Aspects of Freedom and Security

Introduction

Freedom and security can fail to exist at the same time. For instance, people desire to be free to own and use firearms to defend themselves. However, there is adequate evidence that shows that even guns obtained legally can be used to commit crimes. For example, cases of domestic violence that escalated to the point of one individual using a firearm to murder others in their house exist. Others have used these guns in mass shootings, whereby many innocent Americans have lost their lives. The government uses restrictions to reduce or eliminate the number of cases of insecurity. However, concerns exist about the attempts of the government to keep the country safe.

The same happens regarding the issue of eavesdropping by the National Security Agency on American citizens. Accessing phone records allows the government to stay ahead of any plans for attacks. Until now, it has been proven that the United States security agencies have done a great job of preventing attacks by obtaining quality intelligence. However, some people view this as an infringement of their privacy and, thus, freedom. This paper summarizes two articles on freedom and security and responds to the issues raised.

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Summary of Reading One

In this era where there are threats of insecurity, especially from terrorist groups, it is difficult to find the balance between allowing freedom and also being cautious. The article Liberty vs. Security: An old debate renewed in the age of terror by Haynes (2015) addresses the issue of the National Security Agency using its power to spy on Americans’ phones. A section of some politicians embraces the idea while others do not. The USA Freedom Act dictates that every American has the right to privacy, which means that if the bill passes, then eavesdropping will stop. It has already passed the House, and it is heading to the Senate, where there are individuals who want the NSA to continue getting phone records of the people.

It is important to note that even some of the people at the agency do not believe that collecting phone data from citizens will help prevent terrorist attacks. The bill has led to a division among the Republicans as there is a group named the libertarians who support stopping the programs of eavesdropping on people (Haynes, 2015). The second group is that of members who want the program to remain. For instance, Presidential aspirant Rand Paul wants to permit the section used to order mass surveillance to be removed, whereas Senate Leader McConnell wants it to remain. The author insists that a balance be found to ensure that the people benefit.

Response to Reading One

I believe that it is important that the NSA continue to keep track of all phone events of the people to help prevent terrorism. Radical Islamists have claimed to desire to harm the Americans and every ally to them. It has been witnessed even in other countries collaborating with the United States. Despite the threats from radical groups, most of the terrorist attacks intended for American soil have failed. The main reason behind the many failed attacks is the commitment of the government through its security agencies to prepare and fight terrorism. This also could not be possible without much intelligence obtained from intercepting communications by the National Security Agency.

The government describes the agency as the most essential technical advantage it has in the war against enemies who do not hesitate to take their own lives as long as they kill the innocent. Collecting phone records of the people ensures that the NSA can identify any communication that could relate to terrorism. This makes it easy to prevent an attack instead of waiting for it to happen. The CIA is great at using its agents to spy on terrorist groups, but it is hard to do so. Intercepting communication is the best and easiest method the government can help keep the country safe.

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Summary of Reading Two

The article A pro-liberty case for gun restrictions is about the renewed intensity with which the country has started the discussion on the issue of gun control. Stanley (2018) states that among the main arguments that gun advocates have against the limitations and regulations on firearms is freedom. They claim that the people have the right to be free to possess firearms and defend themselves, plus that broad possession by citizens is a precautionary measure against the likelihood of oppression by the government. Whereas the restrictions have to be unbiased and the implementation follows due process, the Constitution allows limits on guns sale as well as ownership (Stanley, 2018). There is a pattern in the country that shows more people owning firearms and using them for the wrong intentions. Those advocating for expansive rights on guns might have to consider this in their continued efforts against government regulations. Mass shootings lead to a feeling of insecurity as well as anxiety that the politicians will look to address. Many lives have been lost to issues such as gun violence since it is easy to own one. People supporting the freedom of owning guns can choose restrictions or government surveillance.

Response to Reading Two

The government controlling ownership and use of guns is a great thing to do and ensures the security of the people. This is because it prevents most mass shootings and fails to grant permission to individuals who have a history of violence. Almost seventy-five percent of the mass shootings happening in the United States involve the use of a firearm that was obtained legally. Through the establishment of more limitations on lawful purchases, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of incidents that involve mass shootings occurring.

Additionally, private-sale exemptions are available under the United States Constitution. They do not need a background check on a person attempting to acquire a firearm. The Brady Bill dictates that a private seller is allowed to sell a gun to an unlicensed individual residing in the state. This is allowed, however, only if the seller does not have information about the other person’s prohibition of acquiring a firearm. Even though some state laws have closed the gap, it is still likely for individuals who are prohibited to still buy one. The regulations on gun ownership and use could prevent such cases from happening.

Conclusion

The paper has discussed two articles that both address the issue of freedom and security. In the country, people have complained about gun control as well as the NSA collecting phone data of citizens. They claim that the two go against the idea of freedom. However, what they fail to understand is that the government uses various measures, including eavesdropping on its citizens and restricting gun ownership, to help protect them. It is also important that the government finds a balance that will work for both sides.

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References

Haynes, D. D. (2015). Liberty vs. security: An old debate renewed in the age of terror. Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. Web.

Stanley, J. (2018). A pro-liberty case for gun restrictions. ACLU. Web.

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