Amid the news this past week involving the second Fort Hood Shooting, I was moved by the coincidence of topics I am currently reviewing for class.  As many of you might already know, I am currently enrolled in Graduate School at Arizona State University and am studying salient features that lead to a life of crime.  As I read news magazines and watched news programs on television I was very interested in the direction (though not too surprising) the debate has turned to; namely, Mental Health (also here, here, and here). While I might have many opinions about this area of scholarship and could address each of these concerns in a single blog, it is not my intent to do so at this time.  The opinions formed as a result of this shooting and polarizing the debate on gun ownership and its seeming nexus with mental health issues is a salient one to be discussed.  What I am most interested in, however is the crime itself (or in general, not isolated to this incident).

I am encouraged that so many people are resistant to immediate claims damning mental health and its relation to gun ownership; particularly because each can be isolated from the other, and to broadly associate the two conflates the issue.  Personally, I am in the process of making this distinction and fighting the good fight in academia that pre-determined mental health issues are not a cause of mass shootings nor crime and are counter-weighted by a more salient factor: rational-choice.

I believe that empirical research supports this assertion that rational choice is the most salient feature in an individual’s decision to commit a crime, particularly a violent one.  Currently, I am in the process of advocating in academia that individuals exercise personal agency when committing to a life of crime, or in committing a criminal act.  I will support all of this later when my final paper is competed in three weeks.  I will share it then.  Until then, everyone should continue to be resistant to calls for a “national conversation” on gun control, crime, and mental health because there is no conversation to be had.  Mental Health issues must be addressed on their own but they have no business being discussed when the conversation is about violent crime.

Our republic was founded on the principles of civil liberties and protections from a far-reaching, overstepping, intrusive government.  Thomas Jefferson famously said: “I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” Protection of civil liberties is thus, the ONLY thing a government can do, and should do.  This brings me to the salient points that cannot not be ignored: 1).  That only government can destroy civil liberties and 2). Protection of civil liberties is not a zero-sum enterprise.

As it stands now, the State of Arizona has passed a bill that has come under fire from both the political Left and the political Right with both sides arguing for protection of civil liberties.  What one side ignores, the other seems to dubiously realize and that, in this fight over what constitutes a civil liberty is not only a state’s job, but also the Federal Government’s job to ensure.  Arizona Senate Bill AB 1062 addresses this claim and it now stands under attack from the political left.

Senate Bill AB 1062 ensures the freedom of individuals to conduct business in a manner consistent with their religious beliefs.  Whether those beliefs target specific groups or individuals is the debate; but it is of salience to note that protections of such rights (as ensured by the 1st Amendment) connote the right of the people or individuals to protect their property consistent with their values.  The bill does not, as some may assert, institutionalize a “new Jim Crowe” in Arizona, nor does it condone bigotry and discrimination against the LGBT community.  What it does is protect business owners right to property, and right to make a profit in a manner consistent with their religious values.  It is thus, if a business owner does not believe that “gay marriage” is in fact a “marriage” in the eyes of God, they have a right to not participate in what they perceive to be a “sin”.  That is not bigotry; that is religious freedom. 

Whether or not it is “good policy” or “bad policy” isn’t the point.  The point is property, and the right of individuals to “dispose” of their property consistent with their values.  It may be true that bigotry is bad for business; no one, not I, nor Governor Brewer, nor the Arizona State Legislature is arguing that point.  Again, the point is religious freedom, and individuals 1st Amendment Right to speech and association.  Even more so, it is about retaining the sanctity of private property.  It has become a distorted view in this country that individual proprietors exist for the sake of the customers and that their “private property”, though open to the public is “public domain.”  This is not true, nor has it ever been true.

