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Today's Negative LEO Interaction - License Check "Avoidance"

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Today's Negative LEO Interaction - License Check "Avoidance"

Old 07-02-2018, 10:43 PM
  #121  
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Yeah but - that Boston Marathon bomber's younger brother was found in a boat...
So the LEO was showing an abundance of caution.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:07 AM
  #122  
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This is an interesting discussion. It highlights the willingness of Americans to relinquish the solidity of freedom for the empty promise of safety. I might point out that the case in which the SCOTUS ruled checkpoints legal dealt strictly with sobriety checkpoints and sobriety checkpoints alone. Other "safety" checkpoints such as drivers license, seatbelts, etc. were declared unconstitutional.

As for the decision regarding sobriety checkpoints, I think Justice Stevens got it right in his dissent:

"The most disturbing aspect of the Court's decision today is that it appears to give no weight to the citizen's interest in freedom from suspicionless, unannounced investigatory seizures. . . . On the other hand, the Court places a heavy thumb on the law-enforcement interest by looking only at gross receipts instead of net benefits. Perhaps this tampering with the scales of justice can be explained by the Court's obvious concern about the slaughter on our highways, and a resultant tolerance for policies designed to alleviate the problem by ''setting an example'' of a few motorists. . . . Sobriety checkpoints are elaborate, and disquieting, publicity stunts. The possibility that anybody, no matter how innocent, may be stopped for police inspection is nothing if not attention-getting. The shock value of the checkpoint program may be its most effective feature; Lieutenant Cotton of the Maryland State Police, a defense witness, testified that ''the media coverage . . . has been absolutely overwhelming. . . . Quite frankly we got benefits just from the controversy of the sobriety checkpoints.''This is a case that is driven by nothing more than symbolic state action - an insufficient justification for an otherwise unreasonable program of random seizures. Unfortunately, the Court is transfixed by the wrong symbol - the illusory prospect of punishing countless intoxicated motorists - when it should keep its eyes on the road plainly marked by the Constitution."-Justice Stevens


It is however curious to me that his principles changed between 1990 and this past year regarding freedom when we look at his opinion on the Second Amendment....


"Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday. These demonstrations demand our respect. They reveal the broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society.That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legislation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment, which provides that “a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century.
For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment, it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation. In 1939 the Supreme Court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated militia.”During the years when Warren Burger was our chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge, federal or state, as far as I am aware, expressed any doubt as to the limited coverage of that amendment. When organizations like the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and began their campaign claiming that federal regulation of firearms curtailed Second Amendment rights, Chief Justice Burger publicly characterized the N.R.A. as perpetrating “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”In 2008, the Supreme Court overturned Chief Justice Burger’s and others’ long-settled understanding of the Second Amendment’s limited reach by ruling, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that there was an individual right to bear arms. I was among the four dissenters.That decision — which I remain convinced was wrong and certainly was debatable — has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power. Overturning that decision via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.

That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform. It would eliminate the only legal rule that protects sellers of firearms in the United States — unlike every other market in the world. It would make our schoolchildren safer than they have been since 2008 and honor the memories of the many, indeed far too many, victims of recent gun violence." - Justice Stevens

I guess this goes to show that any of us can rationalize limits on liberty and freedom when we become driven by empathy rather than principle. However, it is from principle that we derive equality and justice, not empathy.
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