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Just when gun rights supporters thought there couldn’t possibly be another reason to vilify New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his anti-gun jihad, the NYPD says it’s testing remote gun scanners. No really. “The technology, similar to infrared imaging, can detect a natural energy known as terahertz radiation emitted by the human body. Because that energy cannot travel through metal, a concealed gun can be detected from the image captured by the detector.” That’s the technical side, according to Big Apple Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly at the State of the NYPD address. As for the idea that the device violates Americans’ constitutional protections, fuhgeddaboutit. Kelly’s justification for trampling on same has a familiar ring to it . . .“We want to use new technology to protect the public and police officers from illegal guns.”

Note: not criminals wielding illegal guns. The guns themselves. The same euphemistic dodge upon which Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” was founded. ‘Cause “Mayors Against Judges Releasing Criminals Accused of Killing a Policeman” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

It’s high time someone—voters, the NRA, the U.S. Supreme Court, someone—reads these New York City gun grabbers the Riot Act. Liberty is not the enemy of public safety.

The sooner Mayor Bloomberg is ousted from power, the sooner New York City residents begin to exercise their Constitutional right to armed self-defense without Big Brother looking over their shoulder, the safer everyone will be.


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  1. *cough* 4th amendment *cough*. Sorry, I had some con law stuck in my throat.

    What a joke, guess hizzoner never read the constitution or just doesn’t give a rats ass what it says.

  2. Whoa, wait a minute, the U.S. Constitution still applies to New York? This is the same state whose courts ruled that the statues of the FOPA didn’t apply to the New York and New Jersey Port Authority.

  3. I think those new technologies (discussed previously) to design, mold, and produce guns in one’s home will be increasingly in demand. More non-metal materials can be used and the shapes of guns manipulated. Someone can also carry a future gun designed to avoid such surveillance in with a bag of miscellaneous objects.

  4. The proliferation of the surveillance state will continue and expand, financed by the bottomless pit of hard earned dollars courtesy of the tax payers. We are truly getting what we deserve for allowing our elected officials to run riot for so long without adult supervision. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and that price is getting steeper all of the time.

    Far too many of our fellow citizens would rather be entertained than informed, would rather engage in pleasant pastimes and trivialities than engage in the often gritty business of preserving and expanding liberty. Not enough people pay attention or even care. It’s the frog in the pot. But hey, did you hear about this really cool new iPhone app? Isn’t there someone out there that we can text right now to tell them what we had for breakfast?

    We are soooo screwed.

    • Yeah, we had some conversations about the progression of the Totalitarian State discussing politics over Libertarian Party pamphlets back in the mid and late 1970s. I campaigned for Ed Clark in 1980. Incrementalism is fun, huh?

  5. Sounds similar to police using FLIR to detect people growing pot in garages by measuring heat emissions in the winter.

    All this tech does is take an IR picture of a person, then look for objects (guns) blocking that body heat? If so, off-body carry would effectively eliminate any chance of detection.

    • Kyllo held that using IR constituted a search and required a warrant — at least for your home. On the street, you don’t have that protection.

      • Courts have ruled consistently that there’s no expectation of privacy on the street. But none have ruled that there’s no expectation of privacy under one’s clothing.

  6. Always a shame to see science and ingenuity used for the purpose of oppression by tyrants. And, of course, this is so easy to defeat it’s almost insulting.

    Don’t you miss the old days when we went to war with the enemies of America rather than voting them into office?

        • I was wondering to myself what kind of coatings or treatments you could apply to fabric that would block terahertz radiation. It might be possible to make clothing with fake silhouettes (of a gun, a middle finger, or even a snide remark) printed on it that would otherwise be indistinguishable from normal clothing. As in a lot more comfortable than aluminum foil.

  7. It’s terahertz imaging– basically EM energy at the very high end of the IR band, just shy of microwaves. Bounce it off something and see what comes back. As metal reacts very differently than other materials, it’s pretty easy to spot metallic objects. Off-body carry would not necessarily prevent detection, but would make it more difficult.

    Any kind of metallic foil will block anything in that band completely.

  8. I always wear a large heavy (metal) multi-tool AND mini (~8″) flashlight in hip pouch, the combined outline of which really resembles a pistol. Seems like this type for random searching technology would wind up with me being frequently stopped and frisked.

  9. Sorry to bust everyone’s bubble, but the 4th Amendment does not protect you if you’re on the street or in a public place. The courts have held you have no expectation of privacy outside your home or place of business. The 2nd Amendment is more applicable here, at least when it comes to “arms.”

