Public safety: Be careful what you wish for

By Erik Rush •

In the wake of the February 14 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, the debate over gun violence, gun control, and the Second Amendment has been enflamed anew, with those on the right scrambling to preserve and defend firearms rights, and those on the left protesting and regurgitating baseless anti-gun propaganda on a dizzying scale.

Of course, we’ve had all of these arguments before, which I have addressed many times in this space. For those on the left, captained by progressive politicos who wish to render Americans unable to defend themselves against tyranny (the sole reason for the existence of the Second Amendment), useful idiots and the well-meaning deluded are rallying to manifest the impossible dream of a country without guns, except for those in the hands of the military, law enforcement, and those of sufficient stature and wealth to engage private security firms – you know, politicians, Hollywood celebrities and such.

It doesn’t seem to matter that statistics from around the world bear out that gun violence – as well as violent crime in general – typically skyrocket and remain high in scenarios in which firearms in the hands of the public are prohibited or severely restricted. Those on the left handily ignore the fact that even in the former Soviet Union – one of the most hard-line totalitarian regimes in history – criminals were still readily able to obtain firearms. The fact that in nearly all cases – at least in Western nations – more guns in the hands of private citizens typically result in less crime committed with firearms rather than more, is largely ignored and is seldom presented as an argument by gun rights supporters.

I recently read Robert Draper’s article “They are Watching You” in the February 2018 edition of National Geographic, which addresses the proliferation of surveillance technology and the scope of its use on a global scale. NatGeo, which is generally on board with everything espoused by the hard left (from histrionics over man-made climate change to the propriety of gender-bending politics), did allow Draper some latitude when it came to peripherally examining the ethics and morality of government agencies summarily invading individuals’ privacy ostensibly for the good of the collective.

Indeed, the NatGeo issue itself was entitled “The New Big Brother,” and featured other fare on surveillance – but as we know, it is quite common for those on both the left and the right to demonstrate a dangerous tendency to accept government intrusion as long as they believe it will serve their particular ideological bent. Draper does cite both Orwell and Huxley in his comparisons to emerging Western surveillance states, as well as the ubiquitous character of technology in the hands of private organizations and individuals; indeed, there have been high-profile instances wherein misfeasance and criminality on the part of government representatives have been exposed by technology in the hands of private citizens, such as the 1991 beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police.

That said, one still cannot render a convincing argument that surveillance technology in the hands of private citizens poses a greater threat to government or our liberty than the reverse.

“Even less quantifiable, but far more vexing, are the billions of images of unsuspecting citizens captured by facial recognition technology and stored in law enforcement and private-sector databases over which our control is practically nonexistent.”

– Robert Draper, “They are Watching You” National Geographic, February 2018

As we know, it has been argued that even the rise of Islamic extremism in the U.S., which of course became a national concern on September 11, 2001, may have been entirely orchestrated by globalist progressives in our own government seeking to create a climate in which the citizenry would not only accept, but welcome the advent of the surveillance state. Whether or not one subscribes to “9/11 Truther” hypotheses, at this juncture, it should be clear to any thinking American that many of those who’ve held the some of the more powerful positions in our national government are entirely capable of such action.

The point I am trying to make here is that there are still far too many Americans who possess an “it can’t happen here” attitude with regard to government tyranny, when if nothing else, the last ten years of political machinations have demonstrated that it most assuredly can. Certain measures initiated by the ostensibly conservative George W. Bush administration (the Patriot Act among them) to combat the aforementioned Islamist extremism problem were welcomed by many on the right, but these paved the way for monumental abuses by the Obama administration, most notably the domestic spying scandal that came to light in 2013.

On the bright side of the privacy issue, people are waking up to the potential for government intrusion into their personal affairs. For example, American consumers have been signing up in droves for a utility called the Defense Enabling and Assisting Framework (or DEAF), a State-of-the-Art digital security technology that protects cell phone communications. It bears mentioning that many of the company’s current subscribers are law enforcement bureaus and personnel.

Still, despite revelations concerning closeted faux conservatives in the Republican party, the domestic spying scandal, and the militarization of federal agencies – some of which contributed to the election of Donald Trump as our president, it is clear that Americans are going to have to become far, far more scrupulous with regard to what power they give to government, whether it be local, state, or federal – or more accurately, what power they allow government to appropriate.

In short: Be careful what you wish for.

Originally published in WorldNetDaily