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.