Do you know your rights
Editorial By The Ranger Staff
The 10th anniversary of 9/11 this week has the nation reflecting on how the world and our country haves changed since then.
For many of our readers, those events occurred half a lifetime ago. Others may have lived the majority of their lives in the “post 9/11 world.”
While the nation mourns and remembers the losses we suffered that day, we also should think about the important things we willingly gave up in the months and years that followed.
After 9/11, we traded a little bit of our freedom for a little bit more security.
In the United States, our freedom is like our identity, so it’s important to educate ourselves about the trade we’re making.
It doesn’t matter where you stand on the issue. Just educate yourself about it. Read the Patriot Act.
Learn why Guantanamo Bay is so controversial.
Know all the details of the First and Fourth Amendments. Decide exactly where you stand on the use of torture and warrantless wiretaps on your phone.
People say, “Freedom isn’t free.” Well, neither is security. The cost of security is freedom.
Decisions made in haste and during a period of high emotion rarely turn out well.
Imagine going to a car dealership and telling the salesperson, “I’m in desperate need of a car right now. I don’t care what it costs. I don’t want to know anything about it.
“Just do whatever you need to and put me in a car today.” That would be the best thing that ever
happened to that salesperson, and that’s essentially what we said to the government after 9/11.
Don’t hide behind the false belief that if you have nothing to hide, it shouldn’t bother you.
Losing even a small amount of all the rights we’re ever going to have always should be a concern.
Letting go of something so precious is a decision that should be considered with the highest degree of thought and education.
Some people would prefer to let the government do whatever they need to do to keep us safe.
Others are willing to give up only some rights for increased safety. That’s fine if you feel that way; some people can’t handle too much freedom.
But always keep in mind that the government doesn’t just borrow our rights. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever, and we have only a limited number of those rights to begin with.
So mourn our lost loved ones and remember how that day made you feel.
And then think of one more thing: Right now, thousands of Americans are spending their lives in places described as “maximum security.” Just ask some of them how free they feel.
Originally published: Friday, September 16, 2011