Former philandering mayor Rudy Giuliani spent part of his day Monday badmouthing the President’s speech with Neil Cavuto over on Fox News. Soon enough, the topic turned to terrorism and the two perpetrators of the incident in San Bernadino. Of course, the typical fear mongering ensued, but there are things that were said that even right-wing conservatives should have been concerned about if they actually paid attention to these conversations.
Mr. Giuliani said emphatically that we needed to keep close tabs on the Muslim community by watching social media, infiltrating their society, and keeping policemen in the mosques. Wow, that isn’t fear-baiting at all, now is it. Though, it is a touch heavy on the spying, surveillance side of things. More on that later.
I know a lot of people think this is great advice and something that should be done, because, you know, they’re Muslims and they could be terrorists. However, that is already being done. We have the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, the Department of Homeland Security, and all the local police stations across the country who do variants of this to one degree or another. Are we saying that we need even more collection of data just on Muslims? I am pretty sure that is what he said.
After all, a few minutes later he was speaking about how the two assailants obtained their weapons. Now, right-wing gun nuts go all ape when you even suggest that any restrictions or barriers be put in place to their ability to buy or purchase a weapon they think they may ever want or need, so they should be a little outraged that the former mayor said that these two Americans should have set off alarm bells because of the way they obtained their weapons. Was it because they obtained those weapons, or was he just using the standard Fox dog whistle politics and saying they should have raised alarms because middle eastern looking people were buying weapons?
If you are a gun owner and you want to keep unfettered access to your guns a right, you might want to question Fox’s motives here. You might be saying to yourself, he certainly meant that they should have been stopped because they were Muslims, but law enforcement might look at it differently when you consider that the majority of mass shooters in this country are white. They may decide to start monitoring the purchase of guns, like the philandering mayor suggests to your chagrin.
But let’s get back to these other points. Americans by and large hate to be monitored and restricted, that’s why there was such an uproar over the NSA bulk data collection program. Even if we say want to limit collection of information to one particular group of people because we suspect them mostly of terrorism, doesn’t mean our government or law enforcement agencies will stop there. Why would they when they have the means of controlling the populace by knowing everything about them?
Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” To this I would like to add – beware those who call for more security and monitoring out of fear. When you start giving up someone else’s freedoms in the hope of your own added security you may find that you have also lost your own freedom in the bargain.
Below is video of some of the interview, courtesy of Media Matters: