My daughter asked me yesterday about the new commercials on TV that depict a world where books, newspapers, and religious gatherings are banned or severly restricted. She asked me what they were about. I told her that I beleived that these were ads from groups protesting the so called Patriot Act that would abridge the guarenteed rights and privileges of the Bill of Rights in the name of fighting terrorism. She was very upset about what I told her. I sent her to several web sites to do some reading before I went off to work. When I came home, this is what she had written.
"I am Amelia Margaret Mason and I am 16 years old. I wrote this because I am worried about what the government is doing. I am too young to change things myself, but I hope that you who are reading this can do something about it. I am greatly concerned because I feel that from now on there is the possibility that the world that I will soon be entering will cease to be a free one.
What are the first things that came to mind when you ask someone my age why someone from another country would come here. They would probably say freedom of speech and freedom of religion. There are also many other things that make America special and different from other countries. I think that the terrorists do not like the freedom we have in our country or are some how jealous that they can’t have the same freedom. I think they do things like the atrocity of 9/11 because they think it could take our freedom away by scaring us.
That didn’t work on the citizens of the United States. But they scared the government. Now the government is scared enough to try to pass a bill called The Patriot Act. This act gives the president a lot of power to decide things without a vote. This may help some time, but I think it could lead to some very bad problems. From what I have hear and read the president is not really competent enough to make these kind of decisions properly by himself. From what I can tell he is more concerned with politics than the welfare and rights of the majority of the citizens of America. Also, this act takes away some of the most basic rights that we have: the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly. Without these basic rights America would be like any other country that we fight against. In effect the government is carrying out the terrorists work for them.
I hope that the adults that read this can vote and try to stop this so that when my friends and I grow up we will have a country we can be proud of and happy in."
I was truely amazed. So much so that I felt it was important to let her share her opinion. I think I would have sworn yesterday morning that the only things on her mind were clothes, makeup, Pink, and the boy next door. I really enjoy being that wrong. What a kid.