Every year, around this time, it just isn't the holiday season if you don't end up stuck in a long line of traffic going through a mandatory DUI checkpoint. The cops are looking for people drinking and driving, and this unconstitutional search has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
And every year around this time, when I say it is a violation of my rights, someone chimes in:
"If you aren't doing anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about."
It's entirely possible that if I hear this argument one more time this year, I'm going to have something to worry about, because there's going to be the body in my trunk.
I was involved in a conversation on a thread online about these checkpoints and I was deeply saddened by the dozens of people who think having their rights violated is a wonderful thing. They simply can't wrap their heads around how very wrong this is, what a slippery slope that we are stepping onto, and how this is an entry into the police state in all its glory.
They said things like:
"Well if you havent been drinking and doing something illegal there isnt anything to worry about??? And let them get the ones putting me and my kids in danger…"
"The person who left the bar after several drinks violated my rights for a safe ride!!"
"If you aren't doing anything wrong it was really no big deal. Took a few extra minutes but they were nice and just trying keep everyone safe."
"Well if you don't drink and drive then you have nothing to worry about. A little inconvenience to keep you safe is worth it."
"Cops doing their job, checking for drunk drivers, is not a loss of freedom! A loss of freedom is the assholes who decide it is within their right to put others at risk by drinking and driving."
"The DUI checkpoint is for safety. And thats their job. Thank you to the men and women who do their best to keep us and others safe."
"No the drunk or impaired driver is violating my rights ,, my right to travel safely on our roadways ,,,, so check and bust away baby !!!! "
"Way to go *[location redacted]* PD.. Keeping us safe in this community . If they just catch one they could be saving someone life !!"
"They are just doing there job. I would rather see ten cops waste tax payers Dollars, then one drunk driver kill a family, or anybody"
" I think it is great. Anything to keep drunk drivers off the road is a good thing. Thank you Placerville PD for keeping us safe!"
"I am not bothered by it at all. Wish they did them more often actually."
"They r keeping u safe by trying to crack down on drunk drivers."
"It is a good thing! Too many drunk drivers! Thank you law enforcement! Thank you!"
THIS HURTS MY HEAD. I actually have physical pain reading these comments, with dozens of "thumbs up" on each one.
In 1755, Benjamin Franklin wrote to the Pennsylvania Assembly:
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Those Founding Fathers had a handle on tyranny and they tried to warn us. But it seems like very few are paying attention.
My comment, which did not get dozens of "thumbs up" incidentally, was:
"Obviously everyone is opposed to drunk drivers. But when you give up liberty for safety, you deserve neither, to loosely paraphrase a Founding Father of this country. Hey! Let's allow them to keep us really safe. I think they should inspect our homes to make sure we aren't breaking any laws that might hurt someone. After all, if you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about!"
This was met with cries of, "That's different" and "You're being ridiculous." Plus a few things I can't publish on a G-rated website. Some of those neighborhood watch folks really don't seem to like me much.
Realistically, though, how is a DUI checkpoint different than random searches of my home? How is inspecting one area of my property without my consent any different than inspecting another area of my property? If I just let them do their jobs without complaint, it will keep me safer, right? Think about the children!
5 Reasons Why "If You Haven't Done Anything Wrong" Is an Invalid Argument
There are a lot of problems with the whole "if you aren't doing anything wrong you don't have anything to worry about" argument. Here are just a few:
#1.) You are not the person who gets to decide if you have something to worry about. While the purported purpose of a checkpoint might be to look for drunk drivers, what if the police officer looks in your vehicle and sees something, however innocent, that he feels is a cause for concern? What if he thinks that case contains a firearm instead of a cordless screwdriver kit? What if he sees a jug of apple cider and thinks you're driving with an open container of bourbon? Sure, you'll be able to prove that you are innocent, but meanwhile, you may find yourself face down on the pavement, getting a swift kick to the ribs if you object, and having the entire contents of your vehicle pulled out on the side of the road.
#2.) The rules change constantly. There are over 10,000 federal laws, each state has thousands of laws, and each community has innumerable codes. Do you honestly believe that with hundreds of thousands of things you could be in violation of that you are within the restrictions on every single one of them? Most of these "laws" are there simply to generate revenue and do absolutely nothing to enhance safety. Every time we walk out our door in the mornings, we can be assured we are in violation of numerous rules we never even knew existed. It's impossible to live a law-abiding life when the laws are too numerous to remember.
For instance, did you know that it is a federal crime to be in possession of a lobster under a certain size? It doesn't matter if you bought it at a grocery store, if someone else gave it to you, if it's dead or alive, if you found it after it died of natural causes, or even if you killed it while acting in self-defense. You can go to jail because of a lobster.
