It’s a brave new world, folks. As time progresses, and technology develops, so do plans for increased government control over our lives.
First it was wiretapping without a warrant under the Bush administration; then it was mass data collection of almost every American, regardless of connection to any sort of terrorist-related activity; and now, it’s watching those who have mental disabilities.
That’s right, if a person is mentally disabled, with conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, brain damage or developmental disabilities, the federal government wants the power to track them.
Of course, it’s just for their safety though. Nothing problematic about this at all… Right?
Wrong. The feds want even MORE control over us as a people, and this step in particular should set off more red flags than a Soviet parade through Moscow.
As The Daily Caller reports, H.R. 4919 is known as Kevin and Avonte’s Law, giving it a superficial title that implies a caring and benign measure that will only ensure that the disabled are properly cared for and looked after.
The problem? The government has ZERO authority to track individuals in this manner, no matter what the intent is, without a court order, as per the Fourth Amendment.
The scary thing is that the bill passed by a wide margin of 346-66 in the lower chamber. 346 members of Congress are readily willing to subvert the due process rights of those who have disabilities, and open a Pandora’s Box that is ripe for abuse of power.
According to The Daily Caller:
The programs mission would to find “individuals with forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, or children with developmental disabilities, such as autism, who have wandered from safe environments.”
Additionally, the bill would also require the attorney general to consult with the secretary of health and human services and other health organizations to come up with best practices for the tracking devices.
While advocates of the legislation — like Texas Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith — point to tragedies that could be averted by law enforcement using such technology to find those with mental disabilities who wander into dangerous circumstances, others, like Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, say the good intentions of the bill could be broadly interpreted.
Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert issued a press release warning about the dangers of the bill.
“While this initiative may have noble intentions, ‘small and temporary’ programs in the name of safety and security often evolve into permanent and enlarged bureaucracies that infringe on the American people’s freedoms. That is exactly what we have here. A safety problem exists for people with Alzheimer’s, autism and other mental health issues, so the fix, we are told, is to have the Department of JUSTICE, start a tracking program so we can use some device or method to track these individuals 24/7.”
“I know the feeling of having someone I love dearly having degenerative mental abilities that create concerns for her getting lost. It is immensely heart-breaking. But, the answer is not more federal money and a federal system in place for monitoring people’s location all day every day. It is yet another well-intentioned program that catapults America down the road toward a Big Brother –more invasive than Orwell could have imagined.”
As Gohmert expressed, there are serious concerns about people with mental disabilities being properly cared for and looked after. But giving the Department of Justice the legal power to actually track these people, ostensibly, for their own good? That’s absolutely fascistic, and I use that word very purposefully.
Do any of you know someone who has a mental disability, like autism, or Alzheimer’s, or dementia? Do you like the idea of the feds being able to watch their every move? It’s not very pleasant now is it?
This proposal is ripe for fascist tyrants to use for nefarious purposes. No matter who is in office, this kind of power is extremely dangerous. Remember that in the authoritarian regimes of the 20th century, the governments specifically targeted people whom they considered enemies of the state, or undesirables.
Does this kind of idea not establish a framework for targeting people with disabilities? It most certainly does, and no friend of liberty can, in good conscience, support this bill.
Every representative who voted for this is okay with abuse of government power, subversion of due process, and violations of the right against unreasonable search and seizure.
Maybe, with a Trump administration incoming, we can actually convince Leftists that this is a bad idea… After all, we want to limit Trump’s power as President, right?
There’s no better place to start than with H.R. 4919.
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