There is a lie being spread that treating disrespectful behavior with open disdain is to disrespect authority — In truth, rebelling against the rule of unjust law in order to oppose tyranny and immorality is by action to show utmost respect for law, order and justice. It is, and always has been, the epitome of human courage.
Question and challenge government all the time — Otherwise they will trample you every time. The idea that we must be patriotic of the State itself, rather than the freedom we hold dear, is a lie.
– Gavin Seim
Seim works as an artist and photographer. Earlier this year, he was traveling with his family along HWY-70E in New Mexico when he drove up on an Department of Homeland Security inland checkpoint near Alamogordo, some 80 miles from the Mexican border.
Gavin stopped his car, video recorder rolling, and when the Border Patrol agent approached, he asked if he was being detained.
“On what grounds am I being detained?”
Don’t worry, I did a double-take when I heard the man say it too. Yes, you just heard a federal agent tell an American citizen he was unlawfully detained because of the Constitution. Talk about arrogance!
Keep in mind a few pertinent facts.
This checkpoint sits well within the borders of the United States.
“This isn’t a border crossing. That’s different,” Seim said. “I’m all for reasonable protection of our borders. This is an inland checkpoint in violation of the Constitution.”
And no probable cause existed to warrant stopping and detaining Seim.
Consider the words of the Fourth Amendment.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
“The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects us from stops like this. While the Supreme Court ignored the Constitution in regards to these checkpoints – see United States v. Martinez-Fuerte – that does not mean we have to comply, and certainly does not mean they can detain us without cause,” Seim said. “Interestingly, the courts acknowledged that this was an infringement on constitutional freedom, but decided that the benefits outweighed the infringement. In my opinion, this was tantamount to treason, as they admitted that this was a violation, but allowed it anyways.”
Indeed, the Fourth Amendment didn’t come with exceptions for “public interest.” In fact, the Bill of Rights was intended to protect individuals from just this kind of intrusion. The ratifiers knew the federal government would seek to expand power using just those kinds of excuses, and insisted on absolute restrictions on federal power.
Contrary to the opinion of the federal agent, this checkpoint is the antithesis of the Constitution. That shows what you get when you let federal employees define their own powers.
Interestingly, Seim refused to answer any questions and even refused to produce an ID. After a few moments, they waved him on through.
“When my own government tramples on [the Constitution], I will treat them with the disdain that they deserve, as will the rest of my family,” Seim said as he pulled away.