January 29, 2013
It’s not enough that the state of New York just doubled down on its trashing of the Second Amendment with the passage of new gun control laws. Now the city of New York, with its gun-grabbing mayor, is set to deploy revealing new x-ray scanners that will violate residents’ Fourth Amendment right to privacy to ensure they’re not taking advantage of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
According to local media reports, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said his force is currently testing the new technology, which is designed to hone in on guns without using the department’s well-established “stop-and-frisk” procedure. Now, not only will suspected criminals be targeted, but so will the vast majority of law-abiding New Yorkers who, once again, are going to be presumed guilty until proven innocent.
The New York Daily News said the department recently took delivery of a machine that reads terahertz, the “natural energy emitted by people and inanimate objects,” which “allows police to view conceal weapons from a distance.”
“If something is obstructing the flow of that radiation, for example a weapon, the device will highlight that object,” Kelly told reporters.
Fear of false positives
Civil libertarians have plenty to be upset about. So do ordinary New Yorkers.
A video image that was shown at a Police Foundation breakfast in early January showed a police officer, who was dressed in a New York Jets NFL jersey and blue jeans, with the shape of a gun outlined clearly beneath his clothing, when he was observed through the device.
Kelly says street testing of the device is underway. He said the device is small enough to be put in a police cruiser or set up on a street corner “where gunplay has occurred in the past,” the Daily News said.
Plans to use the revealing device were in play before the state’s latest round of radical new gun control legislation was passed, apparently. The police chief said his department has been working with London Metropolitan Police officials and a contractor “to develop a tool that meets our requirements.”
Apparently, a constitutional lawyer isn’t on the advisory team.
“We took delivery of it last week,” Kelly said Jan. 25 at the gathering at the Waldorf Astoria. “One of our requirements was that the technology must be portable.”
He added: “We still have a number of trials to run before we can determine how best to deploy this technology. We’re also talking to our legal staff about this. But we’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the past year.”
So far, the city and the department has blown off concerns about potential privacy violations made by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which has expressed diffidence over the “virtual pat downs” that will no doubt occur.
Others, including some security experts, say the device will unquestionably lead to false positives and, in turn, stop-and-frisks that are not justified.
All of this comes on top of new gun control measures that were passed and signed into law so quickly by the state legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo that the process was a violation of the state Constitution’s three-day waiting period before laws are voted on.
“When you rush a bill through, you can’t have committee hearings in which you learn from experts. You don’t allow for proper debate. You don’t allow for possible amendments that would refine and strengthen a bill,” Kieran Lalor wrote in an op-ed for the Daily News.
The columnist also decried other absurdities in the law, like the fact that it was passed so quickly power-mad supporters of the measure forgot to exempt police officers from the requirement that gun magazines be limited to seven bullets, and that criminals aren’t going to pay much attention to that requirement.
Voting with their feet
New York City is unique and there are many opportunities there that don’t exist elsewhere. But like so many megatropolises in the U.S., NYC is becoming a bastion of tyranny, whose residents elect leaders like Mayor Michael Bloomberg so they can regulate soft drinks and ban the sale of alcohol, trans fats, salt, guns and anything else he deems inappropriate (because all government agencies are run by like-minded zealots).
Despite the opportunities, residents are leaving over-taxed, over-regulated domains for islands of freedom. So far, that right still exists: If you don’t like your current political and socioeconomic environment, vote with your feet.