“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor, November 11, 1755.
The first, more tame poll, was conducted by CNN/Time. The poll found that:
- When asked what concerns them more, government infringements of their rights or more anti-terrorism laws, more Americans (61%) are worried that the government will enact anti-terrorism policies that will excessively restrict their civil liberties.
- 49% of Americans are not willing to surrender more of their civil liberties, even if that were necessary to prevent terrorism.
- 60% of Americans are not worried that they, or a member of their family, will fall victim to terrorism.
- 63% of Americans believe that terrorists will always find a way to launch an attack, no matter what laws we pass.
- 73% of Democrats want more gun control.
- 65% of Republicans oppose increased gun control.
The big standout was this:
- 29% of Americans believe that an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect liberties in the next few years. This group includes 18% of Democrats, 44% of Republicans, and 27% of Independents.
If these polls are to be believed, it is very troubling. Or, at least, it should be. Putting aside the fringe elements of society, one thing is clear: a majority of Americans have grown tired of what they believe are their civil rights being violated in the interest of “security.”