Some who believe that civil rights are “zero-sum” has distorted the difficulty with open questions like the one presented in Arizona this week. That one person, or groups “rights” (though one can argue that there is no such thing as “group” or “collective rights”) comes at the expense of another’s.  This is the crux of the debate.  For those who know and understand the philosophy behind liberty, all true rights are God given; meaning, they cannot be taken away arbitrarily by another person, government etc.  They are endowed from the Creator and are “inalienable” which means “undeniable.”  If one understands this, then they would agree that rights could never be “zero-sum” or, to put it simply: One person’s rights cannot cancel out another’s.

Bigotry is bad for business.  Anybody who understands economics will not deny this relevant and eternally true maxim.  The unintended consequences of a business owner exercising his or her religious values by denying a person access to his or her business also denies the business owner the opportunity cost associated with the potential profit.  Further, denial of a person’s business for reasons that may be objectionable to the larger public could have spillover affects, which could be a problem for future profits and business opportunities for the owner.  The Arizona Law opens up the possibility for this and gives people the liberty to make this choice without having to sacrifice their religious freedom in exchange for the feelings of the larger public.  Senate Bill AB 1062 is an imperfect bill, and some may even say it is an act of desperation from a Conservative legislature, desperately clinging to what is left of what they believe to be “the sanctity of marriage.”  In the eyes of this libertarian, I see the law as de-regulatory.  I see the law as allowing people to own their own choices; whether those choices are bigoted or enlightened.  The law itself is consistent with liberty and pause should be given to anyone who thinks otherwise without critical analysis.

      The subject of immigration, particularly “illegal” immigration has long been a topic of discussion amongst media pundits, scholars and politicians.  From the news worthy “posses” of Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Maricopa County, Arizona; the immigration law of 2010, President Obama’s rhetoric in election campaign speeches, and his State of the Union Addresses, immigration law will be addressed in the near future.  The national discussion has taken the form of a question as to what “we” as a nation should do to address this issue.  Often, the issue of fairness, constitutionality, and reality come in the form of talking points by media pundits and  politicians alike.  The conflict that arises in this discussion is a reflection of the historic tension between the responsibilities and powers of individual states, and the responsibilities and power of the Federal Government. Further, the assumption that federal law somehow trumps state law conflicts with the reality that the “Supremacy Clause” of the Constitution trumps any state attempt to circumvent powers of the federal government.  Concerning the subject of  “constitutionality”, the question as to whether actions taken by the federal government to address the issue of policing immigration is in conflict with the precepts articulated in our founding document. 

            The conflict arises as to which governmental body shall retain jurisdiction in enforcing immigration laws; the States or the Federal Government. Between the discussion over jurisdiction and how a nation or community is to respond to policing immigration, or how to assuage the fears of recent immigrants who may have arrived here legally, as well as those who bear the same skin tone as recent immigrants; law enforcement officials have been placed in a predicament as to how to police immigration without creating a panic in the communities they serve.

            In his article “Policing Immigration: Federal Laws and Local Police”, Decker et al., (as cited in Cole & Gertz, 2013) addresses the issue of policy incoherence of local law enforcement regarding immigration.  In his study “Immigration and the Recent Crime Drop in the United States: A Pooled, Cross-Sectional-Time Series Analysis of Metropolitan Areas”, Stowell et al., (2009) attempts to addresses the question of whether there is a nexus between immigration and crime. The two studies are dissimilar in their design.  Stowell et al., (2009) research design was a time series cross-sectional analysis of neighborhood crime level data in large metropolitan areas.  Between the years 1994-2000, a regression model was used to analyze crime data for a sampling of metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 residents or greater.  There were 103 metropolitan areas surveyed using the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report coupled with US Census Bureau data to reach the statistical findings (Stowell, Messner, McGeever & Raffalovich, 2009). 

