Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Legislative Blackmail

The Sheriff started a program whereby checks were being made of people entering DSS to see if they had any outstanding warrants.  Recently, a person was arrested who was wanted on a felony.  Sounds pretty good, right?

Well ........ the liberals in this county went bananas.  Legislator Bartels went so far as to propose an amendment to the 2015 budget to eliminate the Sheriff's security detail.  Now, having been legislatively blackmailed, the Sheriff is temporarily suspending the policy.

Now, let me pose a question.  Suppose a person is wanted for feloniously assaulting a child.  He enters DSS, but nobody checks to see if he has a warrant.  Two days later, since the man is still at large, he assaults another child and this time the child dies.  You still like the policy change?

My example sounds extreme, but it is certainly possible.

Now, those who say that checking for warrants is a violation of rights, let's examine the truth.  When people go to DSS, they have to sign in. This requires giving their name.  Since the county has their name, why is it unreasonable to see if that name appears on the wanted list?  From a legal standpoint, it is not a constitutional violation.  They are not taking fingerprints or DNA.  They are checking names on a list.

Yet, people are going crazy falsely claiming a constitutional violation.  Where is the outrage that a legislator used a proposed budgetary maneuver to blackmail the constitutionally elected Sheriff into changing a policy on apprehending offenders?  Where is the outrage that elected legislators are more concerned that people lining up for public assistance are being checked for warrants than they are at protecting our citizenry?

Look, I am as outraged as anyone at some of the lengths the government has gone to violate personal freedoms.  The reading of private e-mails and text messages was wrong.  The domestic spying was a constitutional violation of epic proportions.  Since 9/11, the federal government under both major parties has eroded our personal freedoms.

I am one who considers Eric Snowden to be a hero for blowing the whistle.

All of that being said, simply checking a list of names to see if someone has an outstanding arrest warrant is not an egregious violation of constitutional rights.  It is not a warrantless search.  It is not a violation of the Constitution.  It is just good basic police work.

I pray that nobody gets hurt by someone who had a warrant out for their arrest and would have been apprehended and taken off the streets but for this recent legislative blackmail.

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