Zeig Mir Deine Papiere – Show Me Your Papers

The following is a guest post by CCDL member David Ortiz of New Britain.

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A phrased quite often uttered from the mouths of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany as they stopped anyone they deemed suspicious and quite possibly harboring a Jew, “Zeig mir deine papiere” in English means “show me your papers”. As Jay Roberts so eloquently stated at the Public Safety Committee public hearing on February 3rd, “most people are not familiar with that saying because we beat the Nazis and we have a fourth amendment”. That is exactly what is at stake here for all of us in Connecticut, gun owner or not, our 4th Amendment right to be secure in our persons, papers, and privacy is in jeopardy. We face the complete obliteration of our 4th Amendment rights for the sake of security. This is at stake when legislation such as H.B. 5408 is attempted to be raised and signed into law. An act concerning the presentation of a carry permit must be stopped. Citizens of Connecticut must come together to stop these unconstitutional jabs at our Bill of Rights and our Constitutional Amendments which are here to protect each and every one of us from arbitrary governmental intrusions to our daily lives. Like one our nation’s founding father Benjamin Franklin had said on multiple occasions, “He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.”

We The People” …it seems we the people have forgotten the meaning of those words and that which was written for us all in the Bill of Rights. We have to stand up for what is granted upon each and every one of us in that declaration. Law enforcement must take a step back from the badge and take a good hard look at themselves in the mirror and come to grips that they are much more than a badge number within a department but that they themselves are members of this society and citizens of the United States of America. They have to realize that their authority should never compromise the Rights and personal liberties of the persons whom they’ve taken an oath to serve as peace officers and that their authority does not yield higher authority over the Supreme Court and their case rulings. Beyond the uniform and the shiny badge is a man or woman just like those who they seek to provide a public service to. Law enforcement should recognize that without those items they too are but citizens of the state of Connecticut with rights and liberties just like the rest of us, which should never be violated under any circumstance. To ask a person to provide identifiable information about themselves against their will in any other profession, outside of law enforcement, would seem ludicrous to most. As a professional working in the realm of social work I often witness the difficulty many American’s have in disseminating such privacy-related information to myself and to others. However, in the social work profession in order to protect the clients right to privacy under the 4th amendment, consent is always asked beforehand. Law enforcement in essence seek to gain ease of access towards obtaining a person’s personal information for the purposes of verification but through means such as bypassing the legality and constitutionality of a person’s 4th amendment right. In the process they are making their job easier but making it harder for the public to live free from unwarranted governmental intrusions and unreasonable stops, searches, and seizures of their persons and papers. You either stand for something or you stand to lose everything.

David Ortiz

New Britain, Connecticut

Connecticut Citizens Defense League Member

University of Southern California, MSW, Graduate Student