Thursday, March 6, 2008

If loving my rights is wrong...

The Constitution grants me certain rights. I think I'll keep them. And I'll invoke them whenever the heck I want, thank you very much! That's not because I'm up to something or because I have something to hide. It's just because I can. Many, many people fought long and hard so I could have those rights. I would never disrespect those generations of revolutionaries and martyrs by giving my rights away.

So it infuriates me when people suggest that those of us interested in protecting our rights are in the wrong. The 4th Amendment for example. Many people claim that they wouldn't mind if the police searched them, their car, or their home because they have nothing to hide. (I call BS on that because I seriously doubt most people would be happy to have cops poking around their underwear drawer. But that is not the subject of today's rant.) They suggest that I could have no possible complaint to a search if the police won't find any evidence of a crime.

For example I don't think the police should have blanket authority to conduct drug tests on all drivers at all "serious" accidents. I think that would create a series of bodily searches that would be conducted without any probable cause that the subject of the search had committed the crime of driving while impaired.

Why do people insist on responding that it shouldn't be a problem for me if I don't do illegal drugs? Well, I don't do illegal drugs. I doubt I would ever even have an opiate show up as my experience with prescription narcotic pain killers was not good. I hope never to take pain killers like that again. But I still object to having my blood drawn without a warrant. In fact, I strenuously object!

The 4th Amendment tells me my government can't just barge into my car, my house, or my bloodstream. They have to leave me alone unless they can establish that they have a sound basis for believing I've committed a crime. Since I don't like cops and I like to be left alone, I fully embrace this amendment. I think it rocks. I also really like that 5th Amendment right to silence thing. You want to ask me questions, eh Cop? Well, I don't want to answer! This lovely document that really smart men wrote over 200 years ago says I don't have to.

Attributing some nefarious motive to those of us interested in protecting against further encroachments on our 4th Amendment rights is just damn un-American. It's wrong and it's stupid and I'm sick of it. If you want to open up your affairs to the prying eyes of the police, then that's your choice. But I choose differently so stop trying to give my rights away with yours.

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