Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Breakin The Law, Breakin The Law

One of the interesting and thought provoking parts of the book I am reading is that it discussed breaking the law. It is too tempting and easy to think that in any situation worse than a weekend power outage you will just saw the barrel of your Remington 870 flush with the tube and carry it around all the time shooting people who do things you do not like or otherwise doing whatever you want. Matter of fact almost every serious worst case scenario worth considering will have law and order and LEO's in some form or another. Making difficult choices in an environment which is probably more harsh and restrictive isn't a pleasant idea but it is a realistic one. Both Matthew Bracken's "Enemies" series and the recent and enjoyable "John Galt" blovel show that things can get really bad AND you will still have cops and laws to worry about.

This book discussed breaking the law in an interesting and dispassionate manner. Look at what you can lose or gain from breaking a law. Look at the cost to benefit of both sides. For example I firmly believe anybody who does not keep a valid drivers license, have a vehicle that is properly registered and maintain the necessary auto insurance is seriously asking for a ton of trouble. You can get pulled over and provided you have the previously mentioned basic stuff you can go on your way without a hassle. If you want to argue about the legality of drivers licenses or whatever you could well end up like the brothers in Patriots. A drivers license costs a few bucks and they are good for several years. Vehicle registration sucks but if you drive an older and modest vehicle it isn't that bad. Assuming your driving record is halfway decent and you drive an older vehicle the bare minimum liability insurance should not hurt your pocket that nuch. For the cost of being able to drive wherever you want carrying whatever you feel like and getting out of a police stop with just a modest fine to me this is well worth it. Often the alternative means real problems when getting pulled over, even for what would surely be a warning like a dead tail light. Getting pulled over and not having these simple documents (Papers Please!) will almost surely mean your vehicle is going to get towed. In order to be towed it needs to be 'inventoried' and depending on what you have in it that day things could degenerate significantly from there. At a minimum it will cost money, take time and inconvenience you significantly.

What law would it be an easy decision to break? Well ones that are not actively enforced and do not carry significant penalties come to mind.

To me this isn't about saying "I am a free American and I can do whatever I want". For instance breaking federal firearm laws will almost surely bring a serious penalty. Mr. "The Constitution gives me the right to saw off this shotgun barrel" could well find himself in prison. One who was a bit more pragmatic might note that the difference between an 18 1/4 inch barrel and a 17 3/4 inch barrel is a half inch OR a few years in the pen. It is about taking an objective look at how breaking certain laws could make you more free as well as the risk of legal consequences and the severity of those consequences.

Just think about it.



Anonymous said...

Most of us break some law virtually every day, even if we don't know it. There are so many laws, many of them idiotic in nature, that it would be impossible to draw breath and not do so.

Geoff said...

Not being allowed to have a barrel length below 18'' does not mean you're a free man, even if you don't end up in prison. I'm not saying it's prudent to violate such a statute. I'm saying that simply being outside of a prison of brick and mortar does not make you a free man.

3rd Man, by the way, if you look at just about any state law, I'm sure you'll find that going 110 in a school zone (your example) is not a mere traffic violation, but is in fact called "reckless endangerment." Reckless endangerment is a crime. A misdemeanor, or, in a school zone, likely a felony.

But then, I don't define a "crime" merely by whether or not a behavior is called a "crime" by lawyers and men in black robes, or prohibited by statute.

Smuggling a freed slave was called a "crime" by men in fancy black robes. Hiding Jews was called a "crime" in Germany. Carrying a firearm without a permission slip is a "crime" in many mini-States in this land.

But killing a baby in utero is not a "crime." (Except if you do it to someone against their will. Then it's homicide, the blackrobes tell us, because that makes sense.)

Michael Hawkins said...

Obediance is usually the most pragmatic course of action, because jail ... well ...

"You don't know what it's liiiiike..."


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