            In addition, Decker et al., (2013) analyzed immigration from the perspective of local law enforcement agencies.  Using US Census Bureau data, Decker was able to identify 452 local police departments in metropolitan areas with populations of 60,000 residents or greater.  The analysis was a non-time series survey, and did not include a regression model.  Decker identified three areas of concern for policing immigration at a local level.  The first analysis was the extent of convergence or divergence local police authorities had with the local political leadership and their constituent bodies.  The second focused on the extent those communities were given policy direction to their police departments, or to what extent local police departments designed their own policies to police immigration.  Finally, Decker analyzed the extent to which police officers responded to the policy guidance they had received from either their departments or political bodies. 

            Though both studies are dissimilar in their designs, they both illustrate the extent to which impacts on policing immigration have on both the local police departments that service particular communities as well as how police departments respond to neighborhood level crime.  Based on the survey conducted, Decker identifies four types of cities based on policy direction that were provided to local police departments.  Type 1 cities represented nineteen percent (19%) of the sample and tend to have an official policy that is supportive of immigration and employs a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.[1] Type 2 cities represented twenty nine percent (29%) of the sample have official policy, but unlike Type 1 cities, these policies are proactive and encourage aggressive enforcement of immigration statutes.[2]  Type 3 cities represented 18 percent of the sample and tended to have unwritten policies by local police departments, however no official policy direction from the cities elective bodies.  Type 4 cities represented 32 percent (32%) of the sample and had neither official city government policy nor police department policy for policing immigration (Decker, Lewis, Provine & Varsanyi, 2013). 

            All four types cited in the sample provided by Decker et al., (2013) represents not only divergent means of policing immigration at the local level, but also represents problems at the federal level. Since type 3 and 4 cities represents the largest sample, and both do not have official policies, police officers lacking guidance are left to make their own ad hoc decisions enforcing immigration (Decker, Lewis, Provine & Varsanyi, 2013).  Furthermore, as shown in the study, the large sample of departments stated they not only lacked policy guidance from city officials regarding policing immigration, but also had unwritten or limited agreements with the federal immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, and ad hoc decision making was left to local officials to decide how to best police immigration. 

            Decker et al., (2013) found statistically significant differences in in five out of six areas studied regarding police attitudes toward policy objectives they had received from the federal government, local political bodies, and direction from constituent bodies.  Further, the chiefs who were surveyed, discussed when they would contact ICE or check immigration status when their officers made contact with an individual who was suspected of being in the US illegally.  Not surprisingly, 85 percent of the time, immigration status was checked when an in individual suspected of being in the US illegally was arrested for a violent crime.  Detention for parole violations or failure to appear in court was the second most frequent event causing contact to federal authorities.  Domestic violence was the third most common (Decker, Lewis, Provine & Varsanyi, 2013).  These findings are consistent with the Stowell et al., (2009) study on crime rates.  Stowell et al., (2009) were most concerned with rates of violent crime in their study.  It were these findings, as well as the measurements of large metropolitan areas that make both studies similar; though the survey of metropolitan areas varied in scope between the two studies.           

            The study conducted by Stowell et al., (2009), illustrates the slippery slope that can arise when officers are left to ad hoc decision-making in large urban neighborhoods, if attitudes are influenced by conventional wisdom regarding the nexus between crime and spikes in immigration.  Challenging the premise of the Chicago School’s “Social Disorganization theory”[3], Stowell et al., (2009) found that despite spikes in immigration in the decade between 1994-2004, there was a relationship with the two phenomena with one having an influence on the other and was a modest factor in declining crime rates.    The reality that immigrants who emigrate to the United States to escape poverty, and persecution in their home countries, only to face increased vigilance and persecution from local political bodies and police, only serves to terrorize those communities and pit them against others, living there but also against the police and elective bodies.  At the extreme, lack of policy guidance to police departments creates an atmosphere of fear in local neighborhoods that house large immigrant communities, and subject immigrants to unscrupulous and whimsical policing, and political agendas by elected officials. An acceptable premise is to say: government is a monopoly on the use of coercive force, and if this premise is accepted, it naturally follows that such force if placed in the hands of misguided policy and policymakers can lead to erosion of civil liberties, and pit a majority group against a minority group. Thus, because there is varying policy standards from one locale to the next, immigrants who may have arrived here legally or illegally never truly know when or where they will be discovered and possibly sent back to the homeland they tried desperately to escape.

