Here is what Rep. Peter King said on MSNBC about installing cameras everywhere in cities to combat terrorism:
ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC: Congressman briefly, do you think that this will lead to more cameras? I know it's controversial, there are privacy issues. Boston does have a lot of cameras. European cities, led by London, have the most. Are Americans going to have to get used to more surveillance on a daily basis?
REP. PETER KING (R-NY): I think we do because I think privacy involves being in a private location. Being out in the street is not an expectation of privacy. Anyone can look at you, can see you, can watch what you're doing. A camera just makes it more sophisticated, but it's no different from your neighbor looking out the window at you or a police officer looking at you walking down the street.
So I do think we need more cameras. We have to stay ahead of the terrorists and I do know in New York, the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, which is based on cameras, the outstanding work that results from that. So yes, I do favor more cameras. They're a great law enforcement method and device. And again, it keeps us ahead of the terrorists, who are constantly trying to kill us.
I hope also that members of Congress, both parties, including my own, will realize that the war against terror is not over. And it's foolhardy to be making cuts in Homeland Security, especially to cities, whose police departments need this to train and to be ready to take on terrorism.
This is just another knee jerk reaction from people who think more government intrusion is the answer to every tragedy. How would cameras have actually stopped the Boston Marathon bombing? "That guy seems to be putting something bulky down, let's get SWAT there right now." Dream on. The same people who will be manning the camera stations (assuming we have anyone manning them) will be the same DMV rejects that regularly molest us at airports. They are more interested in making sure you don't bring water and shampoo on the plane or getting in a good old-fashioned grope than actually stopping terrorists. Plus you know that with local budgets constantly strained due to burgeoning pension obligations, these cameras are much more likely to be used to issue tickets for such things as spitting your gum out or smoking a cigarette within 250 feet of a school. You really think someone like Mike Bloomberg won't? These cameras will simply make our lives incrementally more miserable while making us no safer. Mark my words.
Let's hope cooler heads prevail.