Undefended Freedom Doesn't Exist
Defense of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is not just about the Patriot Act and whatnot. No, the biggest violators of our constitutional rights are law enforcement at local, state and federal level looking for short cuts. Our courts have allowed law enforcement to do bad things because societally "we" generally agreed some crimes were so bad extraordinary measures should be taken to protect us.
- Stopping a car for no reason to see if the driver is intoxicated? Clearly unconstitutional, but we didn't scream because drunk driving is bad and blah, blah, blah.
- "Stop and frisk" where cops can go up to people on the street and search them? No chance that is really constitutional, but crime is high in some areas so we'll allow cops to spit on the constitution if it temporarily lowers crime rates in an area.
- Fill in the blank __________________ with what ever high profile crime so horrified people that they demanded "something oughta be done."
I am not anti-law enforcement. However, law enforcement like any government bureaucracy is prone to excess. An "ends justifies the means" mentality quickly develops and often is encouraged in how we reward and promote in law enforcement.
Any right not zealously guarded will not long last and that includes every right delineated in the Bill of Rights. Also, we can not pick and choose to defend only those portions of the Constitution we like. Allow today's hack politician to crap on a right you don't exercise (2nd Amendment, maybe?) and you forfeit the rights you care strongly about.
I'll finish with a great quote from President Reagan:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”