I took this snap on my way to the American Bar Association Magna Carta 800th year celebration in 2015. We remember the Magna Carta as the first curb on the power of the state in favor of ordinary men. After events in the past 24 hours however, I feel less free than ever.
For most they will see a photo of Big Ben, perhaps marred by the presence of a security camera. For the American lawyer present to attend a major ABA event it is a reminder of how our two countries and cultures diverged more than 200 years ago and codified this kind of government intrusion as something to be regulated as perhaps unreasonable and unlawful.
The Briton likely sees this camera as an unfortunate but necessary measure.
Yesterday, March 22, 2017 a madman, perhaps a terrorist, did not stop to worry about the cameras here at all. His was a suicide mission.
This raises for me the question of whether we are really free, when we live in fear of all this carnage, while we lawyer debate questions raised by the 4th Amendment the bloodshed of the innocent is enhanced.
Apparently it would make no difference to madmen in San Bernardino, Orlando, Paris, Germany, Britain, or Ohio whether there was a camera filming the carnage. Why don’t we deal with this issue first, and then debate the finer points of the 4th Amendment after we are safe?
I feel less “free” today than ever.