When panic “justifies” violation of constitutional rights

Under the guise of having students sign an “anti-violence” pledge, police gather handwriting samples to track down writer of a threatening note.  I really don’t remember whether the latest case law allows police to force someone to provide a handwriting sample that might incriminate him, but when school administrators cooperate in fooling students – minors – into unwittingly providing evidence against themselves, there’s something seriously wrong.

Yes yes yes, Newtown, Columbine, I get it, but this is still just plain wrong, as wrong in its own way as our internment of Japanese citizens during World War II. The constitution was drafted to protect us from hysteria trumping our god-given natural rights and liberties, and the overriding of those rights is a serious matter.


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45 responses to “When panic “justifies” violation of constitutional rights

  1. Al Dente

    I would volunteer a stool sample.

  2. marlin perkins-mutual of omaha

    whaddya think is the whole point behind getting god outta gubbermint?

    the christian goddless dont beleive in god given natural rights….they beleive in granting rights and takin em back. All damn kings, commies, tolitarians, or progressive liberals wanna rule by decree.

    “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion… Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” -John Adams

  3. Westchesterer

    You think colleges care about students? They only care about the parents money and putting the kid in permanent debt. Half of the college should disappear, their diplomas are not worth anything. It’s not completely the colleges fault though. The proles that attend the bottom feeding echelons of schools should never have wasted their money trying to get a piece of paper, even if they were tricked into believing it would benefit them. They also wanted to party for four years on their parents dime. Whose fault is it? The parents. Kids hardly know any better, and it is their money.

  4. Mark B.

    Hopefully someone more eloquent and credible than I will find a way to get a specific message across, that is by its very nature terrifying – that the answer is “no”.
    “No”, it is not worth saving “even one life” to further the curtailment of liberty. And even if my child was attending Sandy Hook, the answer would still be “no”. Because the question is invalid to begin with. The question “But if sacrificing this small freedom will save even one life, will it not be worth it?” is the epitome of convoluted reasoning and obscurity, presented in order to handcuff the person being asked, to place him in a room with no doors. Sooner or later that eloquent individual will come along and reveal the scam, the lie that question represents, and show the world that the way out of that doorless room is to answer “no, I’m sincerely sorry, but it is NOT worth it”.

  5. Peg

    Are we still in America? Sometimes I think I got off the bus at the wrong stop.

  6. InfoDiva

    For once, Chris, this liberal has to agree with you. This is outrageous.

  7. Central Gwich

    Chris, I like you man, but I disagree here. Any kid who makes a threat on a school building given what happened is a punk piece of filth. I have no trouble with the police making every effort possible to identify and apprehend this dip shit.

    Anyone who can makes a threat on a school building is a terrorist in my book. Waterboard this punk, then lock his ass up.

  8. Anonymous2

    The upside here is that the school’s 900 students will forevermore have a very healthy distrust of government!

  9. Adapt

    You gotta move with the times. The Constitution and the rights it affords has to be robust enough to adapt to current conditions. You have to accept that and stop being so intransigent and blinkered.

    • That is indeed the mantra of the “living constitution” people who, like you, are perfectly willing to give up their my rights in exchange for a bowl of pottage. Fortunately, you haven’t been able to betray us, yet. But soon …

      • Adapt

        times have changed since 1776. kids back then did not bring guns to schools. you have to move with the times.

        • Off topic, but not only did kids bring guns to school back in 1776, they were still doing so as late as the 1950’s, when high schools had rifle clubs. Young girls and boys in Brooklyn would bring their M1-Garands, a semi-automatic military “assault rifle” on the subways while traveling to and from high school. After WWII the military donated surplus Garands by the millions to civilian marksmanship groups, including programs for teens. Just like now, the problem wasn’t the guns in the hands of responsible young people but the thugs, and they seemed to prefer zip guns, if you remember your lurid 50’s movies. Of course back then, the panic was over comic books stirring up our youth but despite the best efforts of people like you, comic books are still with us and the republic has survived.

        • Westchesterer

          Murder and killings have been declining exponentially. We live in the safest periods in human history, ever. Your opprotunism over an incident involving a disturbed, ill, person is transparent. The facts don’t change because of hysteria. In 14th century London, homicide occured at 110 per 100,000 people. Today, it’s two. In 16th century Rome, homicide occured at 30-70 per 100,000 people. Today, it’s less than one. Claiming murders, even mass murders, didn’t happen when the constitution war written is idiotic. They happened at a rate of 10-100 times of todays rate.

          Fear mongering doesn’t entitle you to made up facts.


        • Anonymous

          14 and 15 year olds fought and killed the Redcoats with their own rifles.

    • AJ

      Has to be robust enough to adapt? Sounds like you want to write a new one. Don’t you mean had to be robust enough to survive future conditions? It is.

