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View Full Version : NO’s transformation into a two-bit dictatorship



Leader
11 Sep 05,, 02:47
Defenseless On the Bayou
New Orleans gun confiscation is foolish and illegal
Dave Kopel


In the nearly two weeks since Hurricane Katrina, the government of New Orleans has devolved from its traditional status as an elective kleptocracy into something far more dangerous: an anarcho-tyranny that refuses to protect the public from criminals while preventing people from protecting themselves. At the orders of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, the New Orleans Police, the National Guard, the Oklahoma National Guard, and U.S. Marshals have begun breaking into homes at gunpoint, confiscating their lawfully-owned firearms, and evicting the residents. "No one is allowed to be armed. We're going to take all the guns," says P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police.

Last week, thousands of New Orleanians huddled in the Superdome and the Convention Center got a taste of anarcho-tyranny. Everyone entering those buildings was searched for firearms. So for a few days, they lived in a small world without guns. As in other such worlds, the weaker soon became the prey of the stronger. Tuesday's New Orleans Times-Picayune reported some of the grim results, as an Arkansas National Guardsman showed the reporter dozens of bodies rotting in a non-functional freezer.

In the rest of the city, some police officers abandoned their posts, while others joined the looting spree. For several days, the ones who stayed on the job did not act to stop the looting that was going on right in front of them. To the extent that any homes or businesses were saved, the saviors were the many good citizens of New Orleans who defended their families, homes, and businesses with their own firearms.

These people were operating within their legal rights. The law authorizes citizen's arrests for any felony, and in the past (in the 1964 case McKellar v. Mason), a Louisiana court held that shooting a property thief in the spine was a legitimate citizen's arrest.

The aftermath of the hurricane has featured prominent stories of citizens legitimately defending lives and property. New Orleans lies on the north side of the Mississippi River, and the city of Algiers is on the south. The Times-Picayune detailed how dozens of neighbors in one part of Algiers had formed a militia. After a car-jacking and an attack on a home by looters, the neighborhood recognized the need for a common defense; they shared firearms, took turns on patrol, and guarded the elderly. Although the initial looting had resulted in a gun battle, once the patrols began, the militia never had to fire a shot. Likewise, the Garden District of New Orleans, one of the city's top tourist attractions, was protected by armed residents.

The good gun-owning citizens of New Orleans and the surrounding areas ought to be thanked for helping to save some of their city after Mayor Nagin, incoherent and weeping, had fled to Baton Rouge. Yet instead these citizens are being victimized by a new round of home invasions and looting, these ones government-organized, for the purpose of firearms confiscation.

The Mayor and Governor do have the legal authority to mandate evacuation, but failure to comply is a misdemeanor; so the authority to use force to compel evacuation goes no further than the power to effect a misdemeanor arrest. The preemptive confiscation of every private firearm in the city far exceeds any reasonable attempt to carry out misdemeanor arrests for persons who disobey orders to leave.

Louisiana statutory law does allow some restrictions on firearms during extraordinary conditions. One statute says that after the Governor proclaims a state of emergency (as Governor Blanco has done), "the chief law enforcement officer of the political subdivision affected by the proclamation may...promulgate orders...regulating and controlling the possession, storage, display, sale, transport and use of firearms, other dangerous weapons and ammunition." But the statute does not, and could not, supersede the Louisiana Constitution, which declares that "The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged, but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on the person."

The power of "regulating and controlling" is not the same as the power of "prohibiting and controlling." The emergency statute actually draws this distinction in its language, which refers to "prohibiting" price-gouging, sale of alcohol, and curfew violations, but only to "regulating and controlling" firearms. Accordingly, the police superintendent's order "prohibiting" firearms possession is beyond his lawful authority. It is an illegal order.

Last week, we saw an awful truth in New Orleans: A disaster can bring out predators ready to loot, rampage, and pillage the moment that they have the opportunity. Now we are seeing another awful truth: There is no shortage of police officers and National Guardsmen who will obey illegal orders to threaten peaceful citizens at gunpoint and confiscate their firearms.

Dave Kopel is Research Director of the Independence Institute.

http://www.reason.com/hod/dk091005.shtml

Bill
11 Sep 05,, 05:28
This is utterly amazing.

They tried that with me there would be a gun battle on live national TV.

This is BLATANT tyranny(if true, of course).

Leader
11 Sep 05,, 06:06
(if true, of course).

The article has extensive linkage embedded in it, which I did not reproduce here. So you can check the sourcing.

Bill
11 Sep 05,, 06:07
It's TRUE. :mad:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/08/national/nationalspecial/08cnd-storm.html?ex=1126843200&en=3848efb32682ed57&ei=5070&emc=eta1
Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered firearms, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here.
No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, said P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.

