OPINION – In Palm Beach County, the Florida House and Senate has just awarded a one-time, $1 million budget to Sheriff Ric Bradshaw for his newly formed “prevention intervention” units. Bradshaw’s plan is being heralded across the nation as a means of mitigating multiple-victim attacks. Could it reach Southern Utah? Let’s consider it before it does, before it’s too late to mitigate the plan itself.
The units Bradshaw has formed will consist of specially trained deputies, mental health professionals and caseworkers. When citizens make phone calls to a 24-hour hotline, the units will respond with a knock on the door and a referral to services, if needed.
Can anyone say “Minority Report”?
The movie, premised in the notion that crime can be prevented completely by arresting people for what they are about to do, has transcended the barrier of fiction to reality, or so it seems.
“Every single incident, whether it’s Newtown, that movie theater, or the guy who spouts off at work and then goes home and kills his wife and two kids — in every single case, there were people who said they knew ahead of time that there was a problem. If the neighbor of the mom in Newtown had called somebody, this might have saved 25 kids’ lives.”
What an enormous burden to place on a community. And what an eager community accepts it.
This is the sound of liberty dying.
There is a Benjamin Franklin quote about those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for security deserving neither. It makes its way on the Facebook circuit with some frequency. But an almost eerie acquiescence to real-time legislation and policies, implemented here in the states resembling such a sacrifice, implies that the quote has no more relevance than that of a popular fad – words we like and spout off with no real activism in response to the maxim’s inspiration.
It is as though, collectively, we are succumbing to the eradication of our freedoms and these Florida units are no exception.
There even now appears to be a recipe for such eradication, it goes like this:
In the wake of a major traumatic incident, play into people’s fears and guarantee them safety in exchange for more power. Power, mind you, in one recent example, to declare a state of martial law in a major city and require all citizens to comply with it, as well as at-gunpoint searches in their own homes.
The knee-jerk reaction of the general populous to tragedies such as the Newtown shooting or the Boston Marathon bombings is to be expected somewhat by the masses – but what of our leaders?
A citizenry demands to be safer and a Florida sheriff offers up a solution chalk-laden with hot button constitutional issues such as privacy, search and seizure, and due process.
Bradshaw goes on to assert that he hopes it will be a model for other law enforcement agencies across the country to learn from. He is heralded as the one with the solution in the quagmire of seeking ways to mitigate these multiple-victim attacks.
Someone is coming up with a viable solution and it is simply the wrong solution.
It goes without saying that no one wants these tragedies to continue, but much like the terrorists have prevailed in getting us to invoke things like the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act, these deranged individuals who perpetrate these senseless and horrific attacks on our citizens prevail by getting us to authorize the systematic eradication of our civil liberties.
It’s as if they are winning by turning us on each other and turning our law enforcement agencies into something they were never intended to be.
This is not mere conjecture of conspiracy. This is really happening. And it should alarm you.
See you out there.
Dallas Hyland is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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