A blog devoted to law, politics, philosophy, & life. Nothing in this blog is to be construed as legal advice.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Civil Rights in an Age of Terrorism

If I were running for office, I would give the following stump speech when asked the cliched question: “How do we balance freedom with security?”

I am tired of hearing people say that because we are fighting a borderless “war on terror” we should be willing to surrender our civil rights. Indeed, we should more vigorously exercise our civil rights. Freedom leads to safety.

Exercise your constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Keep a gun (and know how to use it) for emergencies. Train your children and siblings firearm usage and safety. There is no better way to protect yourself than firearm possession. States that recognize this ultimately enact concealed carry laws, which allow law-abiding citizens to carry a firearm for protection. Certainly terrorists, both foreign and domestic, are less likely to attack an armed populace. The thug on the street is less likely to enter your home if he suspects you are armed. The terrorist is less likely to enter the public square with a bomb if he knows you are armed – and watching.

Exercise your civil right to oberve the suspicious acts of others. Whenever flying, I keep alert for suspicious activities. When at a public place I am on the look-out for all types of evildooers, be they drunks or potential terrorists.

Exercise your constitutional right to profile. Although government-sponsored racism is immoral and illegal, keeping private eyes on Arab men between the ages of 18-35 is not only constitutional (as the constitution only prohibits state action), it is prudent. Indeed, I racially profile to the extent that when I see white males in camoflague, I am ready to defend myself and others. Perhaps we have a Tim McVeigh in the group. We do know, after all, that white men in militias are not the most stable group.

Study the martial arts and remain prepared to help members of your community in need. I beat up a neighbor who used to abuse his dogs. I regularly prevent hooligans from cutting in line or bullying the weak.

Exercise your First Amendment right of freedom of thought. Turn off SportsCenter, The O’Reilly Factor, and Rush Limbaugh and pick up a book. Not the stuff of pundits such as Ann Coulter or Al Franken. Study the warrior philosophies of the East and West. Read Sun Tzu’s the Art of War and Von Clausweitz’s On War. Ask yourself if mistreating prisoners of war in Iraq is consistent with the teachings of these two experts.

Study the philosophical classics of Plato, Artistotle, Locke, and Hume. Ask yourself, Are my leaders speaking truth or telling me lies, noble lies, for my own good? Cross-reference Bill Clinton’s taking holy communion with the appropriate advice Machavelli gives politicians in The Prince.

Always ask yourself: Is my government telling me the truth?

If you exercise your civil rights to their fullest, you will find that safety invariable follows. You will be protected from evil that comes from all sources, including the government.