Trade: liberty or safety

05.12.06 | 1 Comment

A recent Washington Post-ABC poll indicated that 63% of Americans found the NSA telephone monitoring program to be an acceptable way to investigate terror. I fear we may be forgetting about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in our rush to feel “safe.”

OK, here are some facts about safety:

  • Number of Americans killed by terror 2001-03: 2,927
  • Number of Americans killed by gun 2001-03: 89,951
  • Number of Americans killed by car 2001-03: 134,495
  • Estimated number of Americans killed by tobacco 2001-03: 1,200,000

Note: The Centers for Disease Control maintain a comprehensive mortality database.

Are we really safer? Or are we simply buying into a corrupt and erosive process that damages our democracy? In my opinion, it’s time to dust off this quote and put it to use:

They who would give up an essential liberty for safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety – Benjamin Franklin

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