American Ignorance, or why civil liberties matter

America celebrated July 4th this past Thursday.

Let freedom ring, right? The above video was taken July 4th in Murfreesboro, TN at a DUI Checkpoint.

People may argue for hours about whether or not refusing to roll down a window any further was justification for the actions by law enforcement in the video. That’s not the point of this conversation.

Every driver ought to know their rights as it relates to dealing with law enforcement. If you don’t know, you need to find out. Read the constitution. Ask a lawyer what you can and cannot refuse to do. It might surprise you. Educate yourself on what your rights are. Even if you are ok with giving up your rights (which you shouldn’t be) doesn’t mean you should expect others to do the same.

After the NSA scandal was revealed in the past few weeks, I heard a lot of my friends say, “I don’t care if they read my emails or track my phone. If it helps keep me safe, I don’t care.” That is the wrong position for the conversation. You might be willing to give up your right to privacy for safety. That doesn’t mean you should.

We have a problem in this country. People don’t know their rights. We don’t know the law. Even those who do often aren’t willing to hold the government to an expectation of those rights. Many believe law enforcement is just doing their job. They are somehow exempt from operating under the law because they chose a dangerous profession. That simply isn’t true, and we should all be aware that giving up your personal freedom for some perceived safety is a truly ignorant position. Your freedom is paramount.

Here’s a primer for your rights. The Constitution of the United States of America. Pay special attention to the 4th Amendment. It’s a good one.

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3 responses to “American Ignorance, or why civil liberties matter”

  1. Byron says :

    Great post Wes. Would love to see a series of posts with the purpose of education. What are our rights? What are the laws we may not know or we possibly misunderstand?

  2. helenbirdart says :

    outrageous. it has happened to me twice, and neither time was any law broken. great piece.

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