“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” Benjamin Franklin, 1759
Benjamin Franklin’s statement, made in 1759, defines the cost of relinquishing one’s personal liberties as a complete loss of that freedom even when our intentions are for the protection of ourselves and others.
- Topic sentence: author, strong verb, main idea
- 1 SENTENCE
- Topic sentence: title, author,,correctly portrays/ incorrectly portrays___(Main Idea)________ because ___________ .
Benjamin Franklin, a Founding Father of the United States of America, correctly portrays the consequences of relinquishing one’s freedom in order to gain security in his statement from 1759 because of the constant and current demonstrations of abuse from our police officers in America.
- Claim 1:
- Our daily form of public security, the police, possess the power to arrest those they find are threats to society. However, on numerous occasions throughout US history, the power appointed to these individuals is questionable, for many officers, who are all granted a degree of immunity against lawsuits, abuse their power and thus threaten the rights of the people. In one case in February of 2015 in Chico, California, 30-year-old Sean Reardon, who was pulled over for the suspicion of driving under the influence, claimed to have been immediately beaten repeatedly by two police officers upon exiting his vehicle. He was subjected to violence without provocation and suffered several injuries as a result of the event.
- Evidence: Lead-in “ quotation” (Shakespeare 1.2.13-17).
- A bystander at the scene filmed this federal infringement on Reardon and released the following video:
- (Claire Carter “New Police Brutality Outrage over Video That Claims to Show California Cops CLUBBING DUI Motorist as He Lays on Ground”)
- Explanation of quotation to prove claim: explain quote, connect to claim
- As a result of this abusive case of police misconduct, Reardon was hospitalized. He suffered a small respiratory failure, and had to be put on a ventilator in hospital, endured multiple broken bones, including ribs, nose and sternum, and was in the ICU for 4 days. By giving up a portion of one’s liberties as an American, people like Sean and countless other Americans are punished unjustly by abusive officers whom they have given their freedom to protect and respect them, not harm them. This is an especially true offense for these victims, who in a majority of cases do not pose as threat towards the officer or the public during the evaluation or conviction process. Therefore, Benjamin Franklin’s statement is valid when applied to the price of public security. We are giving up our freedom to power hungry individuals who use their appointed powers for their own pleasure rather than the protective, defensive intentions of the people.
- Counterclaim 1: However, ....
- However, police officers do not correctly portray the cost of relinquishing one’s freedom in order to gain security because of the many situations where officers have saved their own lives and the lives of the public. Officers have the right to harm individuals on certain terms. Specifically, if the suspect threatens the officer or a victim with a weapon, the officer is legally permitted to utilize the appropriate force to disarm the threat. When the suspect must be shot or severely injured, a legal term called Justifiable Homicide legally enables one to kill another out of self defense or the defense of another.
- Evidence: Lead-in “ quotation” ( )
- This principle is demonstrated through the actions of Baltimore officers who shot a suspect dead when the man pointed a gun toward an off duty officer and declared a robbery. The event is described and analyzed in the following video by a local news station, WBAL TV 1 (NBC):
- Explanation of quotation to prove counterclaim: explain quote, connect to claim
- Officers protect themselves and the public from potentially life threatening criminals by taking the necessary precautions to stop the threat, whether it is through stunning the suspect, such as hitting or clubbing, or the occasional need to terminate the individual or group entirely. For the cost of a part of our freedom to local police, we are able to keep our country safer from possible threats and defend other prevalent rights in our lives. Therefore, police forces using their power to prosecute or harm people is not a loss of our liberties, for we have accepted the terms, and have found that those slight dissolutions in our freedoms have secured our communities and our country from internal threats who could take away more of our rights. The police can be seen as our insurance to protect us when trouble arises, not as a blackmail market.
- What are the strengths/ flaws of this argument? (use rebuttal progression language)
- At first glance, power in the police forces are a beneficial, uniform, and worthwhile security system in this country.
- We cannot deny that the officers in this country indeed safeguard Americans from threats to both their physical and mental rights. Over the decades, eras, and centuries of this country, officers have prosecuted and removed criminals of multiple levels from harm’s way in society. In many cases, officers eliminate threats completely from a community and complete precautionary actions that make our freedoms come into balance with our relinquished freedoms.
- However, it is more complicated than that. Throughout history, although we believe that the police have been a beneficial use of our forfeited rights, the proper force is not always used in order to secure us from threats. Misleading actions are a primary issue. A percentage of inmates or victims of Justifiable Homicide are actually non threatening and even innocent in society. Recently, the number of officers that have “killed suspects out of self defense” have come to a point where it has become the immediate solution for many situations. Officers have shot countless individuals in the last few years who have been found later to be harmless, and were shot for no logical reason by officers. We have strayed away from peaceful encounters between officers and citizens and have generated a violence oriented “safety system” to protect us. How are we safe when we are now more than ever being threatened by our security forces whom we have given up mass quantities of our freedom to feel safe with? In fact, studies have found that police in local communities, airports, etc. do not actually make us safer, but they make us feel safer. We have ironically created more legal issues against officers regarding their power or right misconducts across the country instead of creating fewer and improving our protections agencies.
- Concluding sentence: restate title, author,,correctly portrays/ incorrectly portrays___(Main Idea)________ because ___________ .
Therefore, Benjamin Franklin’s statement from 1759 correctly portrays the cost of freedom that Americans have paid in order to obtain safety because of the escalating actions performed by the safety enforcers themselves, police officers, in America.