Welcome to the land of controversy

When terrorists decided it would be a good idea to attack our country nearly 11 years ago, they changed America. They changed our opinion of the world, and subsequently the world’s opinion about us. The terrorists directed us onto a path of war abroad and a path of bigger government here at home.

Not long after these attacks, the Patriot Act was passed by a frightened and uninformed congress. Essentially, Americans began to give up liberty for a little more security; a fact that would make Ben Franklin roll over in his grave.

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Now, the only requirement for the government to be able to essentially hound your every step is that you have to be a “person of interest”. Search and seizures without warrants, along with wiretapping of private phones and the monitoring of emails certainly seems like a breach of personal privacy and freedom by our overstepping government to me.

But hey, at least we are safe right?

It’strue, however, that the government has done an outstanding job of protecting us for the last 11 years, and it is doubtful that anyone really intends to infringe on civil liberties.

That being said, sometimes our administrations get a little bit out of control and need to be reminded that a government exists to serve its people — not the other way around.

There are certain things that the government simply does not have the right to stick its nose into.

The controversial topic of abortion is an obvious example of a social issue that the people in congress have no right to decide on.

The decision to have an abortion should be a woman’s right alone. Besides moral reasoning, it is a woman’s choice simply because the old people in the House and Senate have no business deciding if someone can have a child or not. That is a private decision, not a public one.

Furthermore, it is interesting that as a country we kill off the people already breathing, but will fight endlessly to save those that are not even conscious yet.

Something else to consider: should the state be allowed to kill its own citizens? Many other first world countries such as or Canada or France no longer have the death penalty as part of their punishment system, yet America continues to extinguish the lives of incarcerated adults.

Some criminals probably really do deserve to die, but it does not seem right that the executioner is the state which has the legal ability to kill its own citizens. In this argument, it matters not what the crime was, simply whether we should be able to legally kill each other.

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Death is so hard to really fully comprehend, and to take away a life from someone — no matter whom they are — that is a huge step; and one that shouldn’t really be given to a government to use against its own people.

There is absolutely no rational reason that the government should have a right to decide what goes on with an individual’s body. Nor is there any reason why an administrative body should be able to kill off people it no longer views as beneficial to society.

These topics are going to be our generational challenges, which is why it is so important to be informed about them by reliable sources like Wikipedia.

Some decisions need to be left to the individual person, so that they can choose how they want to live their life, whether it turns out to be a horrible life or a good one, that choice is theirs to make, and public should have no say in that matter.

Other judgments are simply too big for the government to decide for us, such as what liberties we are willing to give up for security, or whether a murderer should be killed in return for his crimes.

Such matters are not to be taken lightly, nor are they for a sole entity of society to rule upon.

Some things are too important to have other people decide on them for us, and even if it means that we may make the wrong choice, it is inherently a right to have that ability to do so.

No federal body, state regulation, or individual should be able to decide what we do with our bodies, who lives and who dies, and how much freedom we should give up for safety.

Res Stecker is a junior international studies major. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.