When accused of a crime, you are entitled to due process.
This seems like such a simple concept, doesn’t it?
It is ingrained in our society.
Our entire legal system is supposed to be based on this premise.
But what does it really mean?
Due Process is One of Your Basic Human Rights
In this country, if you are suspected of a crime, there must be some sort of evidence to support the accusation.
Once the accusation is made, you are then entitled to know what the charges are, face your accusers, and present your case to a panel of people who are from the same walk of life as you (a jury of your peers).
In addition, if you are found to be innocent, the same charges for the same incident cannot be brought against you again – that’s what double jeopardy means. The reason for this is to prevent someone (usually a government official, but not always) from accusing you of a crime as a way to harass or persecute you.
A hearing before a judge is not, in itself, due process.
That is letting one man decide the fate of another.
In order for the accused to receive due process you must have several components:
- They must be given a statement of exactly what the charges are. The indictment process, where the charges are presented, is actually a protection for the defendant.
- They must be supplied with qualified representation. Without access to someone with intimate knowledge of the law and the processes, the accused has no chance of defense.
- They have a right to face their accuser.
- They have a right to present a defense to the charges brought against them and to be treated as innocent until guilt is adjudicated.
- They have a right to be judged by people like themselves, from all walks of life, and with no skin in the game.
And Yet, Americans Clamor For Fewer of These Rights
We have a situation now where the United States Government has compiled a secret list, with secret criteria for inclusion, that supposedly justifies treating citizens like criminals.
Of course, controlling the language controls the debate…
So they dubbed this blacklist the “Terrorist Watch List” and convinced you that it’s for your safety.
This terrorist watch list, and the associated “no fly” list, is kept secret from the public for “security reasons,” but is supposed to include people who are suspected of terrorist activity or association with known terrorists.
The trouble is that we don’t actually know:
- Who is on the list
- What qualifies as a “flag”
- How to get OFF the list
There is a movement in Congress, and among some of our citizens, to deny basic human rights to people because they are on this secret list.
The secret list with no actual stated criteria for inclusion.
The secret list that is not evaluated by any impartial 3rd party.
The secret list that is the sole territory of elected officials whose livelihoods depend on public compliance with their legislations.
Barbara Boxer said that if someone was denied the purchase of a firearm because they are on the “no fly” list, that they can prove themselves innocent…
But how do you do this when there are no real charges and there is no legal venue for appeal?
And how do we justify denying someone’s rights because they did something like traveling overseas, visiting a website, or perhaps expressing displeasure with the state of our government?
Likewise, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, and perhaps even Mother Theresa would be prime candidates based on what we know of the watch list criteria.
Who are we to arbitrarily deny someone their right to personal defense?
Isn’t that akin to saying who has the right to live and who should die?
Our laws are there for a reason…but so are our Constitution and its Bill of Rights.
That foundational document safeguards the individual from being victimized by an abusive, overbearing, tyrannical government…or by people who have a personal vendetta.
But perhaps the most egregious offense is that, in this day and age where terrorist attacks on US soil are a distinct possibility, we are trying to deprive law abiding citizens of their natural right to self defense because someone THINKS they MIGHT have visited a website, talked to another vaguely suspicious character, or perhaps some other unknown, unspecified activity.
Before we lend our support to passing laws that further erode our freedom, perhaps we should look at the implications and the possible side effects.
We have already created slaughter zones by prohibiting legal carry of defensive tools.
That has resulted in murderers being able to inflict mass casualties while ARMED MEN rush to the scene to end the carnage.
Will disarming other law abiding people make us more safe or less?
Won’t the criminals and terrorist still find ways to hurt people?
They obviously don’t care that murder is punishable by death, so will a list keep them from killing?
I think not.
The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Let’s not deprive our good guys of their right to life by taking away the tools to defend it.