T Nation

7th Circuit Approves Warrentless Gun Seizures

I try to be a reasonably rational judicial conservative, with only a reasonable amount of cynicism about the government, but this shit really pushes me into tinfoil hat range.

How the everloving FUCK is this actually defensible??

I agree with you.

But then I read this-

And wonder whether they’re overreacting because of Adam Lanza and all those other people who were supposedly mentally illl and thus caused great harm.

But, as with most things that relies on subjective claims (wtf does it mean to have “probable cause”!? Probable cause to whom?), it is probably not a very good idea.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

I try to be a reasonably rational judicial conservative, with only a reasonable amount of cynicism about the government, but this shit really pushes me into tinfoil hat range.

How the everloving FUCK is this actually defensible??[/quote]

It’s another example of the Constitution not being a suicide pact per se.

There already has long been case law precedent that allows for warrantless searches in exigent emergency circumstances, and notwithstanding the little nine hour delay between the appointment and the search of this woman’s home, this case may have qualified as a bona fide example of why it may sometimes be necessary. The only reason I find the state’s case questionable is the fact that, as the article noted, nine hours had passed before the search was executed. To me, that opens a proverbial Pandora’s box wherein the line is blurred between what is and what is not considered reasonable emergency circumstances. A signed statement by a professional such as a psychiatrist is probably enough probable cause for any court to concur that the police are justified in determining that a warrantless search would be constitutional given potential harm to the accused, though that’s open for debate too.

Allowing nine hours to pass and then creating a circumstance whereby a warrantless entry was legally permissible is very questionable to me given the circumstances in this one specific situation. Then again I am assuming that the devil is in the details - i.e., the state was able to successfully argue that other details, not stated in this article but probably available in the legal transcripts, were brought into play that convinced the court that the delay was not unreasonable enough to warrant a ruling in favor of the defendant (e.g., the psychiatrist waited a long time to notify police, which isn’t the PD’s fault).

Sutterfield’s error in judgement was speaking candidly to her Doctor. We have reached a point in our culture where one speaks openly to officials at great risk to themselves and their family.

Since when are private doctors officials?

[quote]magick wrote:
Since when are private doctors officials?[/quote]

When they are obliged to disclose private information.

[quote]magick wrote:
I agree with you.

But then I read this-

And wonder whether they’re overreacting because of Adam Lanza and all those other people who were supposedly mentally illl and thus caused great harm.

But, as with most things that relies on subjective claims (wtf does it mean to have “probable cause”!? Probable cause to whom?), it is probably not a very good idea.[/quote]

Probable cause is becoming so wide as to be meaningless. Thoroughly a terrible idea IMO.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
Sutterfield’s error in judgement was speaking candidly to her Doctor. We have reached a point in our culture where one speaks openly to officials at great risk to themselves and their family. [/quote]

This is a huge problem–and the sense that I get from reading the article is furthermore that it was an exasperated comment from her during a session that wasn’t going so well. I might be reading between the lines so perhaps I am very wrong. To me though it doesn’t sound like she was seriously considering imminent harm to herself, it sounds from the description like she was fed up and made a passing comment.

[quote]JR249 wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

I try to be a reasonably rational judicial conservative, with only a reasonable amount of cynicism about the government, but this shit really pushes me into tinfoil hat range.

How the everloving FUCK is this actually defensible??[/quote]

It’s another example of the Constitution not being a suicide pact per se.

There already has long been case law precedent that allows for warrantless searches in exigent emergency circumstances, and notwithstanding the little nine hour delay between the appointment and the search of this woman’s home, this case may have qualified as a bona fide example of why it may sometimes be necessary. The only reason I find the state’s case questionable is the fact that, as the article noted, nine hours had passed before the search was executed. To me, that opens a proverbial Pandora’s box wherein the line is blurred between what is and what is not considered reasonable emergency circumstances. A signed statement by a professional such as a psychiatrist is probably enough probable cause for any court to concur that the police are justified in determining that a warrantless search would be constitutional given potential harm to the accused, though that’s open for debate too.

