When private does not really mean private

By: Carolyn Hileman

How many of you own private property? We do, or at least that is what it is called, however with recent ruling by the Supreme Court on eminent domain and law suits filed and won by trespassers, one really begins to wonder. If our property is really private then how is it that you cannot protect it? You cannot protect it from the city or state if they decide that some business would allow more tax revenue, you cannot protect it if you have illegal immigrants hunting illegally on your property.

If one of the environmentalist says there is a rare bird on your property, you must either hand it over or be seriously limited as to what you can do on it, if they decide to build a road or school once again your rights to your own property comes in to question. You can put up a no trespassing sign, better get one in Spanish don’t want to be discriminating now do we, you can fence your property, you can take all sorts of steps to protect your property but in the end it will not matter. Take for instance Roger Barnett. Late last month a civil jury ruled against him in a case brought by five citizens of Mexican descent who sued Barnett for threatening them with an assault rifle in 2004. Barnett confronted Ronald Morales, his father and three young girls and accused him of trespassing on his property outside of Douglas. During the incident, Barnett took an AR-15 assault rifle from his truck and according to Morales, pointed it at the group, insulted them with racial slurs and threatened to shoot them. Barnett denies all of this.

OK, maybe he called them names, I think in the heat of the moment if I saw a bunch of people on my property with guns I might say a few things myself. I might even threaten to shoot them if they started to move since I would have no idea what the hell they were doing on my property with guns in the first place, the fact is he didn’t shoot first and ask questions later an old Texas favorite. The jury ordered Barnett to pay Morales approximately $98,000 in damages, for protecting what he thought was his private property. The law is supposedly clear in that you may hold a gun on people who are breaking into your house until cops arrive, granted he apparently waited for immigration officials to arrive and God only know how long that took, but one must wonder if he is at fault for the immigration officials’ delays in coming.

So one is left to ponder if private property means that the property belongs to you and that you can defend it using any reasonable means necessary, or if private property means that you pay the land note, the taxes and just kind of hold it for who ever wants it next. If our government can arbitrarily come in and take our property for a tax increase, if people can walk on to our property brandishing guns, garner no charges filed against them and turn around a sue us, it really makes you wonder. As for eminent domain, it is said that they will pay us a fair price, although one is left to wonder what is a fair price for uprooting your life, tearing down your memories all in the name of progress, Is the fact that you bought, cleared the land raised your family, built your home on this property going to figure into that fair price? These are just a few of the questions you must ask when private does not really mean private.

The Voice

About The Author Carolyn Hileman:
The Voice http://www.thevoice.name/

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