It bugs me every time I hear it or see it in print, but I haven’t been able to articulate it. I will try anyway:
I do not want (nor could I ever believe it would be possible) for someone in government to “keep me safe”. I feel all icky whenever a politician, or anyone else, but especially a politician, tries to assure us that they’re working hard to “keep us safe”. I liked Joe’s title to a post on June 24th (“Help Kill Terrorists”) because it more clearly and directly addresses the job at hand.
When our president, blowhard senator du jour, or DC culture kool-aid drinker talks about “public safety” I feel a lot like I did after a middle-aged man approached me at a Spokane, WA city park when I was around 7 years old. He asked me if I wanted to earn five dollars. “OK” I said, whereupon he led me to the restrooms and asked to see my underwear. I dashed right out of there of course, and never forgot the lesson: Someone you should be able to trust can turn out to be a predatory scumbag who sees you as nothing more than a means to his self gratification.
So here’s the deal. I DO NOT want to be kept “safe” by my government. Letting them try is far too dangerous. I want my kids to feel reasonably safe, sure, and aware of their surroundings at the same time, but that is my responsibility and mine alone. It is not the government’s job to make us “safe”. It is the government’s job to be there to retaliate when someone violates our rights, and to make it known that the retaliation will be sure and swift. To value human rights is to demonstrate intolerance for human rights violations.
In the best of circumstances you are going to be exposed to many risks (some of the richest lives are full of risks) and guess what; you are still going to die. Its what we DO WITH OUR LIVES that matters, and for that we need maximum Liberty. Living in a padded room in solitary confinement might be considered “safe” but somehow I doubt that is what the Founders of this Republic had in mind when they wrote the Bill of Rights.
When it comes to terrorism I want one thing and one thing only– I want the Jihadi sons of bitches to die. That is all. I want them, and anyone who supports them, hunted down, shot (or bombed, etc.) and left to die in the dirt. Let their countrymen clean up the mess, too– that’s not our job. That killing the jihadis might make a few of us more “safe” is a side benefit. Liberty and Justice are the aim here, and they’re not the same thing as safety. They are very different, though slightly overlapping, concepts that should never be confused.
Meanwhile, I will not be trying to delude myself into believing that I am ever safe, either from the jihadi idiots, or from politicians trying to chip away at my rights for their self gratification.
I want to live in a civilized, polite society. I do NOT want to live in a society with barriers, checkpoints, restrictions, surveillance, or some dipshit walking up to me and demanding, “papers please” no matter how “safe” a few deluded individuals might feel, and no matter how important it makes a politician or a woman in uniform feel.
So, Mister politician, lay off the talk about “safety” and start talking Liberty. You couldn’t take the danger out of life even if you genuinely tried. I want to you to protect our Liberty, and though there may be some overlap with safety, Liberty is a very different and far more precious thing. It is the American way, and as much as you might like to forget it, you are sworn to it.
I think the slogan for the web site, American Snipers, then, should read: “Help real snipers get the real gear they need to kill more terrorists more efficiently.” I like that.