When Does Liberty Stop and Security Begin? In Hindsight, We Knew He Was Bad … But …

While the Orlando shooter did nothing illegal, before this last weekend, when he killed 50 people and wounded 53 more at Gay nightclub, “Pulse” … he had obviously been a loose cannon long before that event.

The stories are emerging about his repugnant behavior in high school, just after 9/11.  He was investigated by the FBI because of reports from his co-workers.  And, when the investigation led to nothing definitive, the investigation was closed.

The thing is that in America … liberty seems to trump (intentional pun) security. What he did was repugnant … but America says he has a right to his opinion and his freedom of expression.

How is his actions IN SCHOOL (not this weekend) … any more repulsive than the actions of Bill Ayers (leader in the Weather Underground, responsible for blowing up buildings and killing several people) or Angela Davis (1970 armed take-over of a Marin County, California, courtroom, in which four persons were killed)?  These two people are not only allowed to walk freely about … they are … or have … taught in universities.

His co-workers were offended and deeply concerned about his verbal threats and radical behavior, but still … it was all verbal.   The F.B.I. had spoken with him, and apparently had him on a watch list for a while … but … it was his words that were concerning.  He had done nothing criminal.

And, with no criminal record … he was free to purchase an AR -15 rifle.

So, at what point do words and forms of “expression” supersede liberty for security?

At what point should we put someone on a watch list and when should that person be taken off?

And, when someone what is put on a watch list … how much latitude should the F.B.I. and other law enforcement agencies be given?

And, in the case of the Orlando shooter … when should he have been … legally… taken off the streets, before the shooting … and for what … other than his repugnant and repulsive words, disrespect for the victims of 9/11, and the threats to his co-workers?

My question really is … we know now … that the Orlando shooter hated LGBT …was repugnant in school, disrespectful of 9/11, and leaned toward radical Islam … but when … seriously when … does security supersede liberty?

Instead of all the talk about gun control … perhaps the question of liberty vs security is the bigger issue.


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 Debbie Barth: 6/13/2016 at 4:45 pm EST
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