More Government Cameras Are Not the Answer

I find it a little odd that the answer to the question of how to prevent future bombers like the Boston Marathon bombers is more government intrusion into our lives.

These are one-off events that, frankly, cannot be stopped. I know law enforcement and government officials believe otherwise, but they are delusional.

So because the government was able to piece together images of the bombers taken from private security cameras, I now hear a rallying cry from local governments throughout the country saying, “See? We need more security cameras throughout the city (town, suburb).”

Ummm, no, we don’t. That’s a very Orwellian response to this situation.

Those were private surveillance cameras, run by individual companies. I trust them with an image taken of me, because I know they can’t readily be used for overall government surveillance. The government needs a court order to obtain those images (as they got for the bombers).

I do not trust a government entity to continuously monitor their citizens. That’s just spooky and unneeded.

Preventing these incidents in the future is as simple as more checkpoints for public events. You come to any public place where a crowd of people gathers, and you go through a metal detector, plain and simple. This is a far better and more reasoned response to this kind of potential incident (even though I still believe they are extremely difficult to prevent).

You know what would’ve been far easier to prevent? The fertilizer plant explosion in Texas. We could have saved dozens of lives with more government regulation and oversight there. But we didn’t, because we leave important decisions like how close can a home be to such a factory to the locals — locals who either don’t care, are so uninformed they don’t understand the dangers, or because of the local politics, know it would be unwise to oppose such decisions (especially if the local economy is largely dependent upon that single employer).

That and funding the kind of oversight and policing of regulations that the plant was already in violation of. Where were the inspectors? Where was the policing of this company?

Some tragic deaths — like the ones we’ve experienced this month — may be preventable. Let’s focus on putting our efforts into those areas where it actually makes sense to do so.

 

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