Lock It Up

What If We Had A World Without Locks?

A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney:


Last week, I read where scientists think the human ability to use language comes from a gene we have that animals don't have.

I don't care whether they put genes in dogs that enable them to speak or not, but with all the engineering work they're doing on the human genome, I wish they'd find a way to make humans without the genes that make some people evil or dishonest.

If evil were eliminated, there wouldn't be any terrorists. We wouldn't be bombing the Taliban. We wouldn't need metal detectors at airports.

It would be great if they could eliminate the dishonest gene.
If everyone were honest, we wouldn't have to lock the doors every time we leave home.

We wouldn't have those dumb little locks on our windows.

Everyone who comes into this CBS building has to pass through security.

I unlock the outside door of my office..then the inside door.

Some people keep their desk drawers locked.

There are stores that sell nothing but locks. There are more locks than there are thieves.

Store owners pull down iron gates when they close up.

There are iron bars on windows.

One of the problems with having a bicycle in the city is finding something to chain it to.

If we were all honest, we wouldn't spend so much time looking for the keys to our cars because cars wouldn't have keys for the doors or the ignition.

A million and a half cars were stolen last year. So we spend billions on car theft insurance.

Banks spend millions building vaults where they pretend our money is safe. If they're going to steal it, bankers don't take it out of here.

If science could make human beings better by tinkering with our genes, we would have saved $40 billion dollars last year not having 1,578 prisons.

We pay an average of $60,000 a year to keep each one of the two million criminals locked inside our prisons.

Every community has its own police force. They cost us $50 billion. New York City alone has 72,000 cops. That's more cops than some cities have people.

Stores hire their own police force to cut down on shoplifting.

The amount white collar thieves steal makes the cost of stolen cars look like peanuts. No one knows how much that is.

If science learns how to control our genes, they could make us so nice that no one would ever steal or commit an act of terrorism again. Everyone would tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth about everything.

Or do you think that's going too far?


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  • David Kohn

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