We live in an age where our personal freedoms and privacy rights are falling by the wayside. Sure, part of it is a product of the emergency of new technology — data mining, drone surveillance, nano-cameras, computers that relay our digital footprint — but the other part is, of course, those who are in power and the laws they pass in the name of “public safety.”
Basically, politicians believe that the best way to keep us safe is by making us less free and more dependent on Big Brother. In other words, by limiting what we can do and by knowing what we are doing the government has an easier time controlling us, which is what the ruling class really wants. To draw an analogy, the goal is to put us on a leash, and to make that leash shorter and shorter over time.
To give you a recent example, San Francisco’s Highbridge Arms, the city’s sole remaining gun store, is closing its doors next month because of onerous gun laws that have been introduced by Supervisor Mark Farrell.
Farrell’s proposal would require that all sales of guns and ammo be recorded on video. Not only that, but that the footage of the transaction would have to be turned over to the San Francisco Police within a week of the sale along with the names, addresses and birth dates of the buyers.
To justify this highly intrusive and Constitutionally dubious surveillance practice, Farrell effectively stated the mantra of the modern nanny-state politician, which is that public safety trumps personal freedoms.
“The goal here is not to run anybody out of business,” Farrell told KPIX 5. “But from my perspective, the public safety of San Francisco residents come first.”
“A gun store in San Francisco, it’s not something I’m particularly concerned about,” Farrell added. “I’m first and foremost, and way more than the existence of a gun store, concerned about the public safety of our residents. And if one has to trump the other, I am completely comfortable with that.”
That, my friends, is how liberty dies. Actually, that last sentence implies there is no agency in the death of our freedom, so let me rephrase it and say, that is how liberty is killed! It’s murdered by feckless politicians who are “completely comfortable” with selling our rights down the river to prop up Big Brother and their misguided utopian fantasies.
But what’s really maddening about this whole situation is that as Steve Alcairo, the owner of Highbridge Arms, pointed out, the proposed laws will do nothing to stop bad guys from getting guns, and therefore, nothing to increase public safety. So, not only are these knuckleheads wrong in principle (basic freedoms should never be sacrificed at the alter of public safety), but wrong in practice as well because their policies don’t create the desired results.
“The element we’re concerned with, they don’t shop here. They don’t,” Alcairo said. “I mean you’re going to get video surveillance of people who are coming in here legally buying stuff with their identification, criminals are not doing that.”
With Alcairo now shutting down Highbridge Arms, the city’s 830,000 residents just lost their local gun store. Yeah, residents can go to the surrounding Bay Areas and find another gun dealer. And I’m sure Alcairo will land on his feet. But the larger implication is that big government is winning and small business owners and individuals are losing. We’re losing our rights and our freedoms, and if we’re not careful these efforts to improve public safety could just be the death of us.