Trading Individual Rights
For The Safety And Security Of Society
“Protecting individual rights ultimately protects all of society”
~ Ryan Bundy, 9/5/17
Two highly respected legal scholars, who disagree with the pretrial imprisonment of the Bundys and their supporters, have told me, nevertheless, that they can see some benefit to the Bail Reform Act which added “dangerousness” to the reasons for detaining an accused prior to having their trial. The reasoning goes like this: “We can’t have an accused child rapist on the loose. Society must be protected from dangerous criminals while they wait for trial.”
Ryan Bundy talks about this subject in this recent recording of him speaking from the bowels of his maximum security cell in Nevada. Among the things that Ryan sets forth was that the fact that the Bill of Rights was totally and exclusively written for the benefit of the accused individual with no mention of the security of society. There is no mention of the rights of the government prosecution to declare a complex case and thus avoid a speedy trial.
Why were the founders so one sided? Why were there not more protections for the accuser along with the protections for the accused?
In reality, the Bill of Rights does contain a lot of implied rights for the greater good of society. The Bill of Rights recognizes that bail, but not excessive bail, protects society from an accused fleeing and escaping his obligation to appear before a tribunal. The Bill of Rights recognizes that, in many cases, the accused may be found guilty by a jury of peers and that if guilty, must receive a just punishment.
NOT AN EVEN PLAYING FIELD
But the focus of the Bill of Rights is on protecting the individual accused and not on protecting the accuser. Why is it so skewed in favor of the accused? Why is it not more of an even playing field, protecting the accuser equally as well as the accused?
The story of the Bundys and their supporters are the perfect answer to that question. The government, who has unlimited resources, is their accuser. The government whose resources not only include unlimited money, but large teams of federal employees with judges, prosecutors, legislators, law enforcement and bureaucrats like the BLM, all united to protect their job security and their power base. Many, like my legal scholar friends, sincerely believe that if we have to err let’s err on the side of imprisoning an innocent person like Ammon Bundy rather than allow a dangerous rapist be on the loose while he is awaiting trial.
This same line of reasoning applies to many other aspects of our society including police check points for sobriety, check points for illegal immigrants, airport checkpoints for potential hijackers, warrantless searches, NSA monitoring of emails and cell phones, background checks for firearms, 1st Amendment areas, etc. All these intrusions into our privacy and into our individual rights are done under the pretext that it is to reduce the risk for society and that any harm to the individual is a small price to pay.
THE FOUNDERS WOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD THE BUNDYS
The founders had lived through centuries of centralized, concentrated power coming from the monarchy and the monarchy’s many “yes men” and supporters. The individual, the person not having the same advantages of money and resources, was always at a disadvantage and always lost when the individual’s interests collided with the interests of the centralized government.
So uneven was the playing field, that the accuser, supported by government interests, did not need any protections. The accuser was already protected by the extensive access to money and power. The only one who needed protection was the individual. Consequently, the founders gave us the Bill of Rights, exclusively in favor of the accused.
GAINING CONTROL OF THE DRIVER’S SEAT
Another key motivation for the Bill of Rights was the founder’s understanding of the human family. Some human family members always, without exception, gravitate towards corruption and seeks personal gain and benefit. As the famous quote states, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. The one sided Bill of Rights protects us from human nature. If human nature gravitated towards helping our neighbor and seeking his best interest, we would not need the Bill of Rights.
As noted in a previous article, the three branches of government, who have the massive resources at their disposal, have steadily eroded the Bill of Rights and its protections of the individual using the excuse that they represent the greater good of society and that the many common folk who make up the collective known as society, are represented by a government who only seeks the best interests of society.
But the founders knew that the government did not represent the greater good of the society of common folk. The founders knew that when a few people get control of the leverage that government gives them, that they will use that leverage for their own gain and aggrandizement.
DECADES OF BEING LEFT ALONE
The Bundys were left alone by the government for decades because the land on which they lived was largely undesirable. Then, as more people moved to Nevada, as Hoover dam was built providing cheap electricity to Las Vegas, as Las Vegas boomed and as the land around Clark County became more valuable, the Bundy ranch and their water rights caught the attention of powerful government people and powerful business interests.
One BLM whistleblower pointed out that the off and on ramp north/south interchange on the I-15 interstate and that communicates with the road to the Bundy ranch, cost many millions of dollars and was built with the future in mind, a future full of industry and expansion. The government, using taxpayer money, was opening up the land around the Bundy ranch to private for-profit businesses, who, along with their government cronies, stood to get a big return on their investment.
So, the Bundys were accused by the government of various federal crimes that contain all kinds of minimum sentencing under the logic that a federal crime is much more serious and offensive to society than a state or local crime. The federal government, puffed up by its own self-importance, went after the Bundys and some of the supporters with an unprecedented vindictiveness. The same kind of vindictiveness that the Bill of Rights was supposed to protect us from.
Ryan Bundy notes that the 4th Amendment has over 600 exceptions from various court rulings and subsequent laws by congress, exceptions that deprive individuals of the protections intended by the founders. In other words, the government, who doesn’t like having its hands tied by the 4th Amendment, have seen fit to eviscerate the 4th amendment and with every exception, they are basically saying, “the founders didn’t know what they were doing in making the 4th Amendment so one sided. We, your government, will make it more balanced so at to protect the safety and security of society”. Likewise, the government, in its infinite wisdom, has ruled and legislated away the founder’s original intent through hundreds of exceptions to the 2nd Amendment, and to all the amendments originally gifted by the founders to the individual citizens.
Every law and court ruling that further erodes the Bill of Rights, under the excuse of the greater good of society which the founders failed to consider, concentrates more power in the hands of a few federal employees. Laws and the need to regulate the population creates jobs and special interests. The unconstitutional provision for federal control of hundreds of millions of acres, gave birth to the Bureau of Land Management and its over 12, 000 employees. Those employees came into direct conflict with the Bundys over land and water rights that had been deeded to the Bundys.
When the Bundys, protected by the Bill of Rights, refused to submit to the BLM demands, the result was their arrest, imprisonment and subsequent denial of many other rights including the right to bail, the right to a presumption of innocence, the right to a speedy trial and the right not to have their private genitals inspected by for-profit prison staff as provided for in the 4th Amendment.
PROTECTING INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS ULTIMATELY PROTECTS SOCIETY
Ryan Bundy, in his recorded message from his maximum security cell, made a very profound statement, “Protecting individual rights ultimately protects all of society” A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If government attacks one link, the rest of the links are affected. If one cell in an organism is attacked by a virus or a cancer cell, it can spread to other individual cells.
The greater protection of the individual is also the greater protection of society. As soon as the government erodes the Bill of Rights for the security of society, then all society suffers, not just the individual. If the Bundys can be thrown in prison prior to trial and if the Bundys can be subject to strip searches while in prison, then so can I, so can you and so can other people who stand up to government abuses.
Benjamin Franklin understood how important individual rights were for all of society, when he said, “That it is better that 100 guilty persons escape than that one innocent person suffer.” Franklin’s fears are directly fulfilled in the current, real time treatment of Ammon Bundy who is suffering unspeakable atrocities in solitary confinement, all because good, intelligent people buy the government argument that we must trade our individual rights for the greater safety and security of society.
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