Sounds ridiculous, right? But it's a law that is on the books. You could break it and not even realize it. Maybe you actually DO have something to hide and you have absolutely no idea that you are a potential felon.
#3.) You are being gradually inoculated against outrage. Outrage is similar to your body's immune system. It's a response that says, "Something is wrong here." When you are outraged, you are mentally preparing to fight back. With little injustices occurring constantly, people just naturally start to think, "Oh, this is no big deal." Then the next injustice is a little bit bigger, but because you've accepted previous injustices, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. One day, people are going to wake up to the violations that have piled up, one on top of the other, and say to themselves, "Hey, this is America. What the heck!!!" Except by then, it won't be America anymore. It will be too late to get back our lost freedom.
#4.) Enforcement of laws is entirely subjective. Because there are so many laws out there, we are definitely breaking some, and we don't even know what they are, what stands between all of us and a prison sentence? The selective judgment of the law enforcement officer who happens to be peering into your vehicle with a flashlight. Do you look like his ex-wife? Is he personally biased against people of your race or ethnic background? Does he passionately hate the sports team you are touting with your t-shirt? Maybe he saw your Gadsden flag bumper sticker and said, "Oh – it's one of those people," and decided to look more thoroughly than usual in order to find something you were doing wrong. You are completely at the mercy of the officer's good graces. Most times, sure, you'll sail through unscathed, but what about those other times?
This is how corruption in law enforcement and government begin: through subjective laws created to generate revenue and shift the balance of power. You are completely at the mercy of the officer's good graces. Most times, sure, you'll sail through unscathed, but what about those other times?
#5.) If they want to condemn you, they can always find something. Remember the lobster law above? Boom….felony. Remember Al Capone? They couldn't get him for the crimes they wanted him for, but they got him for tax evasion.
Cardinal Richelieu lived in the early 1600s. Even way back then, he knew the truth about the dangers of surveillance. He said:
"If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged."
Now, coming from the Cardinal, that is scary indeed, since he was known for his authoritarian maneuvers, spying, censorship, and a yen for an absolute monarchy. Fast forward to the present, when we live in a place with reams of executive orders that completely bypassed the Congressional checks and balances phase. Think about today, when we have to go through a naked body scanner and take off our shoes to travel to see our grandparents at the holidays. Think about our current situation in America, when civil asset seizure is one of the most profitable businesses around.
Asset forfeiture creates huge incentives for law enforcement officers to "police for profit." The money can be used for salaries and to purchase advanced equipment.
A program called equitable sharing allows police to take property from citizens under federal civil forfeiture law instead of the applicable state law. This is a great deal for law enforcement because federal law makes civil forfeiture both relatively easy and rewarding – as much as 80 percent of the proceeds are returned to the seizing agency.
You might be "safe" from drunk drivers, but who is going to keep you safe from the State?
When we give away freedom, we never get it back.
Back in 1775, John Adams wrote these prophetic words:
A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
This is what we are seeing right now. We are living in the end of an era of freedom. If we allow this to continue, in a hundred years, the history books (those secret unrevised ones that tell the real story) will look at our lifetime and say, "This is when Liberty died."
The America that was created is making its last swirls in the sink before it goes right down the drain, and people think that these small, incremental erosions of our freedom don't matter. In fact, they love it because it gives them a false sense of security.
Remember the Patriot Act? After 9/11, that document took away freedom in the name of safety. We'll be throwing away half-full bottles of water forever in the airport because of it, forced to submit to people who aren't even law enforcement officers if we ever wish to board a plane. All for our own safety. We are under threat of the NDAA, which allows indefinite detention without trial of anyone suspected of potential terrorism. All for our own safety. What about the "United Nations Small Arms Treaty that goes into effect on Christmas Eve? Do you think our gun rights that have been lost to overreaching legislation will be returned to us after this globalist disarmament law goes into effect? These liberties are gone forever unless something terribly dramatic occurs.
With the brainwashing going on, that dramatic event that restores liberty is becoming more unlikely. This quote about the local checkpoints, tragically, says it all, and the woman who posted it really, sincerely believes that the violation of our rights is a wonderful thing.
"I was stopped at that checkpoint as well! I love it! Lives were saved! My 9-year-old was in the car and learned a very good lesson!
Thank you officers for being out in the cold night standing around to save lives!"
Her son learned a valuable lesson, all right. And that lesson was "How To Be a Slave and Thank Your Master for Chaining You."
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