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Compare And Contrast

Currently in Boston, they're trying out a new program to cut down on gun violence. The police are going to homes and asking for permission to search the house for illegal guns. If any are found, they are confiscated -- but no charges are being filed. And if the residents refuse, the police (in theory) thank them for their time and move on.

This has a lot of people concerned about the intrusiveness of the police, and potential violations of civil rights and intimidation of people.

I'm not too thrilled about it. Surprisingly, this puts me on the same side as the ACLU, which is going out of its way to make sure residents know that they can refuse the search without fear of repercussions.

But the Boston Globe found a couple of scholarly sorts to defend the program, and published their lengthy essay last Sunday.

While I was reading it, I found myself seeing many familiar terms and concepts. Safety, security, making compromises for the common good, trusting officials to do the right thing and keep their word and respect boundaries...

In short, many of the same arguments put forth by the Bush administration to justify many of its anti-terrorist programs.

There are a few differences, though. The Bush administration focuses its efforts on people who do bad things -- or want to. The Boston police are after objects, and we all know that things are far more dangerous than people. Just last week, I read the story about a shotgun going on a rampage and killing seven people before police tackled and unloaded it. They're currently seeking the owner who let it loose to run amok.

Another is that the Bush administration is looking at finding ways within the laws, creative and constructive solutions to protecting the American people. The Boston cops are showing up unannounced at homes and hoping that they can intimidate people into signing away their rights and allowing them to go through their homes.

I'd be very interested in seeing Mr. Braga and Reverend Brown distinguish between the Boston police's new "Safe Homes" program and the Bush administration's anti-terrorism programs. The convolutions of logic and rationalizations and justifications could be most entertaining.


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Comments (6)

I didn't read the Glob arti... (Below threshold)

I didn't read the Glob article, so this may have been covered, but what happens if the police find a stash of marijuana or similar non-gun contraband during the search? Seems to me that it all gets in pursuant to a lawful search...

Why dont the confiscate all... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Why dont the confiscate all those guns used by the entire city council and mayor of BOSTON i mean why should they enjoy the privlages of armed protection when they dont want their own citizens their 2nd amendment rights to armed self defense

What an interesting program... (Below threshold)

What an interesting program. I guess since the police aske politely one should let them in for a random search which becomes legal and permissible since it is with the homeowners consent.

I was raised in a law abiding home. I have raised my children in a law abiding home. However, one of the rules they've learned as soon as they could understand was that we don't let police or any other government representatives into the house unless there is a warrant and Mom or Dad says it is okay. Anyone that will willingly and freely allow any government agent into their house is asking for trouble.

Copied from the link:... (Below threshold)

Copied from the link:
"residents will be asked to give police permission to search their child's room for illegal guns in exchange for a promise that no gun arrest will follow."

Are parents that disengaged in these areas from their kids and the layout of their own homes that they can't search the homes themselves but need the police to do it? I guess I am being naive but I agree with Kevin above. What else are they looking for?

The Thunder Run has linked ... (Below threshold)

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 11/27/2007 A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...

OK, since no one else seeme... (Below threshold)

OK, since no one else seemed to ask, I'll do it:

Don't the Boston police have anything better to do with their time?

I mean, really. Let's get this straight. They ask for permission to search. If the resident says no, they move on. Net result: no arrests. If the resident agrees, then there are illegals guns or there aren't. But the net result is the same: no arrests.

But apparently, the Boston police don't have people trained to investigate crimes that actually have occurred. They are also, apparently, unwilling or unable to change into plain clothes and walk around Boston catching criminals in the act. Instead, they have time for this ...

Cowardly. Stupid. Useless.






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