Fish Or Man

Friday, January 07, 2005

Weighing In

Should you stand up for your rights during a police stop? Should you even question a police officer? Should you passively resist when you are at the mercy of government agents? Should you fight back with all you have when surrounded by petty tyrants?

Or should you say, “Yes sir” and “No sir” and simple plan on standing up for yourself at some later date? Should you wait for the courts to stand up for your rights, (courts that rarely acknowledge the existence of the Constitution)?

The question remains, how do we handle a situation in which your freedoms are being diminished? We are left with choices. For most people, the choice is an easy one. But ‘easy’ is not synonymous with “right.”

We are told that “officer friendly” has the power to destroy a law-abiding citizen’s life; therefore, any person that wants to remain free should never question authority. I find that sentence to have a contradiction. When faced with a contradiction, check your premises.

History shows us that any government will push just as far as society willingly accepts, (Constitution, laws, right and wrong be damned). What we accept is what we will get. I’ve been told that police in this state have an active program to “discourage” open carrying, even though it is a legal activity. I’ve also been told that “officer friendly” has the power to destroy my life without cause if I should so much as question his authority, (some now even defend this ability). I’ve even been told that a CPL/CCW is not an infringement upon my right to bear arms. These are premises, which you may accept, but I do not.

There was a time a black man walking down the sidewalk was enough reason for police to investigate. If the black man so much as questioned this investigation it was a decision he would be taught to regret. Did courts defend this man’s rights? Were police fired over the incidents? Not frequently. What changed? Societies acceptance towards this treatment.

There was also a time a gay couple holding hands would be beaten on sight, (either by police or ‘righteous’ citizens). What changed? Societies acceptance towards this treatment.

These policies have been changed through great risk and sacrifice. I am sorry to report that simply paying your dues will not insure your freedoms. Many have risked all and lost. You may be the type to blame their death on their own “unwise” decisions. But the choices those individuals made have changed our acceptance levels of these evils.

I will finish with the answer to the overall question: When is the right time to stand up for your freedoms? Whenever and wherever they are being assaulted.