Earlier this month, a fight broke out on the Brighton Beach boardwalk in Brooklyn, and a teenager was shot and killed. That's tragic. Now, residents are calling for everyone on the boardwalk to be searched. That's asinine.

At the meeting, dozens of locals called for a number of post-9–11–style security initiatives - including stationing cops outside a nearby subway station as a show of force and bringing in more mounted police - but several demanded the ultimate safety measure: searching beachgoers and strollers before granting them access the public Boardwalk.

Sure, great. We can add that to:

  • The random searches in the subway system.
  • The pat-down, shoe-removing, X-ray searches required to get on a plane.
  • And the proposed "no ride" list to keep Al Quaeda from riding Amtrak.

What do all of these security measures have in common? They were all knee-jerk responses to criminal acts or alleged plans of criminal acts, and none of them offer anything but a false sense of security and a whole lot of hassle. Terrorists! They can walk freely in public places! Don't let anyone in public places, unless they're searched! Bag checks for stepping outdoors! Police posted at every doorway! Nothing is more important than safety!

It's time we stop letting people with a "getting felt up by cops" fetish determine our public policies.

[Brooklyn Paper. Photo: Adam Jones/ Flickr]