Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What Bill of Rights?

Not content with having deprived their city's low-income residents of their Second Amendment rights, Boston Mayor Tom Menino and his loyal henchmen in the Boston Police Department are now looking at ways to get rid of that pesky Fourth Amendment, as well.

And, they're shocked - shocked, I tell you - that the peasantry has dared express discontent with their noble plan.

Boston police officials, surprised by intense opposition from residents, have significantly scaled back and delayed the start of a program that would allow officers to go into people's homes and search for guns without a warrant.

Gee, what's not to love?

Police would ask parents or legal guardians for permission to search homes where juveniles ages 17 and under are believed to be holding illegal guns. Police would only enter homes into which they have been invited and, once inside, would only search the rooms of the juveniles.

That's their out.

"But, we asked for permission to conduct the search!"


Tell me the average resident of Dorchester isn't going to be intimidated into consenting to the search upon finding a group of armed, uniformed police officers on their front doorstep talking about "illegal guns".

How long until "Refused door-to-door search" becomes legitimate grounds for a search warrant request? Why would an innocent person, with nothing to hide, deny entry to these upstanding peace officers? Right?

"Invited", my ass.

Then, there's this little gem.

If police were to find a gun in a home, they would keep the discovery confidential under most circumstances, police have said.

Officers would not tell officials at the child's school or public housing authorities, unless they believed the discovery amounted to a "public safety emergency," which Driscoll said would happen if police found a plan to use the gun at school or a hit list.

Any guesses as to the percentage of cases they'd conveniently "believe" to be a "public safety emergency"? Remember, this is Massachusetts, where five-dollar plastic slingshots have been banned from toy store shelves, as a "public safety" measure.

And, this will stun you. Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty - whose brilliance as a Constitutional scholar is on par with that of his Beantown counterpart - is another one who thinks Gestapo-like tactics such as these are the cat's balls.

Washington Post - March 13, 2008:

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced yesterday the Safe Homes Initiative, aimed at parents and guardians who know or suspect that their children or other relatives have guns. Under the deal, police target areas hit by violence and seek adults who let them search their homes for guns, with no risk of arrest. The offer also applies to drugs that turn up during the searches, police said.

The program is scheduled to start March 24 in the Washington Highlands area of Southeast Washington. Officers will go door-to-door seeking permission to search homes for weapons. Police later plan to visit other areas, including sections of Columbia Heights in Northwest and Eckington in Northeast.

OK, now it's not every day I voluntarily lend my superior intellectual powers to my ideological foes, but I'm going to help out Mumbles and Fenty on this one.

So, don't say I never did you assholes any favors.

Gentlemen, you don't need to ask permission.

Here, I'll spell it out for you.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

1. The 4th Amendment obviously protects the right of the people to be secure in their houses.

2. Clearly, the word "their" implies possession (i.e. ownership) of the houses in question.

3. So, as long as the cops only go kicking in the doors of renters and people living in subsidized public housing, what's the big deal? It's not like it "their" house.

You're welcome.

Wow, this constitutional law stuff is easy.