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“Shots fired” microphones are back in the news. The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging them as being too intrusive into the privacy of U.S. citizens like you and me.

The ACLU’s criticism centers on New York City’s installation earlier this year of microphone systems inside public schools that detect gunshots and immediately alert police to the location inside the school from which the gunshots were fired.

Police readily admit that the “shots fired” system won’t prevent massacres such as 1999’s disaster at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in which two teenagers killed 13 people and wounded at least 20 others. But such a system has the great potential to sharply beef up police response time and lessen the carnage.

Now comes the ACLU, harping that these networks of microphones compromise the privacy of us U.S. citizens.

Horse feathers! The microphone networks out there today will — at most — pick up background chatter that often is unintelligible. The networks are designed and programmed to pick up sharp reports of burning gunpowder, not human conversation.

Get with the program, ACLU. It’s a different world post-9/11, a world that is devolving, not evolving. We can use all the help and tools we can get to numb the violence and get the bad guys out of the picture.

Besides, as I have said before: If you have done nothing wrong, what are you afraid of? A microphone here, or a camera lens there is not going to compromise you unless you are guilty of planning or doing something diabolical.

And in the case of “shots fired” microphone networks in our schools, they one day might secure the liberty of you and those you love rather than compromise it.

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