Friday, February 5, 2016

Summary Response on Liberty vs. Safety

Liberty vs. Safety
A quote made by Ben Franklin in 1759 states that in order to obtain a little bit of safety one has to give up their liberty, and the one who is willing to do this does not deserve liberty nor safety.
Ben Franklin accurately portrays the priority of safety over liberty, because of the control the 

government has in American society.  In June of 2012, a report on Denver’s surveillance cameras 

came up in an article stating that Denver is the third “most watched” city in America. This was a 

concern to many people one of which stated, “ Because these programs were sold as public safety 

enhancements but are widely viewed as a cash grab, it undermines public trust to maintain photo 

enforcement programs that are profitable but whose safety impact has not been conclusively 

shown.” (“ DenverPols”)This shows the unreliability that the government has for its people. The lack

of trust represented by the government brings to mind the question, is this security really for the 

good of our safety or is it for the good of the government’s investigations? The domestic spying of the

government just goes to show that high security is more for the good of the government. However, 

The government’s efforts to prevent terrorist attacks lie in the ability to keep its people safe from 

harm. The monitoring of the internet can prove helpful in this case. In September of 2013, CBS news 

took a poll to see people’s personal opinion on the government’s security. “Three-quarters said they 

approved of the government’s tracking phone records of Americans suspected of terrorist activity. 

Nearly the same number approved of the United States’ monitoring the Internet activities of people 

living in foreign countries.” (N.p., n.d. Web.). This demonstrates the useful tactics that the 

government uses to prevent harmful situations and monitor suspicious activity. So while the 

government’s security can interfere into our privacy, it can also prove to be useful in preventing 

terrorist attacks and other threatening situations. One could argue that although the government’s 

security is interrupting our privacy, America is still the freest country in the world. This position is 

reasonable because America provides liberty that is not available in many other countries, however 

this argument raises a fundamental question: What is more important, our liberty or our privacy? 

While liberty is a right according to the American constitution, we are giving up liberty as the 

government disturbs our privacy. In conclusion, Ben Franklin correctly portrays liberty being more 

essential to American life than the safety the government offers.


Works Cited


  • "DenverPols.com." Colorado Pols. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.
  • "What Is More Important: Our Privacy or National Security?" The Learning Network What Is More Important Our Privacy or National Security Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.