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Police state--are there yet: under DHS we're getting close.

(PHOENIX, AZ, Sept. 27) When I first wrote about the outrageous assault on the Reese family gun shop in Deming, N.M., I expressed concern that the case was apparently headed up by the Department of Homeland Security rather than the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. My concern about this shift in policing has grown since that report. Homeland Security Investigations have become more and more prominent in reports of federal police actions.

HSI has quickly become one of the highest profile federal police organizations in the US, competing with the FBI, DEA, and ATF for attention and tax dollars. That fact is particularly disconcerting when you consider that there is no provision in the Constitution for any federal police force. The idea of federal police pursuing criminals and violently executing warrants upon the general citizenry would have been abhorrent to the framers.

The fact that these agencies blatantly instigate and engage in all manner of illegal activities--such as money laundering, drug smuggling, and weapons trafficking--as an "investigative technique" to try and catch criminals higher up in the criminal food chain, would be unthinkable to them.

There are currently more than 70 different federal law enforcement agencies employing over 120,000 officers with arrest and firearms authority, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics data for 2008. That's an increase of nearly 30% between 2004 and 2008. If the trends continued upward at a relatively steady rate, that would put the total number of federal law enforcement officers at somewhere between 135,000 and 145,000. Consider that there are only about 765,000 state and local law enforcement officers. That Means that about one in seven law enforcement officers in the country works directly for the federal government, not a local jurisdiction.

All without any constitutional authority for their existence.

I'm not saying that all federal law enforcement is unconstitutional. Good arguments can be made for the existence of a border guard, and for federal agencies to protect high-ranking officials, to protect the federal currency, and coordinate enforcement of laws regarding interstate commerce. But federal law is mostly regulatory and bureaucrats who inspect the records of retailers and school boards have no business carrying guns.

The founding fathers feared the rise of a strong centralized government and especially feared a "standing army" under the control of such a centralized government. The impracticality of having no standing army was obvious by the end of the War of 1812. What the Founders feared was having the people at the mercy of an uncontrolled military force. Bowing to necessity, the government accepted a professional army, but put it under strict controls, including the Posse Comitatus Act. While Posse Comitatus is widely understood to prohibit the U.S. Army from policing the streets, the act offers no such protection.

Posse Comitatus is the power of local authorities to conscript citizens to assist in a law enforcement action--the Sheriff can form a posse to chase down bank robbers. What the Posse Comitatus Act does is prohibit local authorities from conscripting members of the military into their posse.

It further instructed the Department of Defense to institute regulations prohibiting military personnel from engaging in law enforcement activities without the express authority of the Constitution or Congress. Since Congress has ceded much of its constitutional authority over the military to the President, it would probably be legal for him to direct military forces to engage in law enforcement activities within the United States for a short duration--without declaring a state of emergency or officially declaring martial law--until Congress either backed him up or backed him down.

Debate over Posse Comitatus is made moot in light of the fact that there are nearly 150,000 armed federal agents who can now essentially conscript state and local police agencies.

When Homeland Security Investigations decided to stage an assault on the empty home and business of Rick and Terri Reese, they did so, not only with dozens of federal agents, but with dozens and dozens of officers from state, local, and county agencies. Now all of those participating agencies are standing with their hands out waiting for a federal judge to decide how much, if any, of the Reeses' property will be returned to them and how much of it will be divvied up between federal and local agencies.

As federal power grows and state and local authority is subjugated, the USA is simply a matter of degrees away from the definition of a "police state." The corruption of power is palpable.

Note: I had the opportunity recently to visit with Terri and Remington Reese and view the aftermath of the federal assault on their home and business. The condition of their shop was heartbreaking. Most significantly, the stacks of empty rifle boxes representing hundreds of brand-new guns thrown unprotected into 50-gallon drums and hauled away.

It is unlikely that they will recover any of the guns or ammunition, and they are going to have to fight to recover the thousands of dollars' worth of empty gun safes, vehicles, cash, jewelry, and the deed to their home and property.

Rick, Ryin, and Terri are still awaiting sentencing, but the government is proceeding with forfeiture action based on the charges for which the family was acquitted.

Anyone wishing to help can send contributions to:

Reese Defense Fund,

Attn: Patricia Arias,

First Savings Bank

520 South Gold Deming, NM 88030

Permission to reprint or post this article in its entirety is hereby granted provided this credit and link to is included. To receive The Firearms Coalition's bi-monthly newsletter, The Knox Hard Corps Report, Write to Box 1761, Dept. SGN, Buckeye, AZ 85326 or subscribe at Copyright [C] 2012 Neal Knox Associates--The most trusted name in the rights movement.
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Title Annotation:From The Firearms Coalition
Author:Knox, Jeff
Publication:Shotgun News
Date:Nov 1, 2012
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