Daeyel wrote:And when viewed in this light, there are a large number of plain dumb laws. In fact, we could probably do away with large chunks of the code that neither regulate or punish.
Further, we have to be very careful about new laws, and who we are now attempting to punish.
I rather suspect I am reinventing the wheel here, but its changing the way I view laws and the way they are made, and for what purpose. I can see we are being hemmed in by laws as a form of social control, (see: terrorism laws) which may seem to contradict my rejection of the premise that laws cannot regulate people. Rather, the regulation comes in the scorn heaped upon those who speak out, the calls that they are helping terrorists, are anti-american, etc etc.
It is a mistake to think that the state works within the boundaries of laws. The public does not obey laws. It obeys rules within the boundaries of a triangle, the first side of which is the law. But the triangle has two other sides: common sense and ethics.
What if the Knesset passed a law requiring drivers to drive in reverse all winter? That would counter the logic side of the triangle. The public's subsequent refusal would be the fault of the government, not of the public.
In other words, the fact that we obey the law is not because of the law itself, but because it is logical enough to warrant our adherence.
The third side of the triangle is ethics. If the government ordered us to drive our elderly and infirm out onto the frozen tundra, as per Eskimo custom, we might agree that it would logically enhance the economy. But nobody would obey, because it would be patently immoral. The party at fault for the insubordination would be the government that enacted the law and not the citizens who refused to obey.
The greatest crimes in human history were perpetrated when citizens ignored their duty to delineate logical and ethical boundaries for the rule of law. The societies in which this took place by and large collapsed.
Daeyel wrote:Thank you, Sarah! In rejecting the notion that the public fails to obey the law strictly for the laws sake, I recognized that ethics and morals entered the fray. However, I did not wish to derail or sidle off subject into that. This really helps clarify that law as a regulator fails. People will disobey a law for convenience or protest. It is their moral code that indicates whether they will obey it, not the existence of the code itself.
Most people would 'obey the law' against killing others even if the law didn't exist - its in their morals.
I'll stop here, the morals, while important, are another discussion.
gobbly wrote:Many laws I obey are purely out of convenience. Traffic laws are a great example. I basically never speed (occasionally I might find myself ~5 mph above the limit due to distractions, but in general I am fairly careful about abiding by them), I always signal, I turn into immediate lanes, etc. I do this not because I think it's necessary for safety, in fact, when everyone on I-15 is going 75, I consider it less safe for me to be going 65. It's not even the penalty that deters me, it's the inconvenience of being pulled over that keeps me sticking to the driving laws.
UnderratedF00l wrote:I'd add one more thought to along with what Gobbly mentioned.
We have mountains of laws, both on a state and federal level. There are so many federal laws that the gov'ment themselves can't even count them. That fact, in itself, is startling. Especially so when you consider this: rarely are laws unchanged over the years. Laws like the Federal Firearm Act (originally enacted in 1938) have been changed and revamped multiple times. Because of the amount of changes made, the original intent of the law may have changed completely. Even laws that were clear and well-intentioned when originally enacted may have been changed so much that the original specifications are lost. Sometimes, these changes make them more vague, which in turn, makes them more prone to flexible interpretations.
Turning the discussion to firearms (this is a firearms-themed board, after all): Because we have so many laws, it's nearly impossible for the layperson to understand them, and if we can't understand them, how can we be sure we're not breaking them? For example, I know of a couple of gun stores well within the 1000' radius (approximately a fifth of a mile) of a school zone. I believe there's one in Ogden that's right across the street from an elementary school, and it has only two parking stalls (someone feel free to correct me here, I've only been there once). Purchasing a firearm and carrying it out to your car that's not parked on private property (ie, in one of the stalls) could be considered a Federal offense.
In Utah, having a loaded firearm in the car without a CFP is legal. However, if you cross in to the imaginary 1000' GFSZ, you just committed a Federal offense.
This is why I'm hesitant to support laws like HR 822, the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill (discussed here). It's just "one more law" that can be tinkered with down the road, however well-intentioned it might be to begin. The argument that this law would expand our rights has some merit -- however, I believe that, in order to realize true Freedom, we need less laws... not more.
UnderratedF00l wrote:I believe there's one in Ogden that's right across the street from an elementary school, and it has only two parking stalls (someone feel free to correct me here, I've only been there once). Purchasing a firearm and carrying it out to your car that's not parked on private property (ie, in one of the stalls) could be considered a Federal offense.
UtahJarhead wrote:What Gun store is that? The only ones I know of are Impact, Smith & Edwards, Sportsman's Warehouse, Kent's at 5 points, and Cal Ranch.
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