Politicians Legislate Crime
nay they create crime!
One of the major stories yesterday was a new “gun control” bill that is supposed to be passed by the Senate this week. The major feature of this bill is purported to be a national “Red Flag” law. I say “purported” because according to Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, nobody but a handful of Senators has seen it yet. Apparently, the Senate is supposed to simply pass it without examination or debate. To an extent I totally agree – there should be NO debate. However my own reasons are far different than those who deign to control us. I say there should be NO debate simply because this legislation should be shot down in flames for the abomination it is. Red flag laws are unconstitutional on several levels. First is the presumption of guilt, not to mention skirting of due process. Let’s talk about the inability of an accused, who has committed no crime, to face one’s accusers. I’m sure if I dug deeper I could come up with other issues but why? Isn’t this enough? It sure is for me. The real jewel sparkling at the top of this legislation is a beacon illuminating a nationwide problem that concerns us all – politicians legislate crime.
By this I mean that politicians create new crimes using their legislative authority. Think about that for a moment. Let’s take this one step further. For a real-life example, allow me to direct your attention to the old-fashioned light bulb.
Now I’m talking about that old style incandescent light bulb that so many of us grew up with. They were everywhere. They were cheap. I remember buying them in packs of four for $1. Now some folks didn’t like them. They burned hot. They were not terribly energy efficient. Well, okay, I never really noticed the heat unless I tried to change one too soon after it burned out or something. Maybe during a heat wave or something, I might turn some off. However, in wintertime, the extra heat may be considered a benefit. Then there’s the energy. So what? If I’m paying for it, what would that matter to anyone else. Well, Congress, you know, those people we send to Washington to represent us, decided incandescent light bulbs were no good. Funny. I don’t remember my congress critters asking me… Anyhow, they passed a law making them illegal. Now for the incandescent light bulb to be illegal, that means it must be a crime for somebody to make and maybe sell or use them. So, Congress created a crime where there wasn’t one before and not just any crime but a federal crime. Jeesh. Really? Yep.
So there you have it, except maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re thinking… “Who cares about light bulbs anyway?” That’s not the point. The point is the piles and piles – mountings, actually – of crimes created by Congress and other politicians. And when politicians create crimes, they create criminals. Now do you see the problem? Well, it’s worse than you think. Here’s the deal.
For the most part, politicians only do two things as far as their “constituents” are concerned. (By “constituents”, I mean the People they are supposed to represent, not those they actually serve.) Politicians spend money and make laws. Now the money they spend is our money and they are quite proficient at this. What they suck at is giving us good value for our bucks, but that’s another article. Then there’s the laws the make – the crimes actually – we don’t need any more crimes. Seriously. We have plenty to go around. There’s one book published in recent years - “Three Felonies a Day”. (Silverglate, Harvey. Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent. New York: Encounter Books, 2009.) who postulates the average, AVERAGE, American commits three felonies each and every day. Now that’s not because we are all the slime of the earth but rather it is because our so-called “representatives” have gone hog-wild making everything under the sun illegal. Even the lowly light bulb.
Now if you’re a thinking dude, you gotta ask… “Whose gonna enforce all those laws?” Well, that’s the other rub. The only way this could happen is if a citizen happens to rub some government official the wrong way. Maybe by taking their parking spot or something. (This actually happened in Massachusetts!) Then the official can browse through the ocean of federal (or state) laws until they find something they can nail that dastardly citizen for and viola! Instant felon! It should be a crime. Don’t look now but it probably is but for sure, government folk are exempt.
In light of all this, it might be wise to consider a well-known if much abused axiom. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse!” We’ve all heard that, unless you’ve spent an inordinate time under some rock, but we won’t go there. As I said, this axiom is constantly abused because it is entirely misunderstood! In order to put this saying in proper perspective, well, I’ll put it in my own way. There’s God’s law and then there’s man’s law. God’s law is straightforward. If you know the Ten Commandments then you can pretty much sum it all up. Now I’m not opposed to fleshing those out a bit but the bottom line is there’s things we all know are just plain wrong. If we all know something then I see no reason for anyone to plead ignorance. On the other hand, how can someone be expected to just know the speed limit changed from 55 to 25 without warning? The same standard simply cannot apply and yet, I have no doubt some judge somewhere threw the book at someone for going 27 in a 25 zone that wasn’t posted because “ignorance of the law is no excuse!”. Please. And no, it wasn’t me. As much as I despise speed limits, I obey them to a fault. Some day when I’m rich, I’ll challenge them in a court of law with an aim towards having them declared unconstitutional.
Now lets circle back (thanks Jen for that jewel) to those Red Flag laws. We don’t need no more stinkin’ laws. Really, we don’t. As previously mentioned, law enforcement cannot begin to enforce all the laws already on the books. Not to mention the fact that so many laws that really should be enforced are not. Let’s not add to the felony Rolodex, huh? It already takes the equivalent of a team of mules to turn it. Not only am I against this new legislation but I adamantly advocate enforcing the more reasonable laws already in place. Laws like the ones against making threats (I’m no lawyer but I think the legal term is assault.) Or how about enforcing those laws prohibiting our lawmakers from passing unconstitutional legislation? I like that one. A lot.
For those of you who want to whine about recent events that inspired these laws, let me remind you that each of these perpetrators already made substantial, i.e. legally actionable threats. If the laws already on the books were enforced, those events would likely never have happened. Even better, those laws were perfectly consistent with our Constitution, not to mention falling within the true scope of “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. We all know making threats is wrong, not to mention illegal. Nobody needs a new law for that.
The bottom line is the only new law we really need is a moratorium on new legislation. Let’s weed out the mess already on the law books before adding to the pile? Huh?