Ben Franklin, our most charismatic forefather and a very true American to boot, originated the gist behind the phrase "freedom is NOT free".
This being said, what he meant by "one who gives up a little bit of freedom for a little bit of safety" was a way to reinstate that, in order for any community, group, country, or nation to be given the benefit of safety and peace, one must have the heart and soul to be willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to produce it, and keep it.
Freedom is not free. And half freedoms or half safety is simply put a 50% that gives space to another 50% of lack of safety and lack of freedom. In the times of Ben Franklin things were quite rough and shaky. There was no way that the new Americans could have given that little to attain something so great as freedom of speech, religion, creed, and activity- something they never saw in England.
So, if you take yourself back to the origins of this message, it was basically a call for action to people who had never experienced the possibility of being TRULY and RIGHTFULLY free to be who they were without the paradigms and limitations of a government that did not understand them.
Therefore, his message was a strong appeal to those who were still doubtful as to the importance of what was about to happen: The complete separation from an Empire, and the amazing risk it will take to begin a new one on nearly no foundation.
I believe that his words are still valid in the 21st century. For, if this world shall ever again experience the ruthlessness of a world leader that wants to enslave a certain race or ethnicity, those affected MUST step up to the plate and be willing to give up their lives even, iif they must, to ensure that their dignity , freedom (and those of their families) are preserved . Most importantly, that the strength of their character is forever marked in the pages of history as warriors in search of defending what is humanly due to are, which is freedom and safety.