Friday, March 20, 2009

"Big Brother" Getting Bigger?

Under legislation introduced this week, "a local unit of government may by ordinance require the fingerprinting of door-to-door solicitors, taxi cab drivers or other drivers for hire, or street vendors or other transient merchants for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information on those individuals." House Bill 4601 would ostensibly provide us more security. Hmm, it reminds me of a quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin: "Those who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither and will likely lose both." I have seen this quote in several different forms, but the essential truth is always the same.

The question is, how much of our freedoms do we really want to sacrifice for more perceived security. If one "undocumented taxi cab driver" robs or assaults a fare, does that mean we need to subject every taxi cab driver in town to fingerprinting? And even if we do, will it actually reduce the incidence of crime? A larger question might be, how much more power do we want to give to government? When will the citizens, the voters stand up and say, "Enough!" Stay tuned.

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