Thursday, December 11, 2008

Where Have Our Civil Liberties Gone?

During this holiday season Americans increase their travel via airplanes to see loved ones across our nation or overseas. During the screening process at airports, we are subjected to several inspections that infringe on our civil liberties that we hold dear in this country. Granted that I don’t have a ton of experience flying, but when I have traveled through airport security it seems that the federal government is creating more and more ways to overstep my civil liberties granted by the Constitution. At what point will Americans say enough is enough and stop letting the government infringe on their rights.

As an American, should I not be able to take a gun or knife on a plane with me if I want to? Isn’t our country founded on the principles of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights? Why does the government have the right to prevent me from doing these things?

In the current world that we live in with the Global War on Terror, Americans have seemed very willing to sacrifice their civil liberties in order to be more secure from terrorist attacks. At airports, passengers are randomly pulled aside and subjected to a process that often involves taking off one’s clothes down to their under garments. Granted that this is done behind closed doors, why should we let the government humiliate us in this manner? Americans have also accepted the consequences of the Patriot Act, which allowed federal agents to wiretap phone lines of people that had suspected ties to terrorists. What gives the government the right to listen to my private conversations?

When Americans feel threatened they are often willing to sacrifice things that they hold dear in order to be secure. However, what will Americans do if one day the government tells them that they can no longer own guns or that magazines and newspapers can’t publish articles that criticize the government? The line has to be drawn somewhere. Maybe it’s with no new airport security measures or now new laws prohibiting how guns can be used or carried. If we don’t, then the government will continue placing more restrictions on Americans’ civil liberties during times of crisis and then not remove them later.

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