Protect consitutional rights

To the editor:

Recently I attended Eggs and Issues hosted by Iowa Central Community College where I expressed my concerns about the erosion of our constitutional rights, namely our Fourth and Fifth amendments pertaining to the events in Boston the previous week.

I brought several photos that were published showing heavily armed police and military police forcibly entering people’s private homes and ordering them leave at gunpoint. What the photos could not show was the 100-mile “shelter in place” (martial law) zone around Boston forbidding people to leave their homes (unless threatened by law enforcement I presume).

And for all the violations of the Constitution, in the end, the lone, unarmed 19-year-old U.S. citizen suspect was discovered by a homeowner after his property was searched and deemed clear. Did I mention that the suspect’s right of Miranda was also suspended?

Congressman Steve King responded first to my question of whether the Constitution was still in effect by explaining that homeowners could sue in court if they felt their rights were violated (presumably if they survived the encounter), and assured me that anything illegal found on the premises would be ruled inadmissible in court. I couldn’t help but think about the mother and daughter who were wounded when police in L.A. riddled their truck with bullets when they confused these two hispanic women for Christopher Dorner, a large black man. The women luckily survived and were awarded $4.2 million of taxpayer’s money. Another man was also shot at the same morning but the settlement remains undisclosed. I could find no word on whether any of the trigger happy officers were fired or charged.

After Steve King’s “comforting” words, Daryl Beall puffed out his chest and proclaimed that the police did an excellent job in Boston and that he would not stand for anyone disparaging the police or their actions. To my disgust, Mr. Beall’s bravado for the destruction of our country’s founding document met with a fair amount of applause from the gallery. How sad.

The implication was that I am unpatriotic for even questioning the loss of our rights. Anyone that reads history will see time and time again that a country devolves into tyranny when citizen’s rights are not honored.

Yes, the Boston bomber(s) must be brought to justice but not at the cost of our liberties. In my defense I’ll quote Ben Franklin; “Those who would trade essential liberty for temporary safety deserve neither.”

Jim Hirschberg