Archived Story

Has America become like Nazi Germany?

Published 10:34am Friday, May 31, 2013

To the Editor:

Has America become like Nazi Germany? One Sheriff in Gates County, N.C. says yes and he is not apologizing for it. I do a lot of driving between the Outer Banks and Franklin, Virginia. I have recently started going the back way through Gates County on Highway 158 to avoid the excessive number of cops all over the highways, especially in Dare County and Currituck County. The back roads offer a little peace, beauty, and joy after a long, hard workweek at my hair salon in Nags Head. This past Sunday, May 18, I was driving down 158 and saw blue lights ahead. As I got closer I saw that the whole road was blocked off by the N.C. Highway Patrol. There wasn’t much wait as this road is sparse of traffic on the days I use it. I pull up to the cop’s out stretched hand over my windshield. He says, “I need to see your driver’s license.” I asked “why?”. He said, “We are doing a license check.” I replied, “That is unconstitutional.” He said, “No it isn’t.” So long story short, not only did I have to show my license, but because I had the audacity to question him, I had to show registration and I was asked if I had any guns in my car. Well, my day was ruined by what I considered an invasion of my privacy and an unlawful stop of a law-abiding citizen. I called the highway patrol and these are some of the comments they gave me: “If you don’t want to show your papers, you need to start walking.” “The state owns the roads and when you signed your license, you gave consent to be asked for your papers.” “Driving is a privilege, not a right, so we can pull you at any time, anywhere, and for whatever reason we want.” “It’s for your own safety.” “We need to check the condition of your car.”

So nine days go by and here I am again on this road. It’s Memorial Day and I am reflecting on all the soldiers who have died for my freedom and the constitution of the U.S., laughing with my friend, singing along to the radio… Wait a minute…What is that up ahead? The same blue lights from the week prior and almost in the same location. On the same road anyway. I am a passenger this time and the driver hands over his license and we are let go pretty quickly. (No registration or gun questions this time) I do manage to get out a “HAIL HITLER” as we pull off. So I make some calls the next day and this time I call Sheriff Warren. I’m hoping, as an elected official, he will be more in line with “we the people”. I can tell right away he is not as he starts spouting off the same lines the highway patrol gave me. I politely tell him to stop and I say, “Is America like Nazi Germany now and I’m required to show my papers on demand?” His answer was “Yes Ma’am, and if you don’t comply you’ll find out.” I couldn’t believe what I just heard so I asked him again to make sure he understood every word. And again, he said, “Yes Ma’am, and if you don’t like it I suggest you find another route to the beach.” “He then hung up on me. I have to say, America feels a lot like what I imagine Nazi Germany was like before the people realized what had hit them. We should never forget what our rights are and we should never submit to anything that erodes them in any way. The state will always take more and more — and they never give them back.

Tonya L. Byrum
Nags Head, N.C.

  • Dakota01

    jeez woman get over yourself having a drivers licence is a privilege or did you forget that they taught you that in drivers ed and the next time you need help don’t call the police call nazi

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  • jusdlh

    making the comparison between having to show your operator’s license (while operating a motor vehicle on public highways) and nazi germany shows, at best, an almost criminal ignorance of history or, at worst, a pathetic level of stupidity.

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  • Sinoptik

    Wait one doggone second! And I quote

    “It’s Memorial Day and I am reflecting on all the soldiers who have died for my freedom and the constitution of the U.S., laughing with my friend, singing along to the radio”

    Thanks for giggling about the sacrifice. Go ahead and have a cheeseburger at your “Happy” Memorial Day BBQ but you need to quit now.

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    • mbrya023

      I agree with everything you have said in these comments! Thank you!

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  • Sinoptik

    Yep, as I recall, in Nazi Germany after being stopped at a papers check one could be argumentative and belligerent without reprisal, and then write a signed letter to the local paper calling out the area commander without fear.

    Be sure when you need the police in the future instead of dialing 911 and yelling HELP! you say heil hitler instead.

    OK, I will turn the sarcasm off. According to GS 20-16.3a in NC the police may set up checkpoints and you are legally required to submit drivers license, registration and insurance when requested. I am not from NC (happy days) but it took me all of 2 minutes to find this information.

    Try looking it up next time before comparing the U.S. to Nazi Germany and looking foolish. You might also want, instead of pointlessly complaining to a newspaper, to become active in changing the legislation you do not like in your own state.

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  • 1stAmendment

    I suggest you go to law school. The US Supreme Court has long ago issued a decision that road blocks for random license checks are well within the Constitution. The Nazis, btw, checked Jewish persons papers so they could be detained and exterminated for the “crime” of being Jewish. Not even close to be asked to provide a license for a vehicle you do not have a constitutional right to drive, only permission from the state.

    If someone writes your hair salon a check, do you ever ask them for ID?

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  • curious

    Did you ever consider that they were looking for someone that was wanted for murder, rape or some other hideous crime? Or they had been issued a BOLO for a kidnapped child who may be traveling that route? There are many reasons for these “check points” which we as the public may consider a nuisance that may provide the law enforcement community knowledge that they may not be able to gain otherwise. Just because we have freedom does not mean that it is free. There are laws and regulations that we must abide by. And to give a Heil Hitler to a law enforcement officer was just wrong. Maybe too many perms sniffed for you.

