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Yet another Big Brother

Started by rpasken, 12/02/2006 07:04PM
Posted 12/02/2006 07:04PM Opening Post
From an OP-ED piece:


"The new Rosa Parks? Probably not. But Deborah Davis could become an icon for privacy.

Davis is the woman who refused to show her ID to security officers at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood and may be prosecuted for her crime. The center is technically federal property and home to about 7,000 employees and up to 2,000 visitors a day.

The law allows ID checks for those entering federal facilities a post 9-11 and post Oklahoma City bombing reality. But funny thing, Davis wasn't going to the Federal Center. Her feet didn't even touch the ground of the Federal Center (until security forced them to). She was barely passing through, but even that wasn't her choice. She was taking an RTD bus to her job. One of the stops along the way was the Federal Center. Security guards often board the bus and demand to see IDs of the passengers.

Now there may be some reason to check IDs of those who get off the bus at the center, although you'd think they'd get checked when they enter one of the buildings. But it makes little sense to harass the passengers who are staying on the bus to get to their future stop. These folks would rather have no Federal Center stop at all, so they could get to their stop faster.

Americans are under no obligation to carry ID. Although driver's license has become a de facto ID, its purpose is to prove that the operator of the car is licensed to do so. You are not required to carry a driver's license when you are not driving.

Public choice theory comes into play here. Undoubtedly there are a few folks who like being asked for identification. It gives them a sense of security. But for most, it is a mild hassle. The much larger hassle would be to refuse. That would mean they would be dragged off the bus and prosecuted, like Davis. The self-interested decision is to go along like hapless sheep.

I have no idea who Deborah Davis is, what her politics are, or what her reason for taking a stand is. But I commend her for challenging the advancing big-brother state."
Posted 12/04/2006 08:23AM #1
I think this is an issue of selective enforcement. This policy is not being enforced uniformly nationwide and I believe that there are still some "open bases" that anyone can drive through without presenting ID. I don't think Deborah Davis had any expectation that such an ID check would be conducted on a bus merely passing through a Federal Facility. I don't believe that checking identification is unreasonable. Since we won't secure our borders, we'll have to secure individual installations and facilities.

It would be really interesting if the government would enforce this policy in the Washington D.C. metro area. For example, the law could be enforced at the Pentagon Metro station or on any Metro train passing under a federal government office building. Anyone not presenting an ID could be arrested and any undocumented intruder aliens could immediately be turned over of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for processing. After about a week, I think there'd be a little more room on the bus and it would be a lot easier for riders to nap knowing that the mysterious Koran readers had passed muster . . . wink

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