The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
When it rains, it pours
February 24, 2024
Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
Items from Lt. Col. David Michael Booth, Class of 1964, on display at the Muster Reflections Display in the Memorial Student Center on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Muster Reflections Display held ahead of ceremony
Hilani Quinones, Assistant News Editor • April 18, 2024

Until April 21, visitors can view personal memorabilia from fallen Aggies who will be honored at the 2024 Muster Ceremony. The Aggie Muster...

Julia Cottrill (42) celebrating a double during Texas A&Ms game against Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Muffled the Mean Green
Shanielle Veazie, Sports Writer • April 17, 2024

Early pitching woes gave Texas A&M softball all the momentum needed to defeat the University of North Texas, 11-1, in a matchup on Wednesday,...

The Highway 6 Band performs while listeners slow dance at The Corner Bar and Rooftop Grill on Sunday, March 24, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
'Life is a Highway' (6 Band)
Amy Leigh Steward, Assistant Life & Arts Editor • April 17, 2024

It starts with a guitar riff. Justin Faldyn plays lead, pulling rock and blues out of the strings.  After a beat, comes the beat of the drums,...

Think your music taste somehow makes you different? Opinion writer Isabella Garcia says being unique is an illusion. (Photo by Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Opinion: The myth of uniqueness
Isabella Garcia, Opinion Writer • April 16, 2024

You’re basic. It’s thought that the term “basic bitch” originated from a 2009 video of Lil Duval standing on a toilet in front of...

Freedoms vs. safety

In the wake of the historically horrific events of Sept. 11, the United States has been faced with a question that defines the character of our nation: Is the U.S. willing to sell freedom for safety? While the images of terror, fear and rage remain fresh within the minds of Americans, it is important to take a deep breath, collect thoughts and remain steadfast in the defense of the liberties that have allowed our country to become great.
However, this is not what is happening. Instead, Congress is considering laws that will infringe on our rights. And the citizens of America seem more apathetic regarding this issue than ever. In this time of trial, citizens must not succumb to any hastily composed acts of government that would require a reduction in the amount of freedoms.
In the government’s attempt to legislate an end to terrorism, the Anti-Terrorists Act of 2001 is being pushed through Congress. This is an interesting legislative idea. How does one pass laws that will prohibit militant extremists that are willing to sacrifice their own lives for their cause? While one can argue that most of the legislation contained within the Anti-Terrorism Act does not infringe upon American civil liberties, there are some notable instances that do — a substantial liberation of wiretapping regulations, the expansion of governmental ability to conduct secret searches (searches conducted without notifying the citizens whose possessions are being searched), the ability to indefinitely imprison foreigners residing within the country legally without a trial, and allowing the government to seize the assets of people accused and not yet convicted of a crime.
If these newly found governmental powers were only used to catch the bad guys they would be great. But these new powers would not be applied in a box. They could and would be applied in a blanket fashion to all residing in America.
While the preservation of liberties would have been at least a conscious thought in most minds, a recent poll conducted by the Dallas Morning News reported that 37 percent of Texans would “forego `a lot’ of their personal freedoms and 41 percent would curb some of their freedoms” for increased safety. What happened to the rugged individualistic Texan — the Texan that defended their freedom so vehemently when phrases like “You can take my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands” defined the majority view?
The numbers get worse as we look at a national level. USA Today reported that 78 percent of Americans find it acceptable to videotape public places and 71 percent want a new national ID system based on fingerprints and retinal scans. Why even make these changes? At what point would retinal scans over photo ID’s or cameras recording our movements in public places halted the hijacking of four jetliners? They would not. So why stop there? If Americans want real safety, why not allow the government to put Orwellian telescreens in our homes and chips in our heads? Of course, there would have to be a chip insertion station at Ellis Island to catch all those immigrating in. The quote at the base of the Statue of Liberty would have read “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning for something kinda sorta like freedom.”
This vision seems inevitable under the current apathy of the American people. President Bush said the state of our nation is strong. He is correct if the strength of our nation is correlated to the number of flags we buy and the willingness of citizens are to immediately dispose of the fundamental values that made our nation great.
The protection of civil liberties has never been easy. To uphold such liberties means that a guilty man may go free over the imprisonment of an innocent one, that expressions of free speech might offend or that society may not be as safe as other more totalitarian states. But upholding such liberties guarantees that Americans will remain a free people. And that is the defining characteristic of this nation that makes people proud to be American.

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