Keeping Rights on Paper, Losing Them on the Streets

While many people love to promote the various rights guaranteed by the Constitution, it is interesting to see how rights are restricted not through legislation or even an active judiciary, but simply by law enforcement not respecting them. Consider the right to keep and bear arms and this officer’s reaction to a man exercising his right. The Second Amendment has been upheld by the courts, and there have been recent landmark cases restoring that right to people unfortunate enough to live in places like Washington, D.C. Legal victories such at that have little effect on those supposedly hired to defend person and property, however:

Here is an example of how the mere presence of police officers is a defacto restriction on the exercise of rights. This could have easily turned into a deadly confrontation. If the officer had killed this man, it is unlikely, given what we have seen across the country, that he would have faced any criminal charges, even though his entire demeanor makes it unmistakably clear that this officer is just that: a hardened criminal.

This sort of behavior makes carrying a gun a much more dicey affair. Eventually, people may find that carrying a gun actually makes them less safe, as the likelihood of an encounter with the police becomes greater than an encounter with a private criminal in a growing police state. This is already the case with blacks, but as I have mentioned before, the rights we have in the face of the police is an example of equality in oppression, rather than equal freedoms. Perhaps in the future, the courts can go ahead and formalize the whole thing and say that we have no rights that the uniformed man is bound to respect.

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  • This is what the Open Carry movement is about – politely and firmly asserting one’s rights. If people don’t use their rights, they lose them.

    There are similar issues – challenging “free speech cages”, for example. If the right to assemble and petition the government means anything, it must include the prospect of politicians actually seeing and hearing protestors, not caging the protestors half a mile away where they can be ignored.

    It isn’t for everyone, but it’s good that people do push back, otherwise these angry police officers would get no negative feedback at all; like any bully, they’d just demand more and more.

  • This video is infuriating. The cops presume that these people are criminals while simultaneously neglecting to approach them with any caution. They treat these people like dogs… giving no respect, neither the respect of a citizen nor the respect of an enemy.

  • It is long past time for us to start disbanding these organized gangs of thugs. We have much more to fear from the so-called “law enforcement” than we do from ordinary criminals.

  • Yet another American made to feel like a criminal for being in a bad spot at a bad time.