By: T F Stern
The Moral Liberal
You want to hear something interesting? The Department of Public Safety/Private Security Bureau (DPS/PSB) auditors are afraid of licensed locksmiths; not making this up folks. My copy of Locked-In, a monthly publication of the Greater Houston Locksmith Association, had its monthly report regarding the last DPS/PSB meeting.
“Because of some licensees working from their homes, and not from a storefront, some of the inspectors are concerned for their safety when auditing. It was recommended that a phone call be placed to schedule a meeting outside the home between the auditor and the licensee or for the auditor to take a state trooper with them to the home.”
Let’s set the background for these auditors going about the task of insuring the safety of the general public’s interaction with the locksmith industry.
Anyone who desires to work as a locksmith in the State of Texas is required to apply for, receive and maintain a license issued by the DPS/PSB. Requirements for the license include a thorough FBI investigation, fingerprints, substantial proof of the individual’s character which precludes anyone with a felony conviction and many misdemeanor offenses to include DWI. In short, those individuals who eventually obtain a locksmith license have shown they are above reproach.
On top of that, locksmiths are required to invest a considerable sum, up front and before they make a single dime, for the license and the included requirement to have a bare minimum insurance policy to cover $1 million in damages (or is it $2 million; my policy is for $2 million), in case of a simple mistake or criminal wrong doing. Together this adds up to over a thousand dollars out of pocket expense for each locksmith every year and does not include the cost associated with mandatory continuing education in order to keep the license once it’s been issued.
Why would a representative of the DPS/PSB feel uncomfortable visiting a licensed locksmith, be it at a storefront or his/her home? Could it be the auditor understands his/her presence represents our transformation from a free market society where individuals at one time could depend on their God given rights as protected by the Constitution into a totalitarian repressive socialist state which grants permission for the basic right to work? (I love a run on sentence almost as much as I do my liberty.)
My wife thinks these folks are scared because they receive letters, letters which they apparently view as threats from locksmiths who resent the State’s imposition into affairs which are none of their business. Isn’t that one of the beautiful parts of our constitutional republic, the ability to voice our disdain when government steps over the line and usurps authorities never intended?
Ezra Taft Benson explained in his talk, The Proper Role of Government:
“…let us first consider the origin of those freedoms we have come to know are human rights. There are only two possible sources. Rights are either God-given as part of the Divine Plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. Reason, necessity, tradition and religious convictions all lead me to accept the divine origin of these rights. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government. I, for one, shall never accept that premise. As the French political economist, Frederick Bastiat, phrased it so succinctly, “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” (The Law, p.6)”
It has become painfully clear the folks running the DPS/PSB believe in the latter, that human rights are granted by government and can be denied by government. With each passing year it isn’t hard to notice the usurpation of powers by government; powers which rightfully belong to individuals have been taken over by bureaucratic fiat under the direction of a well meaning legislature intent on safeguarding the public.
“Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither”. Ben Franklin
“Those who sacrifice the liberties of others believing they know what’s best for society are called Socialists.” (my own modification, hope you like it)
If America were a democracy then it would be understandable for the majority to establish laws which inflict injury to some individual’s personal rights; however, America is a constitutional republic where personal rights can never be impugned regardless of the wishes of the majority. Individual rights are beyond legislation and the reach of well meaning bureaucratic policy makers and include the right to work in any otherwise lawful endeavor.
“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficient… The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.” Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis
Protestations by individuals in order to secure and maintain God given rights should not be taken as threats. Individuals of integrity and character seek a higher plain of reasoned conversation and use confrontation only as a last resort.
It is unfortunate to hear unwarranted fears from DPS/PSB inspectors voicing concerns for their well being to such an extent they feel it necessary to have an armed guard present in order for them to continue to enforce arbitrarily conceived rules and regulations on individuals licensed to perform locksmith work.
The Moral Liberal’s Senior Editor, T.F. Stern, is a retired City of Houston police officer, self-employed locksmith, and gifted political and social commentator. His popular and insightful blog, T.F. Sterns Rantings, has been up and at it since January of 2005.