Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bad Laws: A Conversation On Real Solutions

We freedom loving Americans often find ourselves in situations where we are met with laws we deem arbitrary, overly restrictive, pointless, designed to produce revenues for the government or whatever. We will just call these bad laws. So what is a person to do. Far too often the answer is to yell, scream or whine about it. The mean government is picking on me, blah blah blah. While a good tantrum rant releases tension it is not usually productive in terms of actually fixing the problem. Today I want to talk about potential solutions for those who are bored of simply complaining and actually want to change the situation.

[Far too many reading this only love their own freedoms. Though in fairness that is somewhat natural. You don't hear me yelling all the about home schooling or raw milk being over regulated to death. The simple reason is that I'm pretty ambivalent on both of these topics. A better way might be to say the significant issue is everyone wants to protect or create whatever freedoms they want while simultaneously being able to use governmental forces to control others doing things they do not like. The raw milk producing home schooling family believes they know best what should be allowed to happen in far away's bedrooms and lives so they try to control them. The other people who have never seen a milk cow, let alone a small family dairy believe they know better than the people whose family has been there for a hundred years. The real answer is that none of them know much about the other's lives and they all need to leave each other alone. Freedom for me means freedom for thee. So stop being a jerk who whines about rules that limit them whilst simultaneously trying to rule other peoples lives. End tangent.]

So there is a law we do not like. Fundamentally I see two broad options.

We can recognize that a rule is stupid but it is in fact the law so it has all those  nasty consequences. Since we do not want problems we will begrudgingly follow the arbitrary and stupid law most of the time. A good example of this is the fact that I do not on a regular basis physically assault people in public. At least once a week there is somebody I really want to smack around, if just because I am in a bad mood. My restraint comes not from fear of them but from not wanting to get arrested for assault then go through all that BS.

The other option is to accept that the rule has consequences but decide we simply do not care and are willing to take the risk of sometime being caught and potentially facing those consequences for the benefit of breaking the rule. We all know, or might even be, the person who drives over the speed limit on their way to and from work. Knowing where cops hang out on the route they rightly figure the odds of getting caught on any day are low. When intermittently busted they probably figure after the 100 times of getting away being caught once isn't a huge deal and it's just a fine anyway.

Which way I lean between these two varies on a case by case basis. First in my mind is the severity of the consequences should I be caught. A minor traffic ticket isn't a big deal so maybe it's worth doing 68 or 70 in a 65. The other obvious variable is the risk of being discovered. Let's say I lived alone and enjoyed a recreational substance that is currently in a murky legal status. If I produced it myself, only for myself, without the need for obvious precursor chemicals, etc and enjoyed said substance exclusively at home the odds of being discovered are very low. Though the penalties would be far higher than speeding a but the odds of being discovered are so low the law would probably not get in my way.

Aside from obeying or ignoring what can we do to get around these bad laws?
-Change them. Most levels of government in America have some way a normal citizen can, obviously with enough support, change, add or remove laws. The mechanics can be complicated and obviously a majority of voters is generally needed but it can be done.

-Change who is in charge. Don't like the dog catcher being a jerk, convince voters you will do better, take his job then do it better. Think the Sheriff (they matter A LOT) is not pro gun, push for a trusted member of the community to fill the position.

Changing and circumventing are probably most effective at lower levels of city and county then to a lesser degree the state level. City and county politics (at least outside big areas) are such a snooze few people participate and not many more pay attention or vote. An active campaign with half a decent point that gets normal people excited about an idea/ candidate stands a decent chance of success.

-Circumvent them. Figure out a similar way to meet the same end result without violating the law. This admittedly tends to work best when those who wrote the laws are ignorant on the topic. Guns are a good example here, after the .50BMG banning silliness it took a day or so for .499 rifles and ammo to start popping up. Ban that and .498 would only take 2 days. You get the idea. This has also been shown painfully clear in the area of financial and banking laws. A law is passed that says banks should not do X so they do Y which has the same end result.

-Vote with your feet. Do the research, travel to check it out then move to where you would prefer to be based on a variety of factors. In particular within the US we are seeing some very disparaging situations in terms of firearm and financial freedom develop over time. This makes strategic relocation worth considering. Instead of griping about California's gun laws move to Arizona, Nevada or Oregon all of whom are far more accommodating to gun owners and shooters.


Edited to include:

2 glaring omissions were made in the options which needed to be added for a full discussion.

-Legal Challenge. Find a law you think can be overturned for whatever reason (Unconstitutional seems to be the most common) then look for some schmoe who broke said law or was harmed by it and sue. Keep going until the law is changed or you have exhausted all appeals. This was a staple of business for all manner of leftists for decades and has recently been adopted by Team FREEFOR. The MacDonald case is a good example of this. The downside of this method is need for extensive free legal support or a deep pocketed backer to pay the bills.

-Resistance. The issue with government is that sooner or later everything is backed by force. Break all but the most minor rule and you will face the consequences or eventually men with guns will show up to take you away. You can run, comply or fight. If you fight somebody is going to be seriously injured. Should you get away all sorts of people will be after you. They might burn down your house with the family inside, shoot your wife in the head or who knows what else. Bottom line it doesn't end well.

Now if someone is trying to take your children to a reeducation camp or your newly hated ethnic group is bring rounded up for cleansing by all means take out as many key individuals of the regime as you can culminating in a blaze of glory. On the other hand it's probably better to just pay the traffic fines, follow city ordinances about building, pay your taxes, etc all then go home for dinner followed by a drink and bed.

I do not mean to imply this list is all inclusive but it should give a framework from which you can problem solve to actually do something about these problems. As always thoughts are welcome.

3 comments:

Chris said...

I think you missed the civil disobedience angle. You can simply openly carry on in defiance of the law yet decline to physically resist if the authorities attempt to enforce it. Civil disobedience is certainly an option when faced with an unjust law.

Ryan said...

Chris, I think that civil disobedience is more of an idealistic version of the 'just ignore the law and risk the consequences' plan I mentioned.

Anonymous said...

"At least once a week there is somebody I really want to smack around, if just because I am in a bad mood."

It's hard to take the rest of your post seriously after reading that. Perhaps that was your intention.

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