Monosyllabic Pedantry

Sunday, March 16, 2008

We're from the Government. We're Here to Help

Can you believe this shit?

D.C. Seeks Consent To Search for Guns

D.C. police are so eager to get guns out of the city that they're offering amnesty to people who allow officers to come into their homes and get the weapons.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced yesterday the Safe Homes Initiative, aimed at parents and guardians who know or suspect that their children or other relatives have guns. Under the deal, police target areas hit by violence and seek adults who let them search their homes for guns, with no risk of arrest. The offer also applies to drugs that turn up during the searches, police said.
Residents who agree to the searches will be asked to sign consent forms. If guns are found, they will be tested to determine whether they were used in crimes. If the results are positive, police will launch investigations, which could lead to charges.

Why would anyone agree to this? First of all, that amnesty + fifty cents won't even buy a cup of coffee. Note that part about how the guns will be checked? I'm guessing that most handguns hidden in mattresses in the bad part of DC probably weren't legally purchased from a licensed dealer.
And kiss your 4th amendment rights goodbye, because if anything illegal is found, that will qualify as probable cause for future searches.
How will the cops respond when you tell them that you don't want them to search your home? Will they pressure you about not having anything to hide? Will they do like they do with vehicles and suddenly decide that you are acting suspiciously nervous, giving them probable cause?

If the cops show up at your door, try to remember they are not your friends. They are representatives of the government. Do not invite them in. Talk to them through the door.



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