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Safety: Crime and the Bill of Rights

May 12, 1994

I am concerned about the Neighborhood Safety Act of 1994 (AB3789), recently introduced into the California Assembly, in which drivers and their vehicles entering "emergency areas," so designated by a two-thirds vote of local government councils, could be randomly inspected at checkpoints for possession of illegal firearms.

Have we all taken leave of our senses? I am shocked that Assemblywoman Betty Karnette (D-Long Beach) is a co-sponsor of this bill! When was the last time you read the Constitution, Betty? Do you plan to destroy part of our true American way of life: our Bill of Rights? In return for what . . . safety from crime?

Do we honestly think that drivers with illegal firearms would risk driving through a checkpoint? So, who do you suppose will be harassed? The law-abiding resident who will be giving up his right "to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures . . ."

Karnette is quoted in an article as saying: "The dangers of people driving around with guns far outweighs the danger of undergoing searches. Besides, my experience with law enforcement in my district is that most are sensible people. I trust them." Boy, tell that to Rodney King!

Law-abiding citizens should be aware of what is happening. Our Constitution, one of the greatest documents in the world, is slowly being eroded. And in the name of safety and crime prevention.

When prohibition (of alcohol) was repealed, crime decreased.

Decriminalize drugs. Regulate the potencies (via the Food and Drug Administration). Tax the receipts. Take away the black market profit motive for drug dealers. Use the receipts for drug rehabilitation. Then, free up the police for real criminals: murderers, rapists, arsonists.

This will have the effect of eliminating the "urgency" to destroy our Bill of Rights.

AUDREY CARLAN

Rancho Palos Verdes

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