    • As an officer making contacting members of the public, one cannot just start patting down everyone. There is to be a certain amount of reasonable suspicion to detain someone. However, there are elements of a Terry Stop that allow officers to pat down persons they are in contact with citing officer safety. I would imagine blasting entire masses of people with near-microwave radiation would raise similar concerns.

      • caffeinated, a scan would not constitute a stop. The police would like to use the scan to establish a reasonable suspicion, permitting a stop.

        If a cop sees a person with a bulge that looks suspiciously like a Beretta 92, then, depending on other circumstances, the cop may have reasonable suspicion, establishing a right to stop the person.

        The authorities that support the use of this technology can be expected to say that a scan can likewise create a reasonable suspicion to support a stop. That begs the question whether the police have the right to scan in the first place.

        And the answer is: Who knows.

        • This is an evolving issue with technology and civil rights. It somewhat reverses the search before stop from the the traditional stop and search. Who knows how this will pan out.

    • Rokurota, you’re correct, but there’s a difference here. People may very well have an expectation of privacy under their clothing, whether on the street or otherwise.

      The Katz case that established the “expectation of privacy” test involved the bugging of a phone booth, not the examination of an individual’s undergarments.

      There is a two-pronged examination to determine whether there is a reasonable expectation of provacy. One part is whether the defendant had an actual expectation. I can’t speak for everyone, but when I stuff a pistol into my drawers along with my junk, I don’t expect anyone to be able to go looking for either.

      Despite what people might think about courts only protecting criminals, courts have not been terribly receptive to privacy challenges. Still, the legality of utilizing this dragnet technology to search everyone is a question yet to be decided.

      • The Katz case that established the “expectation of privacy” test involved the bugging of a phone booth,

        So how would that play with the Patriot Act?

    • I believe you are incorrect, the 4th amendment is not about privacy, but about search and seizure. And we are “supposed” to be free from unreasonable search and seizures everywhere we go (except airports, federal bulidings, govt. buildings, train stations, and apparently the entire city of New York and looks like most of Florida).
      “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

  10. How would this technology play out for people injured with metal body parts? Id hate to be a guy with a titanium leg walking through Times Square.

  11. I second the notion of folding tinfoil into gun-like shapes and tucking them into our waistbands.On the privacy and exposure to radiation concerns, the key word in the article is that the body _emits_ these wavelengths.There’s no safety concern. And since you’re “broadcasting” this radiation, there’s probably no ability to assert an expectation of privacy.

    • And since you’re “broadcasting” this radiation, there’s probably no ability to assert an expectation of privacy.

      You’re not “broadcasting” it by any definition of the term. You’re radiating it as heat. The passive tHz technology in question is tantamount to FLIR and infrared imaging devices.

      The SCOTUS ruled that using FLIR on private property without a warrant violates the 4th in Kyllo v. US in 2001. I would really love to see someone make the argument that using a more invasive technology against people without a warrant is somehow just spiffy when it has already been ruled unconstitutional when used on property for fishing trips.

      The TSA goons, et al, get away with this at airports because they’re airports. It’s just not going to fly when used against joe sixpack walking down the street.

  12. since you’re “broadcasting” this radiation, there’s probably no ability to assert an expectation of privacy

    That’s a very cunning argument, and one that I expect will be raised if the use of this technology is challenged.

    Fortunately, t-ray blocking clothes and clothing inserts are now readily available. They’re used by women to protect their tender bits from radiation sources, and by men to protect generations of their offspring yet unborn. While the clothes ostensibly prevent radiation from getting in, they work just as well to prevent radiation from getting out.

    While currently used mostly in underwear, I see a use for such materials in pants, skirts and holsters.

    • I would say just because you are broadcasting or emitting something from your body doesn’t make it not harmful. CO2 will kill you dead as will Methane in sufficient amounts. The wife really doesn’t like the latter.

  13. Hey, the streets are public places, the roads are maintained by the Government. Just like they have the right to search people at the airport because the Government owns the sky, they have the right to search you on the streets. 4th a who?

    In fact I think everyone would be safer if every house had a TSA manned scanner positioned just on the sidewalk outside. I’m sure some people will be a little inconvenienced, but this is a public safety issue and if we stop just one bad guy it’s worth it right. If you don’t like it you can just stay home. Going outside is a privilege, not a right.

    Also think of what this will do for the unemployment rate. After all, hiring public sector employees to do meaningless jobs is exactly the same as productive economic growth. Didn’t you learn about that in public school? Wait, why are you talking about broken windows?

    Anyway your opinion doesn’t matter because the Government knows what is best for you each and every one of you and if you disagree, well… it’s really better to just agree.


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