David B. Kopel Quotes

 

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David B. Kopel Quotes 1-4 out of 4
   
Persons who fit “drug courier profiles” may be detained and harassed by the police, although such profiles include getting off the plane early, late, or in the middle as an element of the profile. Infrared sensors spy into people’s homes, with no probable cause. Except in the home, the Fourth Amendment’s probable cause requirement has been mostly abolished by a “law and order” Supreme Court. Under forfeiture laws, billions of dollars of private property have been seized from persons who have never been charged, let alone convicted of any crime. Pre-trial detention, a gross contradiction of the presumption of innocence, has become routine. Citizens traveling on busses, on trains, or in private cars are liable to be pulled over and searched by police and drug-sniffed by police dogs for no reason at all. Urinalysis has become a routine condition of initial or continued employment, and the medical privacy of many persons taking lawful prescription medication has been compromised as a result. Stalinesque “Drug Abuse Resistance Education” programs in the schools encourage children to turn in their parents for illegal drug possession. Attractive young police officers pretend to be high school students, and pester socially awkward teenagers into selling them drugs. Punishment for crime has become grotesquely disproportionate to the offense, as teenagers in possession of $1,500 worth of LSD are sent to prison for longer terms than kidnappers and arsonists. America has a higher imprisonment rate than any other nation in the world, and yet violent criminals serve less and less time in prison as America’s rapidly expanding prison industry takes in more and more young people convicted of drug offenses. The United States Army is conducting domestic law enforcement operations in California and Oregon; the National Guard has been turned into a militarized drug police. Wiretapping has never been more common. Financial privacy has vanished as banks must report currency transactions; car dealers must report customers who buy with cash.
[T]he drug prohibition laws have led to wholesale destruction of civil liberties. The War on Drugs has now become a War on the Constitution, and the American people have become, in the eyes of their government, a society of suspects.
[I]f society acknowledges that handguns have significant defensive value and can help save the lives of police officers and security guards, how can society deny that handguns can also help save the lives of other people?
In the twentieth century, the United States government forced 100,000 United States citizens into concentration camps. In 1941, American citizens of Japanese descent were herded into concentration camps run by the United States government. Like the victims of other mass deportations, these Americans were allowed to retain only the property they could carry with them. Everything else—including family businesses built up over generations—had to be sold immediately at fire-sale prices or abandoned. The camps were “ringed with barbed wire fences and guard towers.” During the war, the federal government pushed Central and South American governments to round up persons of Japanese ancestry in those nations and have them shipped to the U.S. concentration camps. ... the incarceration of Japanese-Americans continued long after any plausible national security justification had vanished. ... what if the war had gone differently? What if a frustrated, angry America, continuing to lose a war in the Pacific, had been tempted to take revenge on the “enemy” that was, in the concentration camps, a safe target. Would killing all the Japanese be a potential policy option? In 1944, by which time America’s eventual victory in the war seemed assured, the Gallup Poll asked Americans, “What do you think we should do with Japan, as a country, after the war?” Thirteen percent of Americans chose the response “Kill all Japanese people.”
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David B. Kopel Quotes 1-4 out of 4
   
 
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