Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Real World Wednesday

Safety and Sacrifice

Nothing has been the same since 9/11, least of all when it comes to things like your personal privacy in airports and government buildings, among other things.

This matter hits close to home, because, in recent weeks a family friend visited (and when I say "visited," I mean "went because she had to pay her son's fine")our local law enforcement establishment. The officers (not rent-a-cops, but sworn officers of the law) searched her purse, put everything through the x-ray machine and somehow made her feel that they'd done too much by opening her wallet. The matter hits close to home not at all because I'm on the side of the family friend who complained that she is a law abiding citizen and shouldn't be searched when entering a court house. No, I'm on the side of the law here, folks. Yes, growing up with my particular father, and his 30+ years of law enforcement experience may make me just a bit biased.

I hate to say it, but there are bad people out there, and it's never obvious whether they are fifty-something mothers, teenage boys or your local neighborhood city councilman. No matter who you are, it is for your own personal protection that you sacrifice a bit of your personal privacy when entering certain buildings or boarding a plane. I don't mind taking my cell phone out, opening up my wallet and standing in the position for the metal detection wand, because even though I know I'm not armed and dangerous, the very same checks the officers do on my body and my possessions will be done on the guy walking in behind me, who may just happen to have a razor blade tucked away in his wallet. A razor blade just ready to be used on an innocent bystander like me. Or a razor blade just ready to carry out a grudge on a law enforcement officer like my dad.

Don't for one minute decide that it's the Democrats, the Republicans or any other particular group that is making you dump your purse out on a plastic folding table. Don't even for a moment consider the possibility that you should be let through easily because you don't "look" like trouble.

Instead, be grateful that someone wants to protect you. Be thankful that you're one of the good guys. And be supportive of the fact that there are people who interact, every single day, with the bad element. And those x-ray machines, those "personal property searches" keep them safe.

And speaking of safety and sacrifice, if you haven't had the chance, take a look at the AP article on military veterans and homelessness. Did you know that, statistically, 25% of the homeless are veterans? I'm safe and warm in my apartment, with my cat on my lap, never having to consider donning a uniform and picking up a gun, and the people who have defended my freedom are out on the streets. How's that for real?


Mrs. said...

Thank you for this.

brandy said...

Man. The veteran statistic is shocking. I knew that there was a large percentage but had no idea that it was that high. There's so much more I wanted to say here, but that statistic kinda just made me lose my other thoughts. An excellent RRW once again lady!