Reader voices: Stop attacks on Fourth Amendment

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The times, they are a-changin, an appropriate song title written by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan in 1964. Fast-forward to our present day and the times are still changing, only not in our favor. Today we find our rights being forcibly stripped from our Constitution by "the powers that be." We can recall the First and Second Amendments being targeted by the Obama administration's evolving attempts to eavesdrop on us at any point in time, deciding on whom they deem to be a domestic terrorist.

Now, we find a new attack from the ruling class on the Fourth Amendment, all in the name of national security. As Americans, one of the most important things that we must do is have an awareness of our Bill of Rights and of our amendments within the United States Constitution. I say this, because in 2008, the Bush administration first announced the suspicion-less, electronics search rules, and two years later the Obama administration pursued an advancement in these same actions creating a "Fourth Amendment free zone," allowing for the search of electronic equipment without establishing reasonable suspicion of those selected for an illegal search.

The Fourth Amendment gives us the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, but because of the Fourth Amendment free zone was created, it does not apply along the borders of our great nation. These designated borders stretch 100 miles inland from our nation's actual border. Sixty-six percent of the U.S. population lives within 100 miles of the land and coastal borders.

From 2008 to 2010, over 6,500 people traveling to and from the United States had their electronic devices searched at the border, with half of these people being U.S. citizens..

For every three Americans, two of them live within this Fourth Amendment Free Zone, which totals to about 197.4 million people. A frightening fact that many might not comprehend, nor might they be aware of. The removal of the Fourth Amendment does not stop there.

In 2011, Indiana's Supreme Court ruled that if a police officer decides to illegally come into your house for any reason or no reason at all, the homeowner is not allowed to do anything to prevent this from happening. Do you get that? If you live in the state of Indiana and a cop decides to invade your home without any legal justification, it is considered a crime for you to do anything to stop them. According to Justice (and I use this term lightly) Steven H. David, "We believe ... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. By allowing resistance to law-breaking cops unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injury to all parties involved.

If you are not familiar with Steven David's work, he is noted to have served as a chief defense counsel for the Office of Military Commissions, the body authorized to conduct the military commissions to try Guantanamo captives.

What this means to those who live in Indiana, is that they have in fact no rights at all. These actions, if they continue, can push our country towards a direction that can be classified as totalitarianism - enabling the control freaks in power to determine that even when they break their own laws their victims have no right to resist. This is a direct assault on our freedoms as Americans.

If we as Americans do not object to the slithering augmentation of federal tyranny held against we the people over the principle of "protecting our borders," then the rights and freedoms that our forefathers wrote for us will be lost. To reflect upon this article and its meaning, I leave you with two quotations to ponder upon.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. - Thomas Jefferson

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

Photo: Terence McCormack/Flickr

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  • We are becoming more and more aware of our rights being stripped away on a near daily basis. We are in a age of readily available information. I feel that the more important question is "what are we doing to stop it?"

    Posted by , 08/20/2013 1:33pm (11 months ago)

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