Laws & Outlaws

I stumbled upon a politician’s Facebook meme yesterday that employed at least a hundred words to restate a very succinct bumper sticker of the 1980 : “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” This truth—that laws only regulate the law-abiding—is not true only of guns.

This is precisely the position that I have hawked for the last two or three years regarding toilet legislation (remember North Carolina’s H.B. 2 from 2016?). The individual who is undeterred by felony assault laws will not be deterred by misdemeanor toilet laws. Narcolegislation does not stop narcotraffickers who accept the occasional arrest as occupational taxation and industrial hazard. What’s more, ineffectual and poorly constructed laws create a Darwinistic microcosm that extirpates only the unintelligent, the uninstinctual, the uncommitted, and the uninventive criminal. The truly “gifted” criminal minds refine their craft and evolve around their environmental constraints. As a case in point, when legislative assemblies and regulatory bodies cracked down on over-the-counter dispensing of pseudoephedrine, meth producers simply began importing pseudoephedrine from Mexico. It was completely legal because the laws and regulations did not control the substance itself…only the common means of acquisition. If past is prologue, firearm legislation will do the same. Background checks are ineffectual and meaningless. Those who are hell-bent on acquiring a firearm will do so by theft or by private purchase. It would make far more sense to restore full and complete civil rights to NON-VIOLENT felons after ten years. Then the FBI and ATFE could redirect all the resources (mis)spent on penny-ante deterrents toward vigilant monitoring of violent offenders.

Though not to the degree of their Greek predecessors, the senators of ancient Rome were notorious for their impassioned debate and appeal to logic and reason to resolve social ills. We should be so fortunate.

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