Its Fear Which Leads to Loss of Liberty

It is both interesting and sad to see people willingly giving up their civil liberties when they have done nothing wrong. For instance, a man, who was openly carrying a weapon in a Bridgeport, Connecticut restaurant and store, recorded a confrontation with police officers requesting his gun permit which he repeatedly refused to produce.

The site hosting the video asked if it were harassment by law enforcement. After watching it, I felt compelled to respond.

“The question comes down to ‘probable cause.’ What probable cause does the officer have to even ask such a question,” I wrote. “Did the permit holder do something that can be construed as illegal? If not, there is no ‘probable cause.’ Thus, this technically violated the 4th Amendment as to illegal search.”

Immediately someone chimed in, “It is like asking for your driver’s license…I don’t think it is harassment.”

I replied, “An officer can only ask you for your driver’s license if they have pulled you over for a suspected violation or if you are involved in an investigation and they need to verify who you are.”

“What about road side checks? Might want to brush up on your case law,” some one else posted in response to my comment.

Another commenter posted, “He didn’t ask to search him, no different than being asked for ID! Wake the hell up! It needs to be done!”

No, but they asked him to produce the permit under the color of authority. So the word ‘search’ in this case is, “An examination of a man’s house, premises or person, for the purpose of discovering proof of his guilt in relation to some crime or misdemeanor of which be is accused.”

It’s obvious that when it comes to protecting one’s civil liberty, many people are too fearful to stand up to authority. The idea of being detained/arrested is too much for them to handle.

As Benjamin Franklin stated, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

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Its Fear Which Leads to Loss of Liberty

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