THE DOMESTIC WAR ON TERROR….Instapundit reports today about a guy who lost his job at a gun store because of a police memo:
The case started when a Gwinnett detective issued a classified “intelligence release” warning police of Wynn’s new job, that he has “insinuat[ed] the use of violence against law enforcement officers” and often carries guns in his car. The report said the job would allow Wynn “to collect intelligence” on police, getting officers’ home addresses when they complete federal paperwork when buying guns.
Jimmy Wynn, the guy in question, was the commanding officer of the Militia of Georgia and apparently a tinfoil hat brand of wingnut, but there were no charges outstanding against him and working in the gun store was perfectly legal. But when a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent called the gun store owner and told him about the memo, the store owner immediately fired Wynn (although he claims he was planning to fire Wynn anyway for poor job performance).
There are always going to be close calls in this kind of thing, and no one thinks that police just have to sit on their hands waiting for explosive situations to catch fire. But this kind of generalized suspicion and vague fear is exactly what J. Edgar Hoover exploited in the 60s to shut down civil right groups ? he just knew they were up to no good ? and if it was bad then it’s bad now.
“Keeping an eye” on someone is part of law enforcement. Getting them fired from their jobs because they annoy you isn’t.