Read Connor’s Letter


Dear Connor,

The horrendous events over the weekend in London are weighing heavily on my mind. My heart goes out to the victims.

There just isn’t any kind of validation for this type of violence. You know, as simple as it sounds, the reason no one can agree on a solution is because there isn’t one logical, friendly solution. Terrorism must be stopped where it exists — in every nook and cranny. We must begin to approach it from an offensive perspective.

Over the weekend, I heard the mayor of London minimizing the attack. The audacity of his words considering the attack on children at the concert in Manchester is still so fresh that his comments on this latest attack were nauseating. Connor, children were killed, and we cannot allow anyone, for any reason, to kill our children. I’m simply appalled when this kind of violence is treated with such apathy.

Multi-faceted problems need multi-faceted solutions. Here in the States and elsewhere, we have put many solutions in place — clearly not enough — and, obviously, all of them require ongoing expertise and manpower to remain viable. Still, when things go this wrong, there are layers of failure, and, anytime conditions become this destructive, we the people tend to hand over bits and pieces of our civil liberties.

These recent events seem to have brought to the surface discussions about censoring the Internet and vetting visa applicants and immigrants based on information about them on social media. There have been even more serious discussions about ratcheting up the invasive nature of the vetting by requiring immigrant applicants to turn over their electronic devices so that authorities can observe a deeper personal footprint that might be buried within their computerized equipment. To me, it seems like a fair trade for freedom and a safer environment.

But, the idea has me thinking:

What constitutes a public figure? If our social media posts are public information, then what keeps us from being declared public figures? And, if we are public figures based on our social media presence, then one would have to presume we are at risk of losing a great many civil liberties. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that liberals will allow this Internet invasiveness to apply only to non-citizens. Not to mention the fact that, with just a little stretch in the interpretation of existing law, we’ve already signed over our private-citizen status by posting photos and information to the public.



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