The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 21, 2013

Your View: Should we be outraged?

By Bill Hawkins
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — Were there effusive apologies following the lockdown of Boston as most of the continent indulged vicariously in the ongoing manhunt?

So what do we learn or suspect from the recent instances of invasion of private information? No one wants to return to the snoop-and-hassle days of J. Edgar Hoover, but it is not automatic or easy to be granted a preferred status such as a 501(c)(3). It takes a carefully composed charter and a bundle of records and such.

Further, each such group is subject to periodic review to assure that it continues on target and has not morphed into a front organization.

A statistician can look at demographics and determine whether group characteristics reveal something we would be loathe to admit, and might not even realize, in terms of membership and attitudes.

Is it at all significant that the seemingly lax immigration policy for years was accompanied with a looseness in restrictions on weapons sales?

Is it possible that in the recesses of our minds we have thought it possible that risks would come from the 8 million or so Muslims or Hispanics and blacks? Can we even identify and prove or disprove this uneasiness?

Should we be outraged? Maybe. Should our president be apologetic to the point of firings? Maybe.

In any privacy intrusion, we would like to hope that it was absolutely necessary and that the information would only be accessed by those able to safeguard the information.

Yeah, sure.

But will the invasions disclose anything that should embarrass us or put us at increased risk?

Bill Hawkins