Boston Marathon Bombing

Even After Boston Bombing, Americans Refuse to Surrender More Civil Liberties


shadowsoul / photo on flickr

The Tsarnaev brothers may have succeeded in killing three, wounding 200, and ruining this year's Boston Marathon (as well as some guy's boat), but according to a poll released yesterday they failed to scare a majority of Americans into surrendering their civil liberties in exchange for more security. 

"When given a choice, 61 percent of Americans say they are more concerned about the government enacting new anti-terrorism policies that restrict civil liberties, compared to 31 percent who say they are more concerned about the government failing to enact strong new anti-terrorism policies," writes TIME's Zeke Miller about a poll the magazine released yesterday afternoon.

While you might think Americans become more amenable to surrendering their civil liberties with each major terrorist attack, TIME's poll found otherwise. Only 23 percent of Americans said they were not willing to give up their civil liberties After the 1996 Olympics bombing; that number stands at 49 percent after the Boston bombing. 

You can read the full poll results below. (And definitely revisit Matt Welch's piece on governance-as-crisis-response.) 


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  1. Just which civil liberties do we have left?

    1. Sodomy?
      If you have a proper marriage license, you can perform sodomy.

      1. So 49% of the American public thinks sodomy is more important than safety. I like it.

        1. Well, sodomy, birth control--pre-and-post-coitus--and. . .that's pretty much it, I think.

      2. That's right, BP, teh gehs are responsible for all your problems. John is pretty lonely over their on the bitter, defeated socon bench, raving at the squirrels. Why don't you join him?

        1. I believe that was a joke about how many civil liberties have been taken away, not an attack on gay people. I really don't think there's anything in BP's post to make you think that he's attacking gays.

          1. Tonio's grievance alarm just goes off from time to time.

        2. I read it the way Irish did. It's not that sexual rights aren't important--they are--but we should be fighting, as a society, all infringements of civil liberties, not just the popular civil liberties this week.

  2. Hate to split hairs here, but it wasn't the Tsarnaev brothers who ruined that guys' boat.

    1. "No, you having a dog is why Officer Fatgut had to shoot it. No one told you go out and get a dog. This is all your fault."

    2. He did rip the tarp and get blood all over it.

      In any case, would it shock you that somebody out there would buy it for far more than it is worth now?

  3. I predict the butthurt from this poll will be extreme among leftists who, no doubt, saw Boston as another path toward expanding the police state. Funny thing is, that puts them in league with mainstream Repubs, who also love the police state. Does the poll indicate that the proverbial light bulb has come on for some, and that they have figured out that govt action far more often than not harms the very thing it pretends to help?

  4. Americans are less willing to surrender their civil liberties...and yet Americans continue to surrender their civil liberties. How is this possible?

    1. The beddwetters have louder voices and vote more consistently for morons.

      1. And the attempts to take more liberties away are a relentless, ever-growing tide that it is exhausting to fight, because it never fucking stops. And it's just getting worse.

      2. Exactly. I'm tempted , at times, to be heartened by articles like this, but reality intrudes soon enough to sober me back up.

    2. Because when locked and loaded jackboots come knocking on your door, the rational person surrenders, assuming that reason will shortly prevail. It often does, though there have been many exceptions.

  5. I think the combination of the failure of the counter-terrorist groups to adequately investigate the warnings about the Tsarnev brother more intently combined with the over-aggressive response from the SWAT teams running around like jack booted thugs had a predictable backlash.

    Add the fact that it wasn't until they lifted the lockdown that they found bomber #2, and the exposure of what appears to be ball droppings all over the place within our supposed "HOMELAND SECURITY" and you get results like this.

    1. The Boston police were pretty much Keystone Kops. And that's pretty much par for course for the donut diners.

      1. It's the same with the investigation after the bombing. Had these two degenerates been even half competent they could've have disappeared to New York and remained in hiding for a long time. It was almost sheer luck that they stumbled in to a gunfight that could've easily been avoided.

  6. The more contradictory poll results I see, the more I'm convinced that the vast majority of Americans have no fucking idea what they want when it comes to politics

    1. It's the conflict between what people want and what the media onslaught tells them they should want, otherwise they're racists who want children to die.