Allowing nine hours to pass and then creating a circumstance whereby a warrantless entry was legally permissible is very questionable to me given the circumstances in this one specific situation. Then again I am assuming that the devil is in the details - i.e., the state was able to successfully argue that other details, not stated in this article but probably available in the legal transcripts, were brought into play that convinced the court that the delay was not unreasonable enough to warrant a ruling in favor of the defendant (e.g., the psychiatrist waited a long time to notify police, which isn’t the PD’s fault).
[/quote]

I do not believe details warrant ruling that a 9 hour delay is permissable–particularly when they went there and she wasn’t home. So they left. Then they came back later. Did they search for her? Apparently not very hard–apparently it wasn’t THAT much of an emergency. And if it wasn’t enough of an emergency to look for her then why would it be enough to come in, refuse to leave when asked, then refuse to leave when 911 is called, then handcuff her, then take her shit? And that is in addition to the warrantless entry.

My question is thus: Does the government have the right to forcibly prevent you from taking your own life? If so, the idea that we are free men is null.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]magick wrote:
Since when are private doctors officials?[/quote]

When they are obliged to disclose private information. [/quote]

A patient who discloses the intent and the means to do violence to herself or others gets reported to authorities.
That is the MD’s obligation
That is the law (most places); it has been established and re-established by case law.
And a patient capable of doing harm to herself can lose her 4th amendment rights, too. 72 hour holds and 5150 holds are routine matters in ERs and do not require a judge’s signature. (What happens during a police raid in these situations may not be under the same laws.)

[quote]cwill1973 wrote:
My question is thus: Does the government have the right to forcibly prevent you from taking your own life? If so, the idea that we are free men is null.[/quote]

I’d say the answer to that honestly depends, so I don’t see it being a legally “black or white” scenario. People who commit suicide probably fall into one of several categories:
a) mentally ill from a clinical standpoint (I’d include clinical depression here)
b) under the influence of illegal/illicit drugs or alcohol and are going through unfavorable circumstances
c) terminally ill or in great physical pain or impairment
d) the rare case where someone is not from a-c above and just decides they are tired of living, and does so in a state of competent faculty and reason

If the person belongs to C or D, I’d say the answer to your question is no. Having dealt with this situation that involved an immediate family member, if the person comes from category a or b, I’d answer yes to your question. This also begs a rhetorical question: can someone actually be a member of group d and not somehow fall into group a, even if only temporarily?

I can only tell you that if this happened to someone close to me again and s/he was not in a proper state of mind, I’d prefer someone intervene and get the person help. Admittedly, by leaving this in a gray area, we’ve put those in a position of stopping people from taking their own lives to discern whether or not liberty comes before safety. That’s not a very easy decision to make and I don’t envy those that have to make it, including emergency service workers who represent the state.

[quote]cwill1973 wrote:
My question is thus: Does the government have the right to forcibly prevent you from taking your own life? If so, the idea that we are free men is null.[/quote]

Yes. If you commit suicide, you will just have to live with it.

[quote]cwill1973 wrote:
My question is thus: Does the government have the right to forcibly prevent you from taking your own life? If so, the idea that we are free men is null.[/quote]

Do they have the “right”? Depends who you ask. Do they have the authority? Yes.

Have you ever known someone who attempted suicide? I know several, and they are very happy that authorities intervened.

[quote]cwill1973 wrote:
My question is thus: Does the government have the right to forcibly prevent you from taking your own life? If so, the idea that we are free men is null.[/quote]

The right? No-no such right can possibly exist. Will the state use its superior force to prevent you from doing so? Absolutely. Will the state send people wearing ridiculous costumes to force you to be evaluated? Absolutely. If you resist the attempt of those people to take you captive, will they bring more costumed folks to take you captive? Yes. Is there a good chance the enforcers will kill you if you attempt to employ a force equalizer, such as a firearm? Yes. I’ve read plenty of your posts, and you are far too intelligent to believe we are free.

