Thursday, December 29, 2011

Simple Truth: Additional Laws will not Sway the Lawless

Illustration:  It is well known that students on the Virgina Tech campus are not allowed to posses or carry weapons.  It is a "gun free zone."  And yet, in 2009, and, more recently, just in the beginning of December 2011, gunmen terrorized the campus. 

Explanation:  This is not a defense of gun ownership, or a tretise on the Second Amendment.  Though those are parts of a valid topic, they are not the point here.  The point here is that, in both cases, the criminal knew he was breaking the law.  The law did not prevent him from doing what he wanted.  He chose to violate the law by carrying a weapon on campus, and again to violate the law by murdering someone[s].

The same is true of the Mob, or some gas-station robber, or a man who beats his wife and/or children.  These people all know the law.  They know they are in violation of it.  They know, and they don't care.

Given that criminals know they are criminals: indeed, most of them consciously choose to break the law, we must ask ourselves, "why do we need more laws?"  It is already illegal to murder, why should we also restrict gun ownership?  The "results" of drug use (theft, property damage or destruction, and so forth) are already illegal, why do we need additional laws against what we see as the seed of those behaviors (this is not to say there aren't good reasons to outlaw certain drugs- those just aren't them)?  You are already liable for any damage done when you cause an accident in your car, why should you be criminally liable for talking on your cellular phone?

Across the spectrum, Government's first reaction to someone breaking the law is to add more laws.  And, as previously discussed, any time Government expands, it does so at the cost of your Liberty.  When Lehman Brothers failed, and the whole crash of October 2008 occurred, we were told we needed more regulation.  More Government, we were told, would have stopped the catastrophe.  Nevermind the layers upon layers of regulation that already exist.  Never mind that banks were only doing what was in their best interest, in light of things like the Community Reinvestment Act and other Government mandates.  Never mind that fraudulent accounting practices, and purjury are already crimes: we needed more regulation.

And, at the end of the day, our banking system is no more secure, our economy is not substantially better off, and banks are suffering financially because of "more regulation."  Moreover, the regulations are harder to enforce, as they have become yet more byzantine.  A prime example is the tax-code.  Tax enforcement is anything but standardized, and three different IRS agents will give you four different answers to the same question.  They are no more "sure" of the law than you are.  Yet we need more regulation.  We need more laws.

At the end of the day, we need fewer laws.  We need to gut the current system and return it to the minimalist system which worked for over a century.  Outlaw specific acts, and then enforce those laws.  From illegal immigration, to fraud, to money laundering, to property destruction or murder.  Outlaw the act, enforce the law.  By maintaining as minimalist a government as possible, we will begin to regain our Liberty.

UPDATE: Thanks, AoSHQ, for the link!


  1. That's why a part time government makes more and more sense.
    We need to prevent the "public servants" from incessantly doing "the people's business".

  2. The fox knows that chickens don't have teeth.

  3. There are already laws for almost every human activity. The last thing we need to do is add more of them when the existing ones are not being enforced.

  4. More laws, and broader laws, also lead to less effective and more arbitrary law enforcement. Even trivial offenses may now be federal felonies. It all leads to easy abuse of authority and contempt by the public for legitimate laws.

  5. There are even some laws that directly contradict other laws (to the point of "mutual exclusivity", i.e., it is impossible to keep from violating one of them), both of which have a criminal penalty attached, just so that a prosecutor can use the violation of one or the other to apply pressure against a reluctant witness, should the need arise...

  6. Just this morning, some jackhole was on the radio saying that that park ranger that got shot at mt ranier the other day would still be alive if only guns weren't allowed in the parks. "this could have been prevented." no it couldn't, chief. There was already a law against shooting park rangers, but that didn't stop him, either.

    Oh, and prior to shooting the park ranger, this dude allegedly shot a house full of people.

    The only thing that could have prevented this tragedy was a flip from homicidally insane to suicidally insane.

  7. Ghost: Exactly. I hate when idiots make that argument, as though the thing responsible for the killings was a gun. The "thing" responsible for the killings was a human being who made a conscious decision to kill people.

  8. If every tragedy is going to be used to create a new law, there should be a requirement for the identification and repeal of all the old laws that didn't work to prevent the tragedy in the first place.

  9. I remember when John Kennedy Jr crashed his small plane; He had a VFR only license and he got caught after dark in bad weather. CBS or someone interviewed his constituency and in particular a little old lady. She sobbed and sobbed and demanded action from lawmakers to "make a law" so there could never be a "National tragedy" like this again. It occurred to me at the time that:
    A) People worshipped at the feet of John John for no particular reason since he had never accomplished anything in particular other than sleeping with and later punching Daryl Hanna.....and...
    B) Lawmakers make most laws by first polling little old ladies who may or may not even know their own name, where they are, etc.