  7. Seems the Boston area folks didn't feel that way.

  8. How come nobody ever polls Americans asking how many of us would like to see foreign-born radical Muslims deported from the country, instead of being given American citizenship?

    1. Because you can't deport people for extreme religious views, you pantswetting OH MY GOD MUZLUMZZ!!! idiot. Obsess much?

      1. Dude, you should know better than to feed the trolls. Take your own advice.

        1. Fuck you,, Tonio! I'll do what I wa--

          (hangs head)

          You're right.

  9. A guy just shot himself at an airport, and he had both a semi-auto rifle and a hand gun.

    Man kills self at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport, authorities say

    1. See, this is a better trend for our crazies to follow. Killing other people is wrong. Especially indiscriminately. If you simply gotta kill someone, start and end with yourself. Sure, do it dramatically. Just don't hurt anyone else.

      1. "Don't laugh - you're next!"

        (old ethnic joke)

    2. I'd say that his mission was a failure.

    3. See? Muslim terrorists. GOOD GUY WITH A GUN

  10. These polls are meaningless, since what people say they want and what they actually want and what they are willing to accept are all different things.

    Three weeks ago, if you asked any of the people in Watertown if the cops should be able to point a gun at homeowners and demand to search their property for a cop killer, 75% would have said no, but when the cops showed up and did just that, most homeowners raised their hands and submitted, even high fiving the cops when despite their utter incompetence they still managed to somehow arrest the fugitive without killing him.

    1. Also, it has been demonstrated that people want to please the pollster and skew their answers towards what they think is the "correct" answer.

      Also, also there are people who don't respond to polls; the number of these people is inherently unknowable.

      1. Polls are almost total nonsense when it comes to political issues. There are topics people feel uncomfortable sharing with pollsters, there's skewed questions, and there are important unasked questions.

        Not to mention, as libertarians, how many of us have heard poll questions or seen surveys that say things like "Which of the only two possible political parties do you support?"

        1. In addition to those points, many polls are obviously rigged to obtain a particular result. I've been asked numerous times to participate in polls, and I think only one was seriously interested in my opinion. Now if I get a call from a pollster, I just hang up because I know with about 95% confidence that it's a waste of time.

          1. I've had that reaction during surveys more often and not. In fact, you can tell when they want a particular answer pretty often when they screen you out of consideration at the very beginning.

    2. Yep--the cities of Boston and Watertown happily bent over and let the police state caress them with the gentle kiss of Central State authoritarianism.

      This whole episode had been very eye-opening as to how fragile the civic fortitude of progressive paradises like Boston really are. A couple of skinny yaboes managed, all by themselves and with NO outside assistance, to shut down the cradle of the American Revolution with nothing more than some fireworks, a couple of Crate and Barrel kitchen items, and a pathetic knockoff pistol. Boston residents literally went into the fetal position while a bunch of tacitcool turds went out to play "Call of Duty: Boston Warfare."

      I'm thinking if the Day of the Rope ever actually comes, Blue cities are going to be ridiculously easy to destroy from within because the emotional state of their residents is built of tissue paper.

      1. Blue cities?

      2. To be fair, I could see a large number of "law and order conservatives" in Red areas being perfectly ok with something like that. And indeed many conservatives on the Internet have defended the actions of the Boston PD

        1. I got into an argument with a conservative and a liberal about the Boston handling. Both were absolutely sure that, no matter that it didn't catch the guy, the lockdown and house-to-house search were both appropriate and entirely legal.

          They asked, in a thread discussing the possibility that houses were searched in violation of the 4th Amendment, why I never said anything positive about the officers involved.

  11. In some ways I am not sure that these little pin prick terrorists attacks don't sour people on the security state rather than cause them to want more. Sure, one lesson to draw out of Boston is "we must do more". But another lesson is that the security apparatus is completely incompetent and giving it more power won't make us any safer.

    I think these polls show that at least a few people come to the latter conclusion.

    1. Yes, but if we make the security state big enough and dense enough, then a competence chain reaction will happen. It's exactly the same process as in a hydrogen bomb.

  12. "Even"?
    That's like saying "EVEN after gaining one pound, my wife STILL refuses to give up eating carbs."

  13. Over the mountain and through the woods!

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