Give Government Agents The Silent Treatment
Dave Killion — November 28, 2012
I have blogged previously about the wisdom of not talking to the police, and I not only stand by that advice, I recommend increasing that practice to other agents of the state. Those being: school administrators, and Bylaw/Code Enforcement Officers.
In the case of school administrators, parents and students must keep in mind that the media frequently reports incidents in which students have been suspended or expelled for trivial violations of increasingly popular zero-tolerance policies. Worse still, students are sometimes even arrested over matters that were, in a more sensible time, resolved by parents and staff. The time has come for parents and students to recognize that interactions with public school administrators have potentially disastrous consequences. Students should be taught that any attempts by administrators to interrogate them should be met with no response other than, “I’m sorry, but I want to call my parents/guardian right now.”
In the case of Bylaw/Code officers, I bring to your attention this story, in which unfortunate victims of Hurricane Sandy voluntarily enter into contracts with skilled tradesmen able to help relieve some of their distress, only to have the labour of these tradesmen brought to a halt by officious government busybodies who lack the good sense to turn a blind eye to unlicensed operators even in such dire circumstances! Well, the sad truth is that while the ‘authority’ of such officers to enter your property without a warrant often exceeds that of the police, there is likely nothing to stop you from refusing to answer any of their questions and declining to produce any licenses. Should I find myself in just such a situation, I intend to politely, but firmly, advise the officer that I am not going to talk to him, and then say nothing more than, “Please get off my property.”
These might not be the right choices for you, and of course you should make a hobby of learning the laws by which the state constrains you before you take any of my advice. But all in all, I think it is never wise to pass up an opportunity to shut your mouth.
Disclaimer: The articles and opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Libertarian Book Club.