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Essays on Issues, Ideas and Reflections on the Times. Published now and
then. Opinions pro or con are welcome.

Don't Fence US in

North Miami Beach, FL 11-21-2005
A.H. Schectman

Im not sure if leaving my door unlocked will be testing fate.  Why would anyone want or need to break into my house? I have only a deadbolt lock that seems to me to be up to the task.  Adding more locks and chains add problems.  For instance, if I want or need to get out of my apartment in a hurry, fumbling with a number of devices might deny me egress.

But, what are fences for anyway?  Just think of all the gated communities and toll booths.  In ancient times walled cities were definitely necessary while the Great Wall of China carried things to excess. But, high walls around your house with razor wire or glass pieces on top do something other than provide security.  Electronic lights, whistles and notification to the Police that an intrusion is going on that way calls to mind a prison. Prison walls around your house do not make a home. What are you walling in while you wall out the rest of the world?

Wayne Cornelius in an article in the Miami Herald this morning brought up a cure for our immigration woes A 2,000 mile border fence wont solve anything.  I think he is right.  We are in the middle of a huge shift in population and our old - close up all the loopholes - mentality does not compute anymore. Such fences as Mr. Cornelius envisions in the minds of a certain segment of the population are of the kind that make neighborhoods safe with patrolling police cars, extra lights and security systems wired into the local police station.  Thoughts of people playing Border Patrol and Aliens are difficult to swallow. Coupled with a 2,000 mile border fence this will not work for it will soon have too many holes in it unless it is guarded everyday all day long.  People wanting to get in are getting in.

I think most of the people who circumvent the usual steps needed for legal entry into this country are doing so not to break any of our laws.  What they are doing is trying to get into the land of free and the brave and share the liberty that we once took for granted everyone should have. The Israeli fence that is making that country into a ghetto to keep marauders OUT is keeping them in.  Fences, walls and lines drawn in the sand are generally out of date and do not work. Times change and so do people.

These walls are symptomatic of frightened people. It is true that their sense of security and wellness is gone when they resort to such protections as 24 hour police patrols, fences and security booths.  It makes them feel more secure but are they?  I dont think so. If you give it some thought, there must be a better way to provide security than making each of us hunker down in a bunker and surround ourselves with weapons to keep the barbarians away from our gates. How about good government for a change?



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