            Without unifying guidance from the Federal Government in regards to enforcement of illegal immigration, local law enforcement agencies are left to their own devices to develop an immigration policy. Coupled with the incoherence of policy and the political pressures placed on local police departments to either take action in policing immigration or taking a position of non-enforcement, is the myopic and byzantine realm of federal politics, statutes and norms that present challenges to enforcement.  Implementing a policing immigration policy faces further challenges for local law enforcement due to the uncertain nature in how to correctly adjudicate it. 

            Since policing immigration is not a traditional law enforcement function it falls within the purview of other emerging issues for law enforcement.  The question of illegal immigration finds nexus’ with these emerging threats such as human trafficking, terrorism, drugs, gangs, hate crime and electronic crimes (Decker, Lewis, Provine & Varsanyi, 2013). Each of the mentioned crimes represents existential threats to not only the federal government, but to local communities as well.  Since immigrants tend to gravitate to large metropolitan and urban areas, it falls on local law enforcement to police them.  Local law enforcement officials who police crime in their neighborhoods will be faced with the problem of how to effectively deal with immigration.  Without policy guidance from the federal government, it follows that local agencies will adopt their own policies and procedures to police immigration.

 REFERENCES

Decker, S. H., Lewis, P. G., Provine, D. M., Varsanyi, M. W., Policing immigration: Federal laws and local police. In Cole & Gertz, (2013) (Eds.), The Criminal Justice System: Politics and Policies (pp. 184-196). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Engage Learning.

 

Stowell, J. I., Messner, S. F., McGeever, K. F., Raffalovich, L. E., (2009). Immigration and the recent violent crime drop in the United States: A pooled, cross-sectional time-series analysis of metropolitan areas. In Criminology, volume 47 number 3 (pp. 889-928). American Society of Criminology


[1] See sanctuary city policies of Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco (Decker, Lewis, Provine & Varsanyi, 2013).

[2] See the policies of Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, AZ.

[3] Social Disorganization Theory expounded by the Chicago School holds that urban neighborhoods have three structural characteristics: 1). Economic Deprivation, 2). Residential instability, 3). Racial heterogeneity.  It was theorized that since immigrants tended to find economically deprived and traditional high crime neighborhoods as their final destination, there was a positive association with spikes in the crime rate (Stowell et al., 2009).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings everyone.  Today, I lost a very dear family friend to lung cancer.  He was 70 years old, and I would call him my mentor, and friend.  He was someone I could trust, and believe in, and when all else failed, 15 years ago, he took a chance on me, and believed in me enough to recommend me for the profession I am now in.  I wanted to share an email I sent to my mother today (after she had broken the news of the loss).  I am changing names to protect the anonymity of my friend, and to respect the family’s anonymity during this time of grieving.  Finally, I’d like to say that there are no words that can express the pain and sadness a person, family, or friend feels when they lose a loved one.  Perhaps the Bible provides the answer:

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate…” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

 

Here is my message to my mother:

Mom,

 
I have a few thoughts I would like to share, and perhaps you can share them with _____ and _____Jr. when and if they are up to hearing it.
 
I have been writing a lot these days.  My writing has encompassed a field of study about 15 years ago I never would have imagined I would be in.  Though it has been a bumpy ride thus far for me in law enforcement, I have learned to embrace the profession with the dignity and care such a profession requires and deserves.  A little over 11 years ago Captain ____ _____Sr. took a chance, put his name and reputation on the line to both back and endorse me to join the ranks of deputy sheriff for ______  ______County.  Though my contacts with both _____ and ______Sr. were minimal, he was willing to do so on my behalf because he believed in me (Though he honestly had no reason to).  I still wear that hat with a lot of pride, and I am forever grateful to him for such a selfless, and gracious act of kindness.  I don’t think anything I ever do in law enforcement, or in life will ever be able to re-pay him for his graciousness.
 
