dangerous world. We know there are people who want to take away our freedoms. New Yorkers probably know that as much if not more than anybody else after the terrible tragedy of 9/11. We have to understand that in the world going forward, we’re going to have more cameras and that kind of stuff. That’s good in some sense, but it’s different from what we are used to. Clearly the Supreme Court has recognized that you have to have different interpretations of the Second Amendment and what it applies to and reasonable gun laws… Here we’re going to have to live with reasonable levels of security… It really says something bad about us that we have to do it. But our obligation first and foremost is to keep our kids safe in the schools; first and foremost, to keep you safe if you go to a sporting event; first and foremost is to keep you safe if you walk down the streets or go into our parks. We cannot let the terrorists put us in a situation where we can’t do those things. And the ways to do that is to provide what we think is an appropriate level of protection.”
So, since government’s first and foremost function is not to support and defend the Constitution but to keep Americans safe and secure at all times, their solution is to take away people’s freedoms, hoping that by the time we’re completely unfree, then the terrorists will no longer hate us.
But maybe Bloomberg is at odds with the American people on this. And since he bases his decisions on opinion polls, he should be concerned.
In the same way that pollsters did surveys right after Aurora and Newtown to gauge whether or not Americans were “ready” for more strict gun control, the Washington Post did a poll just a couple days after the Boston bombings that asked a very simple and straightforward question that sought to measure whether or not people were “ready” to give up their Constitutional liberties in the fight against terrorism. Here was its question:
“Which worries you more: that the government will not go far enough to investigate terrorism because of concerns about constitutional rights, or that it will go too far in compromising constitutional rights in order to investigate terrorism?”
Somewhat shocking to me was the response. Forty-eight percent of the respondents said that they worried more about the compromising of Constitutional rights, compared to only forty-one percent who said that they worried more about the government not being able to go far enough to investigate terrorism because of pesky Constitutional rights.
This is much like the gun control debate. How many school shootings would it take in order for you to be willing to finally give up your guns? What if the media coverage of the next school massacre was really scary? What if one of your own kids was a victim? Then would you be willing to give up your guns?
How many terrorist attacks do we have to endure before we’re willing to give up our 4th Amendment liberties that guarantee that Americans are “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” unless there is probably cause and a warrant? The 4th Amendment states that that right “shall not be violated.” Kind of like the 2nd Amendment’s “shall not be infringed.” So what part of “shall not be violated” do these government officials not understand?
Thomas Jefferson said that the beauty of the 2nd Amendment is that it won’t be needed until they try to take it away. The same is true for the 4th Amendment. “They” use school massacres and mass murders as excuses to try to take away our 2nd Amendment liberties. And “they” are trying to use the Boston bombings as reasons to take away our 4th Amendment liberties. Are you willing to give up Constitutional liberties in order to have a false sense of security provided by the State?