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Tim Guan


Helicopters flying above, SWAT teams armed to the teeth and everyone in a state of panic. I knew something horrible had surely happened on campus after receiving an alert through my phone. At the end of the day all of this ruckus was caused… over a Nerf gun.

I came to wonder whether the excessive use of force by our always vigilant campus security and police department was really necessary. Although I wasn’t there to witness the entire scene in full effect, the mass hysteria was quite evident, even after the whole event was over.

The tragedy in Las Vegas was the deadliest mass shooting in American history. It’s understandable how everyone across the country is on the edge right now, fearing the next terrorist attack. On that basis, our government has been cracking down more strictly on domestic and foreign threats through enhanced state security and surveillance.

Ever since the PATRIOT Act was packed in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks, there is no reason to not keep America safe from terrorists. However that begs the question, whether we’re willing to sacrifice our civil liberties and rights for the sake of our safety.

In these dark times we cannot relinquish our freedoms even after such tragedies in the past decade have been burned into our memories. The downward spiral of fear and despair has culminated throughout society. Because of fear, the fragility of the people has led to an acquiesced creation of an authoritarian state which has been slowly developing.

This trend in the United States– if not the whole world– has been developing that way over the past two decades. Unfortunately, the fight to preserve freedom has all been shattered with the ongoing potential threats to society emanating from not only the government but from the media as well.

Just observing mainstream news everyday is a headache… ironically. But the fearmongering agenda that most media networks always spew is simply another outlet that the government uses to coerce a frightened population into submission.

Although we can’t have complete control of our privacy as if you have nothing to hide, you are part of the problem. Unintentionally supporting an authoritarian regime is like having your freedoms voluntarily taken away simply because it makes you “feel safe.”

Benjamin Franklin once said,”Relinquishing liberty for security, deserve neither.” If you feel safe, that’s fine. Unfortunately you don’t exactly feel safe when you have military police on campus with helicopters flying above pointing fully automatic assault rifles at two defenseless students– even when they’re handcuffed to pose any threat… do you?

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