  10. Adapt

    So now your proposing we revert to the good ‘ol days by allowing teens from Brooklyn to carry semi-automatic machine guns on the subways? —- Of course you’re not! But it shows that the times have changed. In the 50’s kids carrying guns on subways may have been acceptable – the risks of such behavior were much lower. 60 years later, no one in their right mind would advocate teens with any kind of guns, let alone machine guns, because the world has changed. The Consitution now needs to be applied to these changed conditions. That is the point.

    • They already do, and I assume you’re ready to change with the times. Get over it. By the way, you’d be dismayed, doubtless, to know how many people do think of letting teenagers have guns – my guess is it runs in the millions – we train them to use them safely and that’s the end of the matter. Don’t project your own hysteria and ignorance on the rest of the country.

    • Westchesterer

      The world has changed. Homicides have decreased 99%. If you were living 500 years ago you would have witnessed 30-100 times as many killings as you do today.

      Just because you want to pretend murder didn’t happen in the past, even before guns, doesn’t mean that it’s true. Stop living in lala land. Guns have decreased the rate of crime exponentially.

      • Adapt

        “Guns have decreased the rate of crime exponentially” – Westchester. I believe this insightful quote of yours says everthing we need to know about who is living in lala land – or maybe it’s just a byproduct of living in Westchester!

        • That’s what the statistics say and these pages have run many links to exactly that data. You’re assuming that what you think must be true is reality. Try not projecting – it’ll just make you unhappy. Five cents, please.

        • Westchesterer

          When the constitution was written the homicide rate was 500% higher than it is today. That means homicide has decreased 80% since when the constitution was written. This doesn’t even adjust for race based crime, which skews the data. What exactly was your argument again?

          Here’s a graph that visualizes crime since 1700:


    • AJ

      A semi-automatic machine gun? A semi automatic is not a machine gun any more than a cat is a dog. Teens carrying guns on the subways would be criminals; they don’t follow the law. Have you ever heard of zip guns? They were very popular back in the 50s, and even a revolver is a semi-automatic. Where do you get this idea of guns on the subways. I used to live in Brooklyn in the late 40s and frequently rode the subway in the 50s (with my parents), back when a token was a nickel, and have no idea what you’re talking about? What is your source? Post the link.

      Guns are illegal in Mexico; that hasn’t worked to well at stopping gun violence there, but the worst gun violence was by the Mexican Government against the people at a peaceful protest in 1968 witnesses say hundreds were killed; the offical count is much less — there’s a surprise:

      “…Then he saw that the soldiers had the square surrounded. All exits were blocked.

      “At that moment, I knew,” he recalled in an interview with The News. “It was a planned operation . for blood.” …”

      “…“Before people could grasp what was happening, helicopters arrived, helicopter gunships that started firing down on the crowd,” he says.

      An American journalist from the UPI news agency standing next to Mr Trevor suddenly found himself covered in other people’s blood.

      “When the helicopters opened fire and flares were dropped to light up the square, people were absolutely terrified,” Mr Trevor recalls.

      The crowd began darting down side-streets to try to escape.

      “As we ran down the streets we were met by Mexican soldiers in full battle order – steel helmets, rifles – and backed by armoured cars.

      “People were being shot at from the front, by the foot soldiers, and from behind by the helicopter gunships, so they were trapped. It was terrible, there was no escape.”…”


      The above is the reason for the Second Amendment.

    • AJ

      BTW Adapt, have you ever shot a lowly little pistol like the .44 magnum? It’s a fun little gun if you can hold onto it. You can shoot it at a telephone pole and the bullet will come right out the othe side. I say let’s limit everyone to BB guns: careful, you’ll shoot your eye out.

  11. Adapt

    Just remind me – what instrument caused the mass killings in Newtown, Columbine, Tuscon, Aurora, Wisonsin – to name but a few? Rhetorical question we all know the answer to. You’re right – all of these cases typify the fact that “Guns have decreased the rate of crime exponentially”.

    • Westchesterer

      Did you forget that we live in the safest era of human history? Banning guns will only increase the rate of violent crime. Banning guns will ensure that the only people who have them are criminals. If guns were a problem, why has homicide decreased more than 80% since 1776?

      • Adapt

        Westchester – you really need to look beyond an isolated statistic that alone says very little. Why has there been a reduction in cholera since 1776? There are multiple answers to both our questions. Neither one is directly tied to one reason; and neither one is the direct result of the Constitution. Put some gas in your tank and come on over to Greenwich – you can use our great facilties here and broaden your horizons a little. I’ll even lend you my card to our Library – where you can read and learn about many of the possible reasons behind your statistics.

