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If the government can tell you what you can and cannot do within the privacy of your home, whether it relates to what you eat, what you smoke or whom you love, you no longer have any rights whatsoever within your home.

If government officials can fine and arrest you for growing vegetables in your front yard, praying with friends in your living room, installing solar panels on your roof, and raising chickens in your backyard, you’re no longer the owner of your property.

If school officials can punish your children for what they do or say while at home or in your care, your children are not your own — they are the property of the state.

If government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family, your property is no longer private and secure — it belongs to the government. Likewise, if police can forcefully draw your blood, strip search you, and probe you intimately, your body is no longer your own, either.

This is what a world without the Fourth Amendment looks like, where the lines between private and public property have been so blurred that private property is reduced to little more than something the government can use to control, manipulate and harass you to suit its own purposes, and you the homeowner and citizen have been reduced to little more than a tenant or serf in bondage to an inflexible landlord.

Examples of this disregard for the sanctity of private property — whether in the form of one’s home, one’s possessions, or one’s person — abound. Here are just a few.

» In San Rafael, California, it is now illegal to smoke a cigarette or other tobacco product inside “apartments, condos, duplexes, and multi-family houses,” while in Florida and elsewhere throughout the country, home vegetable gardens are being targeted as illegal.

» In Ohio, it’s illegal to alter one’s car with a hidden compartment if the “intent” is to conceal illegal drugs. Although Norman Gurley had no drugs on his person, nor in his car, nor could it be proven that he intended to conceal drugs, he was still arrested for the “crime” of having a hidden compartment in the trunk of his car.

The most obvious disrespect for property rights comes in the form of the tens of thousands of SWAT team raids that occur across the country on a yearly basis. Usually undertaken under the pretense of serving a drug warrant, these raids involve police arriving at a private residence in SWAT gear, armed to the hilt, kicking down doors, apprehending all persons inside the home, then determining if a crime has been committed.

Read more at The Daily Progress