Friday, May 14, 2010

The 4th Amendment Goose and the 1070 Gander

Let's say we are having a real problem with people possessing stolen guns.  Some of those guns are used in a crime, most are just kept hidden out of view.

Now these stolen guns cost the rest of us a lot of money.  They raise our insurance rates, they coast money to replace, they create an imbalance between good people and bad, and they take away my my ability to defend myself if they are missing.

Now my state finds that there are compelling reasons to justify a law to make sure that only those who legitimately bought and registered the gun should be the only one's allowed to have them in their homes.

This new law gives the police the right to search the house and ask for proof of gun ownership and registration anytime they have a reasonable suspicion that there is a stolen, unregistered, or illegitimately obtained weapon possibly present.

  • Would this be considered an evasion of privacy when the police ask to look for a gun or request documentation for a gun they think may be there?
  • Would the police be out of line to ask a law abiding citizen for proof of ownership for a weapon anytime reasonable suspicion is warranted regardless of the situation?
  • Would law abiding gun owners feel threatened by a law such as this?
  • Would the NRA oppose such a law and call for a boycott of the state that imposed it?
  • Would me telling law abiding gun owners "if you are not breaking the law - you have nothing to fear" piss them off?

Now if you answer "Yes" to all these questions then you understand how upsetting it must be to law abiding citizens of Arizona - that because they don't look as lily white as me - could/will/may be asked to prove they are a citizen.  The problem with illegals does not warrant this line of questioning or methodology just as the hypothetical I posed above does not.

If you can't see a difference, then you will have nothing to fear when I impose my "compelling interest" for public safety, freedom, and security on you.  Hey, as long you are law abiding who cares what they ask or where they look, only bad guys have something to hide. Live with it!

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