Through the years our families have gotten closer, and I have watched with delight the common bonds of friendship that grew with time between you and ____, Dad and _____, you and ____, and all other ways in between.  What a gift that has been for us, our families, and I can only hope that though he has now gone home to be with the Lord, our families can remain close, grow those bonds, until the Lord calls us home as well.
 
Captain ______ was a consummate gentleman, professional, father, husband, and friend.  He was always kind to me when I saw him, and never jealously guarded his sage wisdom through his years and years of experience in both law enforcement and life.  My sincerest prayers go out to ____, _____, _____and the rest of the _____ family.  “I pray our Heavenly Father assuage the anguish of their bereavement and leave them only with the cherished memory of the loved and lost…”  I know that Captain ______ is now gone from the earth, but he will forever be with us in our hearts, minds and spirits.  I am reminded of a line from a movie I once saw in which a character played by John Travolta tried to explain to a child what it meant to love someone while they are here.  He showed the child an apple (Fruit, something sweet, produced and nourishing) and he said to the child, “You know, if we were to put this apple down, and leave it, it would be spoiled and gone in a few days. But, if we were to take a bite of it it would become part of us, and we could take it with us, forever.”  
 
I am grateful to have known ________, and call him my “friend”.  Though he may not have acknowledged it to me while he was still with us, he made a huge difference in my life, and for that, I am forever grateful.

 

“There’s a difference between you and me. You think that the people’s freedom exists to provide you with possession; I think your possession exists to provide the people with freedom, and I’m going to make sure that they have it.” – Braveheart  

Over the course of the past few weeks, I have observed several articles bouncing back and forth around the internet describing the “problems of libertarian populism“. The debate between non-libertarian’s, who in an attempt to sabotage a young and growing movement, would equivocate ideas and goals of its “populists” and champions.

The articles seemed to begin to flood the internet following the statements made by Governor Chris Christie, who said, “This strain of libertarianism going through the party, is, I think a very dangerous thought.”  Without going too deep into it, I think it’s important to remember to not be confused with how Governor Christie bundled all libertarians under the same umbrella (As any proponent of collectivism tends to do); likening believers in liberty, who may or may not agree completely on to what degree or role a government should play in a society, and calls those ideals as “libertarianism”.  

The problem, with this statement is that it doesn’t not stand to the weight of scrutiny, and taken on its own merits, it simply is not true. Not only for the merits of the actual message that Governor Christie attempted to imply (That it is a “dangerous thought”), but because, like most ideological movements of both the past and the present, there really is no one “thought” that truly constitutes, “The one and true form” of libertarianism.

I’ll try to explain:  If you were to gather a group of libertarians in a room and talk to them, you would learn that there are small (l) libertarians: independents who believe in the Non-Aggression Principle who don’t necessarily subscribe to any given political party, and prefer to have a minimalist government that does not intrude and trample the rights of its citizens under the guise of a prudent and paternalistic ideology.  There are big (L) Libertarians, who have organized their beliefs into a political platform and choose to challenge the status quo of the so-called “two party system” in order to enact true changes to the national dialogue on government.  You have men like Rand Paul, who has never called himself a “libertarian” but more often has self-described as a “Constitutional Conservative”, attempting to bring back original intent of the founders to government, by governing in strict accordance to Constitutional principles.  There are Minarchists who believe in the most minimal state possible. There are the Voluntarists who, in the Rothbardian tradition, believe in a complete dissolution of the state, and believe in the efficiency and power of the Free Market to determine how people will interact with each other.  And finally, though there may be some objection to this classification; there are Objectivists, who in the tradition of Ayn Rand, believe in the minimal state.  Each of these strains has their disagreements within the ideology of libertarianism itself, and the disagreement is over one simple axiom: What exactly is the Non Aggression Principle (NAP)? What they all agree on, however, is that in any relationship, whether it be a two party trading system, or a government entity asserting power over a given territory, initiation of Force is never proper.

