Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Illegal Search & Seizure

The Bush Administration considers the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement a suggestion rather than a directive when it comes to electronically eavesdropping on citizens' phone calls or reading our e-mails. Now, the Boston Police Department is launching a program to rifle through citizens' homes in high-crime neighborhoods looking for firearms in kids' rooms, without first securing warrants.

The police, who will be operating in groups of three or four, promise to first ask the permission of adults before conducting their searches. They also promise not to charge anyone with offenses for anything they find (except "large" quantities of illegal drugs) unless they later link the firearm(s) to crimes.

People who consent to such searches, which will be carried out without any suspicion there are illegal firearms or anything else illegal in the houses, are either dangerously naïve or crazy. If people aren't wise enough to realize the police will - at a bare minimum - keep a record or write a report of what they find, then citizens have become even more gullible post-911 than I thought.

If parents are so intimidated by their kids that they cannot themselves know or find out if their kids have guns in the house, and have to permit a warrantless police search of their homes, then their fitness as parents is seriously in question.

Such actions as these in Boston further the false notion that the right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed in the 2d Amendment are so unimportant that its protections is not worthy of Fourth Amendment consideraton.

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