“laws” that don’t actually exist
The author at Pax Hammericana — who describes himself as a University of Oklahoma graduate student seeking a masters in public administration — offers a really nice post, and I’d encourage you to go and read the whole thing.
Anyone who has even so much as been pulled over for speeding understands what it is to be at the mercy and discretion of one particular representative of the law. Sometimes this is a good thing, as it allows an officer to exercise compassion. Many times, however, this leaves citizens in the hands of a fellow human being who is flawed, subject to emotion, and, in the current legal environment, not subject to the same constraints as the individual in question. In video of this incident, for example, an officer is recorded using expletives directed at the group, but one individual in the group who directs an expletive at the officer is told that if he does it again he will be arrested.
…what does this have to do with the average, law-abiding citizen? Nothing, until you want to question the person questioning you. Nothing, unless you are repulsed by the idea of random roadblocks or random profiling or overzelous officers who choose to enforce “laws” that don’t actually exist (such as in the Jefferson Memorial incident, where no known laws or regulations were being violated). Nothing, unless you would like the right to record the actions of those who are recording your actions.
Here’s hoping he gets his MPA, and perhaps chooses employment with the National Park Service. A few more rational people in the chain of command, and this whole affair might have been avoided.