The agreement between libertarians, and many Conservatives, is that government has simply gotten too big and measures need to be taken to reduce its size and scope in order to maximize the liberty and freedom for the individual.  The differences between libertarians and Conservatives however are stark, and taken as a whole, neither movement complements the other very well.  

Standing on its own, libertarianism is its own real entity, and falls into its own consistent category of maximum freedom, ideological purity, and consistency against any logical challenge to its premises. Libertarians do not agree on the what specifically constitutes the NAP.  For example, Objectivists have their own version of the NAP, and the libertarians have theirs.  They look rather similar, however, Objectivists would argue that libertarians version of the NAP is a variety of vague abstractions rooted in arbitrary whim, which damages the overall philosophy.  Libertarians on the contrary, argue that Objectivists system is closed, problematic, and particularly the Anarcho-Capitalists would argue, that the Objectivists belief in minimal Government is an example of Coercive force on the individual.

In matters of economics, libertarians do not completely agree either.  As it stands now, I have heard no debate among libertarians who would agree with the economics of John Maynard Keynes and his championing of using government to provide fiscal stimulus to the market.  Since libertarians do not believe in force, and most libertarians believe that taxes are reliant on forcible, State sanctioned theft, any fiscal stimulus provided by government to an economy would be such an example of theft, and pillage of an individual’s property.  There are two other schools of thought which libertarians may split on.  Varying libertarians may disagree over which economic school best represents the ideals of libertarianism, and best champions the NAP.  These schools championed by men from the Chicago School (Milton Friedman), and those of the Austrian School (See Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, Hoppe).  It should be noted that the Austrian School of economics is not limited to the ideas of Rothbardian “Anarcho-Capitalism” but find their root in the ideas also of FA Hayek, who was not an Anarcho-Capitalist, Ludwig von Mises (Who mentored both Hayek and Rothbard and also influenced the works of Friedman), Carl Menger, Hanz Hermann-Hoppe etc.  

The point is simple: Collectivizing the ideas of libertarianism as one simple “dangerous thought” is misleading and constitutes the ultimate strawman, besmirching the principles put forth by libertarians and their single axiom: The Non Aggression Principle. I like to say if you put ten different people in a room and ask them to define a word, you will hear ten different definitions, all with the same goal.  Libertarians are no different, but their goal is the same; Maximizing Freedom for the individual. 

It should be noted that those who retain power by fiat in upper levels of government; who wield the auspices of power through their relationships with those who drive government policy at the expense of the individual will always try to discredit a movement, and attempt to define it in a manner most convenient to achieve their ends.  Governor Christie, who clearly does not empathize with libertarians or their “Dangerous” thoughts may very well be one of those people.  He’s but one of many.  

Whenever a tragic event happens, and the term “Terrorism” is invoked, there seems to be a public reaction/outcry demanding an immediate and overwhelming reprisal.  No less, such attacks have the greatest affectation against moral society, for the act, in its egregiousness causes reactions that may seem logical at the moment, but do not stand the weight of scrutiny once time and logic is used to examine the cause, and the eventual effects.

The Boston Bombing of April 15, 2013 is no exception.  As events unfolded on that tragic day, the city of Boston, no less the nation was gripped in a sense of terror.  It is not at all surprising to hear hawkish rhetoric not long after the attack that it runs counter to “our” principles and way of life.  This rhetoric seems to be affected by such terror as “we” are told by our leaders, our talk show hosts, our police authorities to “go about our daily lives” and that “the terrorists win, only if we submit to terror.” This seems to be the rubric that flows subliminally in our day to day watercooler speech with coworkers and colleagues when discussing such matters as “Terrorism”.

