So why do we have the 4th amendment?

Say Uncle asks:

So, why do we have the fourth amendment again? I mean, I’m just asking since it seems like we don’t really use it.

The same question could be asked of virtually all the protections against excessive government in the entire constitution.  I recognize the sarcasm and know Say Uncle doesn’t literally mean that but in a sense it is a valid question.  If our government isn’t going to follow the rules then why not just draw up a new set of rules and try to enforce the government from crossing the new restrictions?  I say, “No”.  I take that back.  That should be, “Hell no!”  Even though we are nearly constantly reminded of government excursions into areas they are forbidden we are reminded by the existence of those violated restrictions.  It gives us something to “hang our hats on”, it gives us the moral high ground, it gives us a goal to strive for, and it reminds us why we need to hold onto our guns. 

How is that?  How does it remind us why we need to hold onto our guns?  Because rules aren’t worth the paper they are written on without a means to enforce them.  I’ve gotten into debates on a Universal Biometric ID card and had a lawyer tell me we just needed to put “substantive rules“ in place prevent it’s abuse.  As I told him:

If you believe “substantive rules … will continue to be administered” will assure me the database will not be abused then you haven’t been listening. The “substantive rules” that I would required to be put in place in order to believe the contents of the database would not abused would cause the most enthusiastic Auschwitz guard to cringe at my creativity in punishment methods, violate numerous protections of the Bill of Rights, and probably inspire several additions to it.

Government cannot be trusted to follow the rules–constant reminders of that are a good thing.