DHS, FBI Conducting Searches at 2013 CMA Music Festival

June 3rd, 2013

The federal government’s law enforcement powers are constitutionally limited for a reason — the only criminal laws it has true authority over are national affronts like treason and piracy. However, the Constitution has not been closely followed in decades, as federal agencies continuously encroach upon the legal jurisdictions of states, localities, and private property owners. When it comes to law enforcement, alphabet gangs like the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security routinely impose themselves on state and local agencies.

Nashville, Tennessee is gearing up for the Country Music Association Music Festival, which takes place this weekend. It’s one of the world’s biggest country music fests. During preparations this week, people around the Music City noticed FBI and DHS agents bringing in special equipment and setting up security features. Service industry employees working in the Nashville area have been warned by management not to bring backpacks to work over the weekend, as federal agents will be conducting bag searches. A reporter at The Liberty Paper contacted the Metro-Nashville Davidson County Police Department and confirmed that the DHS and the FBI will be on hand to perform security at the privately-run CMA Music Fest.

Federal Encroachments Escalating in the Wake of Recent Mass Casualties

Shortly after the recent tragedy in Boston, mainstream media personalities began calling for escalations in intrusive police powers, particularly those that conflict with fundamental rights. Since then, federal agents have become fixtures at marathons and other public sporting events. Additionally, the TSA began sending VIPR teams to pro football games over the past couple of years. It’s worth noting that the Founding Fathers warned against the surrender of liberties in an effort to pursue greater security.

Federal agencies make their presence known in military style, something that Americans find appalling. In third-world dictatorships, leaders intimidate their citizens by policing them with tanks and heavily-armed storm troopers. This is fast becoming the new normal in the United States.

At the CMA Music Fest, Local Law Enforcement and Private Security Have the Authority to Provide Safety, Not the Feds

First of all, no federal officer should conduct any police activities on private property without a warrant or probable cause. As such, only private security, paid for by the Country Music Association, should be covering the event itself. The CMA Music Fest is a private event, and taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for its security.

However, it is reasonable for local police to increase their presence in the downtown area during the festival as there will be a disproportionately huge population converging on downtown. Between the county’s police force and additional state-level law enforcement assets, there are plenty of officers available to handle anything that might take place this weekend. Tennessee-based officers know the local community, its laws, and the lay of the land.

Federal officers, on the other hand, are not familiar with Tennessee’s Constitution. They are not familiar with the local geography and will have to bother local law enforcement officers for directions and briefings. To make matters worse, federal-level law enforcement agencies tend to try to take over operations run by local officials who actually live in the community and better understand tactical data. From a law enforcement standpoint, these federal encroachments are ineffective at providing security.

From a constitutional standpoint, random bag checks on anyone walking downtown are a direct violation of the Bill of Rights. This is yet another scary encroachment by federal agents against the lawfully-elected officials of state and local governments. Tennessee can handle providing its own security for the CMA Music Festival and does not need federal help.

Find out where you can see Silver Circle by checking our theater and special screening schedule on our event page. The film is set to premiere in Nashville on June 26th.

About the Author: Barry Donegan

Barry Donegan is a singer for the experimental mathcore band Look What I Did, a writer, a self-described "veteran lifer in the counterculture", a political activist/consultant, and a believer in the non-aggression principle.