Following the timeline of the event, explosion and aftermath, the immediate response on social media, and the other media outlets was “This has to be terrorism”, “This must be terrorism” basing the event and effects solely on the outcome, without examining exactly what the term implies.  “Terrorism” is a political term describing an act of violence against a population of people to violently advance a political or social cause.  Two hours after the bombing in Boston, the outcries of “Terrorism” were bleeding thick from all media outlets, while the only thing we knew at the time, was that the explosion was violent, it was scary, and people were injured and killed.  What we did not know, at the time, was what political or social causes were being advanced.  

Not more than two hours after the bombing, the New York Post published an article stating that a “Person of Interest” of Saudi descent was being questioned by authorities at the hospital.  This story was perpetuated on Social Media, and the outcries condemning Radical Islam became thicker than the blood running in the streets of Boston.  This of course based on an unsubstantiated article, without any proof to confirm the assertions of the author of the said article.  This article of course was de-bunked by the Boston Police Department and FBI not more than one hour later, telling the American Public that the “Person of Interest” was not in custody, nor was he a suspect.  The public moved on, and wanted its revenge.

Of course we know the rest of the story, on Thursday evening, April 18. 2013 an MIT Campus Police Officer was shot and killed by the brother’s Tsarnaev.  Martial Law was imposed on Watertown, near the MIT Campus, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a shootout, and young Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured in a tarped boat in a residential yard, not far from where the shooting of the Campus Police Officer occurred.  

The capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev touched off another debate, and outcry over whether or not the public safety exception should be invoked prior to advising him of his Miranda Rights pursuant to the 5th Amendment.  Public outcry against the Miranda Advisement was visceral, being seen to the simplest tweet on Twitter, to outcries on Fox News from such influential pundits as Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly.  It seems that public outrage at the act, justifiable as it may be, was the lone argument about suspending the Constitution and its protections in “certain exceptions.”  Senator’s such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham even proposed designating Tsarnaev a “Foreign Combatant” despite not having much information about him.  Sean Hannity on his own show, suggested that Miranda Waivers should not be sought for Tsarnaev, and should he still choose not to talk, Hannity implied that we “dunk him in some water.”

These arguments made are exactly what’s wrong with too much public outcry following a dreadful attack.  No matter the scale, no matter the havoc and destruction caused by the act itself; whether it be towers that fall on the dreadful September Morning, a Federal Building collapsing following a truck bomb, or a normally peaceful sporting event wrecked by the chaos of self radicalized terrorists; our civil liberties must always remain the same, unimpeached, and unbreakable.  The institution of Martial Law on a city, the door to door warrantless searches, the rush to judgment absent facts by the public and media, and the suspension of civil liberties, despite the principle of rule of law, and the concept of rights.  Our public in its grief got this one horribly wrong, and they in their grief sanctioned the government to only reap more for the argument toward public safety at the expense of our liberty.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “It is the natural progression of things for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”  When we invoke a “sometimes” approach to our civil liberties following an act of terrorism, we imply that we are willing to give that ground so government can gain.  It has been the nature of things ever since that dreadful September morning, which not only gave us over 3000 dead, but also governmental monstrosities such as the Patriot Act, warrantless surveillance, and worst of all, an unjustified war of aggression in the Middle East (Iraq).  It is imperative for us to follow events as tragic as April 15, 2013, 9/11 and other horrible events with careful consideration not only of the affects these acts of violence have on the wounded and dead, but also on the liberties that will be grabbed by the government, in the name of our “Interests.”  If we allow our liberties to be circumvented by the government in the name of our safety, we hand the trophy of victory to our aggressors, and we allow them to take from us what they truly want.  Our sense of self, our integrity, and our principles.

Wolfravenous Weblog

There is NO Spoon!

Rogue Government

Eternal Vigilance for Liberty

Composing Yourself

...finding your voice through writing

D'ANCONIAS DAILY

Money is the barometer of a society's virtue

Political Fireball

New Mexico's Conservative Voice

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.