Recent news about cell phone giant Verizon is a bit disconcerting. Every phone record of every Verizon customer is now an open book to our government. Can we not call mom without it being the government’s business? Is there no such thing as “personal” anymore? Alarmingly the answer is no.
No one wants a terrorist living next door. We do not want people roaming our country looking for lives and buildings to destroy.
Our FBI, CIA and military intelligence must be commended and praised for their efforts to prevent heinous acts from happening in our country.
However, our liberty is at risk when anyone from the government can show up at any time and search through our homes, invade our personal property, invade our banking account information, go through our mail and family picture albums, or go through all of our computers to see every web page we’ve ever browsed. The books we read at the library, our newspaper subscriptions and what we bought at the grocery store is nobody else’s business. I hear the argument “If you aren’t hiding anything then what do you care?” I care because, as a United States citizen, it is an invasion of our liberty. One invasion leads to another. The loss of freedom is slowly eroding in our country.
The government is supposedly protecting you. Then one day we wake up in fear of making a move without government permission.
Any invasion of our personal lives or privacy should go through proper channels and the legal process of being granted an investigative search warrant. In this scenario papers would have to be filled out explaining why such a search is necessary. Authorities who do such random searches must be held accountable for any damage done to the citizen’s home, family pictures, files, computers, clothes or any item that has been touched or mishandled in anyway.
Authorities who search without just cause should be responsible for dry cleaning bills, carpet cleaning, painting and the purchase of new electronics if any of the electronics are damaged. If the suspicions end up true and the raided house ends us revealing someone who is plotting to hurt others then that changes the scenario.
Those who search should never be allowed to destroy someone’s home and leave it in a state of disaster.
When someone is suspected as being a threat to hurting anyone or suspected of being a terroristic threat to a community or our nation then of course everything must be done to determine what is going on and every precaution taken to save lives.
The truth of the matter is that if the FBI invades a person’s home and does a search and they find 50 guns it doesn’t mean anything. Many people collect guns. If the person has told people about his plans to shoot people at the movie theatre or if he has written threatening stuff on Face book then the authorities have every right to take his guns, investigate and arrest him if they find documented facts.
The Patriot Act was established after the 911 attacks. We will never forget the heinous crimes committed against our country. The question is this, “Has the patriot act made us safer as a nation?
The Patriot Act has given the government more freedom to invade any person’s privacy in Any Place, USA, but has it made you safer? Do you feel safer because of the Patriot Act? Since the Patriot Act there have been countless episodes of violence that the new law has not prevented throughout the states. Military base shootings, office shootings, campus shootings, movie theatre shootings and more.
For every terroristic act that has been stopped we celebrate as a country and thank those involved in preventing it.
The Patriot Act needs to be edited. Our citizens should only have to fear criminals and terrorists, not government officials with a license to violate our civil liberties. There should be a compromise and a system of checks and balances that protect the freedom of Americans as well as keeping us safe.
• Glenn Mollette is the author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion, plus hundreds of other stories, articles and books. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org