This I Believe

Grant - Tallahassee, Florida
Entered on April 26, 2007

Rethink the Patriot Act

I believe Americans should reevaluate their positions on the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was created after 9/11, to prevent events like that before they happen. Even with warnings about an attacker, police cannot legally arrest or even investigate someone based just on a warning. There could be all the warning signs in the world but nothing can be done until that person actually commits some type of act and is seen doing so.

I am not saying that someone should be arrested based solely on looking suspicious. But if there is some proof that this person might commit a crime especially one as tragic as 9/11, then that person should at least be monitored to a point or until they have been ruled out as a threat. This is the exact purpose of the Patriot Act. For every major disaster in America, there have always been warnings. There were warnings for 9/11, Pearl Harbor, and attacks on the Sears Tower. The Patriot Act is just designed so that the government can take a further look into warnings without going through all of the red tape in the courts. Sometimes there is not enough time to wait two days for a warrant. Okay well this guy seems to be violent and is talking about killing people; let’s take a quick look into his financial records to see if he is buying anything dangerous. He just bought a lot of guns off of eBay, maybe we should look into this further and get a warrant. Or in most cases, he is not buying anything dangerous or suspicious so let’s move on to another case. That’s it; that is how the Patriot Act is designed to work.

The majority of the country sees the Patriot Act as a way for the government or “the man” to monitor all Americans. This is not the case. The government does not have the money or man power to monitor every single American every second of their lives. Monitoring phone calls alone would be virtually impossible. The Patriot Act is only designed to monitor people that are a credible threat to the country. The Patriot Act is not designed to monitor how much porn a person watches, or how many calls a person makes to their mistress instead of their wife, or even how many personal items a person buys on the company expense account. Americans have more of a threat from something like this coming out on YouTube, the media, or even by the paparazzi. The Patriot Act serves as a way to protect and hopefully prevent the United States from experiencing terrorist’s attacks and other major attacks. While I will admit that the Patriot Act is not perfect and some issues about the act need to be changed like putting a limit on what types of acts can be investigated and for how long. I would not want to be pulled over and a police officer is searching my car without probable cause because of the Patriot Act. Parts of the Patriot Act need to be addressed, but overall I believe that the Patriot Act is not a bad idea. The Patriot Act will not one day turn this country into the movie The Minority Report, if anything it will one day save this country from another 9/11.