You may recall a day when the police drove cars and you may have noticed that that is not the norm any longer. Every wonder why? They’re more expensive and cost more to maintain. So why the extra tax bucks? Simple…you’ll also notice a good chunk of them are K9 units, a LOT of k9 units. That’s a good thing, right?! Hell no. The reason why so many police departments have gone K9 is a case that came out 2 years ago called Harris v. Florida. In that case, the US Supreme Court elected to erode our Fourth Amendment rights even further by saying, essentially, that a K9 alert usurps the need for a search warrant. “A search warrant on a leash,” it’s called. But, wait a minute. What if the dog is old and hasn’t had an affirmative hit in 5 years? Too bad, no problem. Those hundreds of cars still have the US Supreme Court’s blessing to be searched without the need to bother a judge for a warrant based upon probable cause. Thankfully, the Court restrained themselves and said the same set of facts don’t apply to a residence but, chicken as they are, they limited their interpretation to whether officers are “invitees.” What?!
After practicing law and going in and out of courthouses for 16 years, I have finally decided to memorialize what I see on almost daily basis. The Florida courthouses were nice, but most in South Florida are modern and super high capacity. Georgia, on the other hand, has a LOT of beautiful courthouses and I just bought a camera to start showing the world! Sure, you could look them all up on-line, but this gets me outside. I snap a few shots from different angles and lighting, then grab a bite to eat on the square with the local townsfolk. Pretty cool way to spend a Saturday or Sunday. Here’s a few shots I took this week. The first is Cheorkee’s historical courthouse (1929), then Gilmer (2008), and Pickens (1949). I have also added a PHOTOS link on my website, http://www.etowahlaw.com, to which I will publish new content.
The official executive orders are out and people are either slapping their foreheads or nodding in agreement. Is Obama infringing upon the rights of United States citizens? What does the Second Amendment mean? I offer my feeling on the subject, which I’m sure some will disagree with, but that’s what blogs are for, right?
My view is simply this: the Second Amendment should be viewed in the light of the Framers mindsets and plain common sense. When viewed in this matter, the Amendment has limits. Jefferson and Adams, two political polar opposites with extraordinary minds, could not have imagined tanks, grenades, and stealth fighter jets. Hell, they hadn’t even invented rifling yet (that’s the grooves inside a barrel that make the bullet spin and fly true for those who don’t know). All they knew was smooth barrel, inaccurate rifles and swords. Thus, to suggest the Founders meant for the Right to be inclusive of all weapons is as ridiculous as suggesting pans on the head is a religion worthy of protection (yes, I know, that was actually a case and Peter Pan Head won…remarkable). The point is: there does have to be a line. I want my neighbor to be armed (as am I), but they don’t need a tank or, in my opinion, an AR-15.
We also have to keep in mind that the Amendment was written to protect the people from our own government “when,” as Jefferson believed, it becomes corrupt. The Founders believed that their taking up arms against the British would happen again and foresaw a time when we would go toe-to-toe, gun to gun again. Technology has nullified this, however. Our guns won’t take over a corrupt government. They have stealth jets and bombers; they have missiles; they have ships the size of cities. We can’t win. The legislative purpose is now meaningless.
In sum, I believe in the Second Amendment. With limits. Where that line should be drawn is another story.