Monday, July 25, 2005

Subway Searches

So, I've been following this subway search thing in NYC pretty closely and I'm finally ready to talk about it a tiny bit. When I first heard about the searches, I wondered how it was legal to be able to just randomly search people. Finally, this morning actually, I learned that you could decline the search and not ride the subway. That makes legal sense and I'm fully ok with the searches at this point. I mean, sure most of us have nothing to hide, but who wants overzealous cops going through our bags all the time? What happens if they find something that seems to be dangerous (in their mind, you never know what they find suspicious)? I'll tell you what happens, you end up detained and maybe arrested or as I posted last week, you end up shot for wearing an overcoat (which as you should know by now was completely unwarrented).

But I understand that riding the subway is a choice and not a right and I'm fully in support of the searches as long as we can decine them. Now, I ask you this question: What will it help?

Let me explain. Say I'm a terriorist with a bomb attached. I'm heading into the 42nd street station ready to create some terror. I've got my bomb all set and ready with a trigger hidden in my hand. Since its NYC, there are literally 1000 people within 100 feet of me. A cop comes up and asks to search under my coat or my bag, or whatever. I now have 2 options and I will leave you all to discuss which one is more useful to my cause. I can a) blow myself up right there, killing way over 100 people and a couple of cops, or more interestingly I can b) not concent to the search, leave the station, walk a few blocks away to another entrance, get onto the subway and blow it up.

What is the best answer to stopping terrorism? Obviously, it's extremely difficult, and perhaps impossible to do at the micro level. I would guess that changing policy at a macro level may be a bit more successful. Well, I'm not going to get all political on you, but go find some anti-Bush website and you'll get some ideas.. look around for stuff about not attacking innocent countries for oil and meddling around in the middle east, supporting Isreal against the Palestinians so blindly, etc.

4 comments:

Matt said...

Regarding the subway searches, Flex Your Rights Foundation has an excellent Citizen's Guide to Refusing New York Subway Searches detailing how to reject a potential search while entering the subway. Thought you might be interested.

trace said...

very cool.. thank you.. glad to see people are paying attention..

starr grill said...

I believe in protecting my rights to freedom, but, with GB in office for a SECOND term, it's nearly impossible. I live in NYC and use the subway twice a day. The searches are nothing short of silly and useless and I have only hit one checkpoint in all my commuting. What happened in London to that man is a disgrace, but, if we want to excercise our rights, I hardly think refusing to let a cop take a quick peek into my bag is the productive way of doing so.
Voting, joining organizations, volunteering and writing letters till your blue in the face are a better start. The thing is, freedom and privacy are a thing of the past now, if you are on the internet under your name, if you use ez pass, if you subscribe to certain lierature, if you've had personal information put into computer records at a hospital, etc, etc......
you get the point.

trace said...

While I agree that you have to loose privacy to gain convenience in this new world. I have to point out that I give up my privacy as I see fit. It would be a totally different thing if some government authorities decided to take it away from me. This is the 4th Amendment we're talking about...And I pray that you don't submit to a search in the subway and they find something unrelated to terrorism that they don't like and decide to arrest you or detain you against your will.. not a good thing.. why let them even have the chance? It will be Nazi Germany before we know it...