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    • obxstylist

      As I stated clearly, the officer said it was a license check. Comrende’?

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      • curious

        Then I suggest no international travel for you. You are required to “show papers” to get in and out of the country. He may have said that as a courtesy as most people understand, especially on holidays, that the police do this on occasion to catch folks driving without a license or a revoked license or to catch drunk/buzzed drivers. And who knows maybe a few cars behind you, in this Nazi type stop, there was a drunk driver, who had he/her not had to stop for this “unconstitutional” stop, been flying up behind you and lost control due to his/her drunken state, slammed into and killed you. I cannot tell you the number of times on a trip where it took a bit too long to cash out at a restaurant or the gas pump took a bit too long to reset, or I got behind the L’il old lady from Pasadena who was driving 35 in a 55 in a no passing zone for 25 minutes before I could pass her, that I came across an accident that was still working. I always say Thank God for that delay because I may have been involved in it had I not been slowed down by that unforeseen incident. Me thinks you make much ado about nothing in this case.

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    • obxstylist

      And if they are looking for someone don’t you think they should tell the public? Maybe as in Boston, a private citizen would spot whoever they are looking for. There is a saying by a very smart man of the past that goes something like “He that would give up freedom for a little security deserves neither.” Ben Franklin I believe.

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      • curious

        You said yourself you were on the back roads to avoid cops. Most back roads do not get the “Amber Alert” signs put on them, as there is not a whole lot of traffic on them. And after your “greeting” I would say as little as possible to you to avoid any further irritation as the officer does not know if you are a stable individual.

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  • obxstylist

    Correction, the trooper’s name is Warren. The Sheriff’s name is Webb. It doesn’t matter anyway as most commenters here have reading comprehension problems. Too much flouride in the water mixed with public education and throw in some Chem trails on top. Good day comrads.

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    • mbrya023

      You screamed HAIL HITLER at a cop, but we are the ones with issues? HAHAHAHA

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      • obxstylist

        In Nazi Germany there were “papers please” checks. So my Hail Hitler was appropriate. My freedom and rights don’t end when I am traveling on a road.

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      • Sinoptik

        Screaming “Heil Hitler” at a police officer is never appropriate. Screaming it at anyone is not appropriate. But if it adds to your smug sense of satisfaction have at it, it is not Nazi Germany after all.

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  • obxstylist

    I think it is some of you who need to “study your history”. Police brutality is occurring all over the country. Maybe you need to study your present some also. While you’re at it, look up the supreme court rulings on road blocks. Papers check is not a lawful reason for a road block.

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  • mbrya023

    This letter is hilarious! Maybe you should just stay at the Beach and avoid the roads.

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  • employee2

    How do you think we get people that are driving on a suspended license off the road? They don’t go to the local police station and surrender. Do you occasionally get asked for an ID to buy alcohol? Driving is not a right it is a granted priviledge. There is a distinct difference.

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    • obxstylist

      How about they get them the old fashioned way: patrolling and pulling people for valid reasons. Not unlawful papers checks.

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      • employee2

        You have to have a reason to pull them over…that would be more in line with the author’s rant…being pulled over more no reason.

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  • Typhoon

    This foolish letter should not be needed an explaination.

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  • Liberty With Responsibility

    ” . . . . he is perfectly within his legal rights to do so.” You are so right about that From Here. And so also legally “right” were the Nazis to seize and kill Jews, and also legally “right” were the slaveowners to keep people in slavery, and so on and on through history. These things were “legal” activities at the time. Did that make it “right?” I hope you said “no.” People who cannot understand this basic idea ended up being the “storm troopers’ of Germany, instead of the righteous resistance fighters. Which group do you claim to agree with? The “legal evil” or the “outlaw righteous?”

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    • obxstylist

      Outlaw righteous!!! For sure.

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    • Sinoptik

      LWR: Your comparisons are completely incorrect and bordering on fallacious. You are stating that a simple check for legal vehicular operation is the same as hunting people based on ethnicity or enslaving innocent people. A licensed person can show said license and continue driving freely down the road. Is it inconvenience you abhor? Not quite the same as a concentration camp is it?

      I see it as these law enforcement officers are protecting my freedom, my freedom and right to not share the road with unsafe vehicles and drivers that have driven recklessly enough to no longer be granted a license. These are the only people no longer allowed to continue freely about their business after one of these checkpoints, and I am fine with it.

      The only ones that should have a problem are the ones operating illegally in the first place. The more they catch the better. Drunks, speeders, rattletrap drivers… these miscreants all stand a chance of taking me and mine out on these roads and I want them gone, and the law is on my side.

      Crying “Liberty” in this case is just saying you fear getting caught for being in the wrong.

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  • FromHere

    So sorry, sweetie, but when an officer stops you, the first thing he asks for is license and registration and he is perfectly within his legal rights to do so. They frequently do checks to make sure all driver have these documents, vehicles are not stolen and that they are safe. There are signs beside the road that tell us how fast we are supposed to go, whether we are supposed to pass of not, and all kinds of instructions. If we abide by these signs and have our proper documentation for the vehicle, we don’t get tickets. It’s that simple. Just show them what they want, say thank you and be on your merry way. And, by the way, for your referral to NAZI Germany? Do you have a clue what that entailed. You’d better be glad you’re getting stopped by someone in North Carolina. If you were Jewish, you’d be dead. Study your history.

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