But that order apparently does not apply to hundreds of security guards hired by businesses and some wealthy individuals to protect property. The guards, employees of private security companies like Blackwater, openly carry M-16's and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said that he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.
Nearly two weeks after the floods began, New Orleans has turned into an armed camp, patrolled by thousands of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers, as well as National Guard troops and active-duty soldiers. While armed looters roamed unchecked last week, the city is now calm. No arrests were made on Wednesday night or this morning, and the police received only 10 calls for service, a police spokesman said........

%$%&*$%&%*& , i'm about ready to flat out Revolt.

bonehead
11 Sep 05,, 06:21
It's TRUE. :mad:

%$%&*$%&%*& , i'm about ready to flat out Revolt.

You would not be alone!.....and you would be in good company.

Bill
11 Sep 05,, 06:24
I just emailed my congress critters.

I URGE all of you to do the same!

By my reckoning the 2d, 4th, and 5th amendments are CLEARLY being illegally violated by the NO and La authorities.

This CANNOT be allowed to stand!

dalem
11 Sep 05,, 09:50
Has Martial Law been declared? If so, aren't all civil rights suspended?

-dale

Confed999
11 Sep 05,, 16:40
Has Martial Law been declared? If so, aren't all civil rights suspended?

-dale
Yes... :(

Shek
11 Sep 05,, 16:49
Has Martial Law been declared? If so, aren't all civil rights suspended?

-dale

I am not aware of martial law being declared, although it has been misrepresented as being in effect several times. If it were in effect, then Mayor Nagin wouldn't have any authority.

I concur with the mandatory evacuation due to public health reasons. If people are threatening police with firearms while refusing to obey a mandatory evacuation order, then the police are fully justified in confiscating the person's firearm(s). If the person is cooperating, then taking the firearms into protective custody is not a bad policy, as this would prevent these weapons from falling into the hands of looters that may still be lurking around. However, this is a dicey proposition since the logistics of a program like this are enormous and probably more than what can be handled right now in the middle of a search and rescue. I haven't read the NYT article yet, so there is probably information there that shows in what context weapons are being taken.

Confed999
11 Sep 05,, 16:57
I am not aware of martial law being declared, although it has been misrepresented as being in effect several times.
Hmmmm, I saw NO Sheriff Richwine (I'm guessing on the spelling of his name), indicate martial law was in effect. Now that I'm looking for an actual declaration of ML, I cannot find one, though as you mentioned, alot of people are talking about it... :confused:

Confed999
11 Sep 05,, 17:05
CNN indicates ML has not been declared in LA: http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/09/08/martial.law.qanda/

Bill
11 Sep 05,, 17:17
"I concur with the mandatory evacuation due to public health reasons."

I don't. There is no legal authority to FORCE US citizens from their homes without due process.(the implementation of martial law being one such due process, the other being a signed eviction notice by a local, state, or federal judge).

Stop, end of story.

Doing otherwise is government tyranny, again, end of story.

"If people are threatening police with firearms while refusing to obey a mandatory evacuation order, then the police are fully justified in confiscating the person's firearm(s)."

ONLY for those that have done so, and ONLY if they're arrested and charged with a crime.

Confiscating legally owned and held firearms is blatant tyranny, and a clear violation of the 2d and 4th Amendments:

US 4th Amendment:
" The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

"If the person is cooperating, then taking the firearms into protective custody is not a bad policy"

BULLSHIIT....It's ILLEGAL.

"as this would prevent these weapons from falling into the hands of looters that may still be lurking around."

And leave the law abiding defenseless at the same time.

Bill
11 Sep 05,, 17:19
There is NO martial law in La, and Martial law DOES NOT override the Constitution of the United States of America....whether it's 'Legal' or not.

When the rule of law is suspsended we are no longer a nation of free peoples bound by law, but a nation of slaves ruled by government convenience.

Confed999
11 Sep 05,, 17:46
and Martial law DOES NOT override the Constitution of the United States of America....
I don't consider curfews, and shooting law breakers on sight, as Constitutional, but they both exist within ML.

Bill
11 Sep 05,, 18:11
"I don't consider curfews, and shooting law breakers on sight, as Constitutional, but they both exist within ML."

Curfews are clearly constitutional, and have withstood centuries of judicial review. As for the latter, that is not constitutional, even in Martial law. It may be 'legal', but it's certainly NOT constitutional.

Shek
11 Sep 05,, 20:04
Snipe,

If you can't force US citizens from their homes, then how can you issue a mandatory evacuation in the face of a Cat 5 hurricane? The scenarios pre- and post-hurricane are not the same, but you still have dangerous situations in both instances. The mayor of NO cited a Louisiana statute that gave him authority to evacuate the city. It may not hold up to legal scrutiny in the courts, but there is clearly a public interest in this case for government intervention - disease, money (should we have to pay FEMA insurance for those that died due to ignoring a mandatory evacuation), safety (while they get paid for their public service, should law enforcement be exposed to extra risk going door to door extra times in difficult conditions to check on those who ignore mandatory evacuations).

