Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Canary of Liberty and Rights

This morning I've read David Codrea's Gun Rights Examiner(1) and David Hardy's Of Arms and the Law(2). I also read the stories they linked to at Black Star News and Pittsburgh Live. I read the statist newspeak in those stories, and I have read many more over the years.

I believe that the right to keep and bear arms is the canary of individual rights. If you don't understand why I call it the canary look up the history of canaries and mining. If the air in a mine was bad, the caged canary the miners carried would be the first to die.

Consider this quote from Pittsburgh City Council President Doug Shields, "The NRA's tactics are intimidation and fear," Shields said. "My purpose is not to take your guns away. My purpose is to mitigate gun violence." Then go look up the video's of the New Orleans gun confiscations. Mr. Shields has police officers that can act under the color of law to violate your individual rights. The NRA does not. So who is really using intimidation and fear?

Consider this quote from the Black Star News: As Bob Herbert wrote in a New York Times column today, "We’re confiscating shampoo from carry-on luggage at airports while at the same time handing out high-powered weaponry to criminals and psychotics at gun shows."

Both sides of that statement are ridiculas. Many of TSA's actions have been described as "Security Theater". Confiscating shampoo is just part of that. And if anyone is handing out guns at gun shows, to anybody!, I want to know where I need to be going! Legal guns are expensive. If acting psychotic gets me a gun, will acting paranoid AND psychotic get me one in camo or all black?

Consider also a video that David C linked to the other day (3). Now I will be the first to say that the young man does not sound like he entirely understands the parameters of a "Terry Stop". On the other hand, I do not know what the state laws are concerning border patrol agents in that state. Can they issue traffic tickets? But to me, the canary in that mine is the statement "That in a Border Patrol Checkpoint a person's rights don't matter." That may be true south of the border. But it better be false on this side. Unfortuately we know that it is not. I've got to go cut my grass or I'd look it up, but there has already been a court decision that you and your papers are not secure against unreasonable search and seizure by the US Border Patrol. They can confiscate your laptop to examine it. With no practical time deadline to return it. In a similar practice, the Wisconsin man who was planting a tree when he was harrassed by cops for open carrying on his own property had to sue to get the return of his arms. The agents of the state will not voluntarily give up what they are able to take from you. Not time, not money, not guns.

And especially not rights.