Snaggle wrote:I guess I was looking for more of a dialogue then if you don't like it, you can leave.
Likewise, should we just roll over and die in states like Illinois that do not afford its citizens 2a rights? I guess we could always tell them if they don't like it, they should leave.
The lotto has a proven track record of being profitable. Why not allow those that wish to participate, to do so?
This is one of those subjects that can be problematic to bring up as there are bound to be some strong opinions on each side, and really, our views on this subject have nothing to do with working together on RKBA. It would be unfortunate to damage relationships on RKBA over differences of opinion on matters that don't affect RKBA. That said, let me offer up the other perspective.
The genius of our federal constitution was the creation of one nation from 13 independent, sovereign states. Among those States were at least 3 or 4 distinct cultures; arguable more depending on how you define culture. I would start with manufacturing New England, shipping/commerce Middle Atlantic, and agricultural Southern (slave) states as the large divides with several sub-cultures possible.
Point is, the United States of America were supposed to be a unification, but not complete dissolution of, several independent nations. There are a few, enumerated rights that every State is supposed to respect: freedom of religion, speech, assembly; right to due process, an attorney, presumption of innocence; right to keep and bear arms; etc. Under the 14th amendment, the federal government is charged with enforcing these rights against the States in favor of individuals when necessary. Under the 10th amendment, any powers not specifically delegated to the federal government, nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people individually.
Under the 21st amendment, for example, the individual States have virtually unlimited power to regulate or ban the sale and use of alcoholic beverages. Lacking some specific protection of an individual right to manufacture, trade in, or use alcoholic beverages within a State constitution then, the State has the explicit, reserved power to regulate or even ban alcohol. Simply put, majority rules on alcohol laws within each given State.
A similar situation exists with gambling, prostitution, and many other areas. Not being delegated to the federal government, nor prohibited to the States, the power to regulate or ban these types of activities are reserved to either the States or the people. To determine whether it is the people (ie individuals) or the States (as a whole) who retain the power, one has to look to both State constitutional language and case law. In the case of Utah, our State Constitution, Article VI, Section 27, specifically bans all forms of gambling in the State of Utah.
Why? Simple. Because that reflects the desired culture of the State of Utah as determined by the majority of our citizens. It is not a l/Libertarian view. But we are not a particularly l/Libertarian culture in Utah.
But, looked at from another way, it does represent an important part of the national diversity. There are only two States in the Union where all forms of gambling are prohibited: Utah and Hawaii. Utah is fairly conservative, Hawaii fairly liberal. So out of 50 States, there is one conservative State that provides a culture agreeable to those who don’t care to live with the various social costs (ie “externalities”) of legalized gambling. There is one liberal State that offers a similar position on the issue of gambling.
There are those who would argue that the benefits of legalized gambling (eg income for schools, ability to reduce involuntary taxes such as on income or property, etc) outweigh the costs imposed by legalized gambling (eg crime, increased welfare demand, overall social costs of officially encouraging a “something for nothing” mentality rather than a Puritanical work ethic, etc). Everyone is entitled to his opinion on this subject. But the bottom line is whether the decision is made on pure calculations, on personal religious/moral grounds, or for any other reason, the regulation or even banning of legalized gambling has always been seen as an issue where the majority rightly rules rather than as an individual right that is beyond proper majority rule. In the last 40 years, the majority has decided in favor of legalized gambling (to various degrees) in almost every State of the union. That there remains a majority opposed to gambling in two of the 50 States is simply a decent respect to a little cultural diversity, IMO.
Also, bear in mind that under federal law, Utah cannot
limit gambling to just
a State lottery. If a State allows any
legal gambling at all, then Indian tribes with reservation lands within the State are allowed to offer any and all forms of gambling they desire including full up casino gambling. Obviously, the l/Libertarians and others who do not oppose gambling are not bothered by this. But for those who might want to have a State lottery while avoiding other forms of gambling, it is worth noting that such simply isn’t possible given the Indian reservations in Utah and federal law on the matter.
Bottom line: Utah’s laws on gambling, alcohol, smoking, and marriage are reflections of our overall culture. We are, culturally, much more of a Bible-belt State than a Western State. We were settled originally by families, and religious families at that. This is in stark contrast to many other Western States that were settled by single men—miners, ranchers, trappers, and traders—and generally not very religious men at that. Our water and mineral laws, educational laws, etc are sometimes an interesting mix of our communitarian roots (often mistaken as “socialist”) mixed with certain federal mandates intended to weaken the power or influence of the early LDS Church. Interestingly, when Utah passed its original “clean indoor air” act, we were accused of forcing religion on others. By the time we got around to banning smoking in bars, we were well behind the curve set by much less religious, and more liberal, States like NY and California. At the end of the day, the federal Constitution does not guarantee quite the range of individual "rights" that some might hope. Rather, properly applied, it protects a few, very foundational rights, while providing a lot of leeway for States to have individual culture. Hence, while I dislike both Romneycare and Obamacare, the former may well be fully constitutional, while I believe the latter is grossly unconstitutional. However, much as New Yorkers may hate guns, I believe they are constitutionally obliged to respect my individual right to carry a gun, just as Utah is constitutionally obliged to respect the rights of consenting adults to engage in private sexual conduct that might be offensive to the majority.
I hope this provides a little better understanding of the constitutional and legal basis for the laws here in Utah.