Bill
12 Sep 05,, 05:48
The individual rights enumerated in the US constitution exist specifically to protect the individual from the 'public interest', especially in times of crisis.

IOW, in the times where our republic is most tested.

There is a proper legal channel to pursue mandatory evacuations, and that is a state declaration of martial law.

No such declaration has been made, therefore there is NO legal authority for mandatory evacuations, and regardless there is NO legal authority for the seizure of legally held firearms.

This is America god dammit, and this is COMPLETELY unnacceptable.

Shek
12 Sep 05,, 12:09
The individual rights enumerated in the US constitution exist specifically to protect the individual from the 'public interest', especially in times of crisis.

IOW, in the times where our republic is most tested.

There is a proper legal channel to pursue mandatory evacuations, and that is a state declaration of martial law.

No such declaration has been made, therefore there is NO legal authority for mandatory evacuations, and regardless there is NO legal authority for the seizure of legally held firearms.

This is America god dammit, and this is COMPLETELY unnacceptable.

Snipe,

I'm sorry I can't produce the statute that Nagin invoked when he ordered the mandatory evacuation - the one bad thing about the blogosphere is that it can dilute the quality of search hits and in this case, I can't produce the statute number or the statute even though I saw the news conference where the NOPD read the statute (citing a specific statute by number - I couldn't find anything on the LA site - I couldn't get a search engine hit) and order.

Now, just because the statute exists doesn't mean that it can withstand constitutional scrutiny; however, it is the law of NO/LA, and so as a law is presumed to be drafted so that it is constitutional and is enforceable by law until a court of this land declares it unconstitutional. Therefore, the mandatory evacuation order has full legal authority.

Next, the anecdotal evidence of potential unconsitutionality either isn't there or hasn't been publicized, because I have yet to hear of any court challenges to this order. I did a search to see if the ACLU has filed anything and wasn't able to turn up information to that effect on Google. However, given the ideological leanings of the the modern day ACLU, that doesn't surprise me (and I'm sure they won't take up any cases of firearms seizures, either). However, if the ACLU doesn't file, there has to be some other group that will step into the breach.

Bill
12 Sep 05,, 14:52
The law that was cited on TV by the NO authorities does NOT grant them the right to force people from their homes.

That authority rests ONLY with the Gov of La, and must be accompanied by a declaration of martial law.

Gov. Blanco has been famously quoted as saying, "The authority to enforce such an order rests solely with the governer, and that's me. I've not issued such an order"(paraphrase).

Surely you can see that the 2d and 4th amendment of the US constitution is CLEARLY being violated by the actions of the NO authorities. Those amendments were passed for the express purpose of preventing EXACTLY the kind of thing that the NO authorities are trying to do right now.

Which is, suspending peoples rights and forcing them from their homes and disarming them.

There WILL be court-actions as a result of these tyrannical oversteps, i guarantee it.

Lunatock
12 Sep 05,, 17:40
You would not be alone!.....and you would be in good company.

Amen to that! All the Jack Boot Trooper bulllllllllshit! that the Police and Feds are being allowed to commit! is damn well going to have a stop put to it one way or another! :mad:

Lunatock
12 Sep 05,, 17:43
I just emailed my congress critters.

I URGE all of you to do the same!

By my reckoning the 2d, 4th, and 5th amendments are CLEARLY being illegally violated by the NO and La authorities.

This CANNOT be allowed to stand!

Shooting Rick Santorum an e-mail about this momentarily.

Leader
24 Sep 05,, 00:23
Major Victory For Firearms Owners And Freedom In Louisiana

Friday, September 23, 2005

(Fairfax, VA) -- The United States District Court for the Eastern District in Louisiana today sided with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and issued a restraining order to bar further gun confiscations from peaceable and law-abiding victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

“This is a significant victory for freedom and for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The court’s ruling is instant relief for the victims who now have an effective means of defending themselves from the robbers and rapists that seek to further exploit the remnants of their shattered lives,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

Joining LaPierre in hailing the U.S. District Court decision was NRA chief lobbyist Chris W. Cox. “This is an important victory. But the battle is not over. The NRA will remedy state emergency statutes in all 50 states, if needed, to ensure that this injustice does not happen again."

The controversy erupted when The New York Times reported, the New Orleans superintendent of police directed that no civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to have guns and that “only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons.” ABC News quoted New Orleans’ deputy police chief, saying, “No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons.”

The NRA also pledged that it will continue its work to ensure that every single firearm arbitrarily and unlawfully seized under this directive is returned to the rightful law-abiding owner.
http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/Releases.aspx?ID=6539