[quote]NickViar wrote:

[quote]cwill1973 wrote:
My question is thus: Does the government have the right to forcibly prevent you from taking your own life? If so, the idea that we are free men is null.[/quote]

The right? No-no such right can possibly exist. Will the state use its superior force to prevent you from doing so? Absolutely. Will the state send people wearing ridiculous costumes to force you to be evaluated? Absolutely. If you resist the attempt of those people to take you captive, will they bring more costumed folks to take you captive? Yes. Is there a good chance the enforcers will kill you if you attempt to employ a force equalizer, such as a firearm? Yes. I’ve read plenty of your posts, and you are far too intelligent to believe we are free.[/quote]

You sound like the type of person this authority is intended for.

[quote]Will207 wrote:

[quote]cwill1973 wrote:
My question is thus: Does the government have the right to forcibly prevent you from taking your own life? If so, the idea that we are free men is null.[/quote]

Do they have the “right”? Depends who you ask. Do they have the authority? Yes.

Have you ever known someone who attempted suicide? I know several, and they are very happy that authorities intervened. [/quote]

I’ve known several that succeeded. I wish circumstances were different and it wouldn’t have happened. But I am still on the fence in re the governments authority/responsibility.

[quote]NickViar wrote:

[quote]cwill1973 wrote:
My question is thus: Does the government have the right to forcibly prevent you from taking your own life? If so, the idea that we are free men is null.[/quote]

The right? No-no such right can possibly exist. Will the state use its superior force to prevent you from doing so? Absolutely. Will the state send people wearing ridiculous costumes to force you to be evaluated? Absolutely. If you resist the attempt of those people to take you captive, will they bring more costumed folks to take you captive? Yes. Is there a good chance the enforcers will kill you if you attempt to employ a force equalizer, such as a firearm? Yes. I’ve read plenty of your posts, and you are far too intelligent to believe we are free.[/quote]

Well, I don’t know how it is in China or Russia or wherever you are, but in the United States it’s not that bad. Any free society needs a certain degree of authority or there will be chaos and anarchy. Call it a necessary inconvenience.

[quote]NorCal916 wrote:

[quote]NickViar wrote:

[quote]cwill1973 wrote:
My question is thus: Does the government have the right to forcibly prevent you from taking your own life? If so, the idea that we are free men is null.[/quote]

The right? No-no such right can possibly exist. Will the state use its superior force to prevent you from doing so? Absolutely. Will the state send people wearing ridiculous costumes to force you to be evaluated? Absolutely. If you resist the attempt of those people to take you captive, will they bring more costumed folks to take you captive? Yes. Is there a good chance the enforcers will kill you if you attempt to employ a force equalizer, such as a firearm? Yes. I’ve read plenty of your posts, and you are far too intelligent to believe we are free.[/quote]

Well, I don’t know how it is in China or Russia or wherever you are, but in the United States it’s not that bad. Any free society needs a certain degree of authority or there will be chaos and anarchy. Call it a necessary inconvenience.
[/quote]

https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+37.2-808

-Please point out the falsehoods in my post.

[quote]NickViar wrote:

[quote]cwill1973 wrote:
My question is thus: Does the government have the right to forcibly prevent you from taking your own life? If so, the idea that we are free men is null.[/quote]

The right? No-no such right can possibly exist. Will the state use its superior force to prevent you from doing so? Absolutely. Will the state send people wearing ridiculous costumes to force you to be evaluated? Absolutely. If you resist the attempt of those people to take you captive, will they bring more costumed folks to take you captive? Yes. Is there a good chance the enforcers will kill you if you attempt to employ a force equalizer, such as a firearm? Yes. I’ve read plenty of your posts, and you are far too intelligent to believe we are free.[/quote]

They weren’t dressed in costumes; that’s just a symptom of your illness. They were there to help you. No one is trying to hurt you. You’ve got to keep taking your medication and do what the doctors say. If you stop taking your meds you’ll start hearing the voices again and you’ll have to go back to the ward.