      • Rivman

        Actually the article you posted above is interesting but makes no mention of guns being the reason homicide is down since 1776. One of the commenters actually mentioned legalization of abortion as a reason.

        • Westchesterer

          Yeah, well, crime has been declining way before abortion ever became a routine medical procedure and hundreds of years before Roe v Wade.

    • Columbine was revolvers and a shotgun. The biggest slaughter of school children (28) occurred in Michigan in 1927-the killer used dynamite.
      How do you account for Switzerland having the third highest rate of gun ownership in the world, most of which are fully automatic military “assault” rifles yet one of the lowest violent crime rates? “oh, those are the Swiss”? You can’t dismiss the statistic without admitting that it isn’t an inanimate object that kills people, it’s people who kill people.

      • AJ

        The Swiss are too busy scrubbing their ceilings to commit crimes, at least the German Swiss are; the French and Italian Swiss, less so; they’re probably too busy eating Alplermagronen, Zurcher Geschnetzeltes and Wienerschnitzel, either that or throwing the Unspunnen stone.

    • Anonymous

      what instrument caused the mass killings in Newtown, Columbine, Tuscon, Aurora, Wisonsin ………..answer-crazy people

    • Anonymous

      What federal government murdered 75 innocent Americans, including 21 children in Waco, Texas?

  12. prosperityfollowsdynamite

    One need not look back as far as the 1950’s or 1960’s. In the 1970’s, high school students were routinely carrying cased .22 rifles to and from interscholastic matches on NYC subways and buses. In my own case, growing up in rural upstate NY, I clearly remember rifles in the gun racks of vehicles in the high school parking lot, particularly during hunting season(early 1980’s). The anti-gun hysteria which we are currently experiencing is a relatively recent phenomenon. And we should not forget that it is largely regional as well. The good news is that the vast geography of this great nation of ours is still populated by those in possession of common sense and an understanding of history and the Constitution. Bloomberg, Feinstein and their ilk are aberrations who do not speak for the majority of true patriotic citizens.

    • Adapt

      The fact that some people disagree with you does not make them un-patriotic. You may be surprized to see how many people disagree with you on this issue. Change is coming and you will soon be left behind.

      • AJ

        To amend the Constitution, an amendment has to be written, it must pass the House and Senate and be ratified by seventy-five percent of the States. I don’t see that happening unless you are suggesting the constitution can be changed by executive fiat.

        • Peg

          AJ – I do believe that Obama and many Democrats are planning exactly that: executive fiat. Nevertheless, I think that those who still cherish freedom and a rule of law (that is, changing the Constitution the way it was designed to be change, should that ever happen) would truly rise up against a tyrant.

      • AJ

        Yeah Peg, but I’m wondering what the Adept thinks: he’s the one who sez change is a commin’.

        Change is a Commin’:

      • Anonymous

        You may be surprised at what you find when you step out of the narrow little world of your progressive utopian bubble.

        Have you ever once in your life stepped inside a VFW or American legion post? Currently, we have the largest returning cohort of combat experienced veterans since World War II. The US Armed Forces have the highest percentage of combat experienced ranks, since World War II. Many, if not most, of these folks take their oath to the Constitution seriously and understand it has no expiration.

        Have you ever truly traveled through the bulk of American geography which is “Red-State” America and gotten to know its citizens with an open-minded respect for their values, traditions, and history?

        You are clueless.

    • AJ

      I went to school and lived in NYC in the 60s, worked and lived there in the late 60s and 70s, I went just about every where by subway every day — it was only fifteen cents then they raised it to twenty cents — and I don’t recall seeing any guns. Maybe because back then it wouldn’t be considered out of the ordinary that usually goes unnoticed. Growing up in OG in the 50s, I remember guns were commonplace, and no one gave it much thought except the usual safety warnings and to be careful. In the early eighties, I traveled to Canada through upstate New York frequently and as you say, the guns in the back windows of pickups was common — they were everywhere. Didn’t seem to be much if any gun violence back then. Of course then, Ritalin and other psychotropic drugs weren’t being prescribed to every other kid as if they were sugar pills if for no other reason than the kids aren’t interested in the crap they’re teaching them. Why won’t police disclose what the four prescription drugs were that were seized from the Aurora shooters home?

  13. Anonymous

    Brunswick school on maher avevenue had a pistol and rifle range for generations

  14. Anonymous2

    I was taught to shoot in boarding school when I was ten years old. I haven’t shot anyone yet.

  15. AJ

    Back in the fifties before there was such a thing as plastic, every kid had a metal six shooter and a cowboy hat. I even had a ray gun and a space helmet for intergalactic travel and shooting aliens, but back to issue at hand. This is what the subway platform between Grand Central and the Times Square shuttle used to look like in the bar that was right next to Nedick’s back when West side Story was the biggest hit in town: