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Freedom or Security?

We've all heard the famous quote of the American founding father, Benjamin Franklin:

"He that would give up even one freedom for security, deserves neither freedom nor security."

That statement was used frequently as an argument against the PATRIOT Act.
But in reality, we Americans make a personal decision to cede freedom for security all the time. And the amount of freedom given up is in direct proportion to the level of threat.

For example, we grant local police officers powers in return for the promise of protection or we grant airline security the power to search our belongings, something even the police would need probable cause to do anywhere else. Or on another level, people living in high crime neighborhoods put bars on their windows and doors and lock themselves up at night for protection. They give up the freedom to sit outside or walk around after dark for the benefit of security.

With freedom comes risk. As we enter another period of high threat, we Americans need to be vigilant that our government keeps the two opposing forces at the right ratio. A delicate balancing act indeed.