The key thing to remember here is that the Fourth Amendment's protections require probable cause of a crime and a warrant in order to search someone's person or property. But attending a public meeting? Fair game, according to the law. Nonetheless, most people expect the police to exercise more discretion, and not actually send out undercover officers to spy on peaceful activists without something actually illegal to investigate.
Police have acknowledged that the monitoring, which took place during the administration of then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), spiraled out of control, with an undercover trooper spending 14 months infiltrating peaceful protest groups. Troopers have said they inappropriately labeled 53 individuals as terrorists in their database, information that was shared with federal authorities. But the new documents reveal a far more expansive set of police targets and indicate that police did not close some files until late 2007.
The surveillance ended with no arrests and no evidence of violent sedition. Instead, troopers are preparing to purge files and say they are expecting lawsuits.
Lately the Republican party has ignored three major elements of the coalition: gun owners, small-government proponents, and fiscal conservatives. The response to Sarah Palin's selection as VP by an otherwise miserable top-ticket presidential candidate should make it obvious to the party where the passion is. I would like each candidate for RNC chair to name three things: 1) Name one federal gun control law which violates the 2nd Amendment (DC's restrictions do not count) and explain how you will work to remove this unConstitutional law. 2) Name one federal beaurocracy which is not Constitutionally authorized, and explain how you will work to remove it. 3) Name one significant position the party has taken in the past that you feel is incorrect, explain why, and how you will act to correct the situation.Michael Bane's question:
Are you willing to unequivocally support the Second Amendment, including: 1) Unequivocal opposition to any so-called "Assault Weapons Ban." 2) Opposition to any ban on magazine capacity, types of ammunition, etc. 3) Opposition to any attempt to subvert at a federal level state-approved concealed carry laws. 4) Support for concealed carry rights on a national level. 5) RELENTLESS opposition to any federal registration schemes, whether on firearms, ammunition, etc. The GOP has treated those of us "under the tent" because of Second Amendment issues as the "crazy uncles in the closet" for far too long! The GOP must embrace the Second Amendment if we are to embrace the GOP. Michael Bane Host & Producer SHOOTING GALLERY THE BEST DEFENSE