When the Law Becomes Tyrannical

Mark Steyn writes up the story of David Gregory illegally waving a 10-round magazine under the nose of the NRA President and, in pointing out the rationale for arresting Gregory, hits a sore point I have these days:

…To Howard Kurtz & Co., it’s “obvious” that Gregory didn’t intend to commit a crime. But, in a land choked with laws, “obviousness” is one of the first casualties — and “obviously” innocent citizens have their “obviously” well-intentioned actions criminalized every minute of the day. Not far away from David Gregory, across the Virginia border, eleven-year-old Skylar Capo made the mistake of rescuing a woodpecker from the jaws of a cat and nursing him back to health for a couple of days. For her pains, a federal Fish & Wildlife gauleiter accompanied by state troopers descended on her house, charged her with illegal transportation of a protected species, issued her a $535 fine, and made her cry. Why is it so “obvious” that David Gregory deserves to be treated more leniently than a sixth grader? Because he’s got a TV show and she hasn’t?…

We have so many law these days – local, State and federal – that is almost a certainty that each of us, at one point or another, is in violation of one or more.  Steyn lists more examples of this and points out that when laws become capricious – such as when a little girl can be fined $535 for doing what little girls will always do – then we are no longer living in a nation ruled by law, but a nation ruled by tyranny.  Remember, there’s no way they can actually arrest all of us but the laws are so numerous that we’re all going to violate at least one of them at some point…so whether or not any one of us will be punished for our transgression really rests upon the whim of police and prosecutor.  Tick off a cop and he might haul you in on some bizarre charge; get a prosecutor with a burr up his rear and you might find the full weight of the law directed against you…or, you might not.  All depends.  And since it depends not on what you do but on what the authorities decide, you are living under tyranny.

And another aspect of tyranny is when the well-connected are let off – not just Gregory not being prosecuted for something which would have resulted in a world of trouble for any of us, but in the repeated stories we see in the news of the rich and/or famous getting off because they had the money or the connections.  We are no longer living in a nation where any of us can be certain of how things will come out – work hard, stay out of trouble and play by the rules…and you can still be fined, jailed, place on “no fly” lists…all at the whim of a government official and then its up to you to prove your innocence.

While we are living in the Error of Obama, not much will be able to be done about this, but if we do win back power (hopefully no later than 2016) one of the main aspects of government reform must be the massive repeal of laws and regulations.  Perhaps a commission could be set up to review each law and regulation and determine if it should remain, be repealed or be folded in with other laws or regulations for simplicity.  At bottom, as a citizen, it shouldn’t take me more than one day’s reading to find out everything which is illegal under federal law, and less than a day further reading to know everything that is illegal under State and local law.  If it takes a person longer than that to get through the law code (and I’ll bet no one could get through it these days in less than a period of months), then it is no longer a code of laws, but a license to oppress.

And a lesson to be learned here is to stop demanding that government “do something” each time some sort of crisis or problem develops.  That is the root of this – for about a century now we’ve turned to government to fix things and now we’ve got a government which is tyrannical.  High time when a problem comes up that each of us decides to roll up the sleeves and get a little dirty fixing it, ourselves.

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28 thoughts on “When the Law Becomes Tyrannical

  1. Cluster December 29, 2012 / 10:14 am

    Here’s a great website to keep track of what this current train wreck of a government is up to:

    http://www.regulations.gov/#!home;tab=search

    Yesterday, Mr. Obama waived the freeze on federal government pay plans effectively giving a lot people a raise that are fortunate enough to be employed by his regime. Nice work if you can get it. Unfortunately, for the millions of Americans who are unemployed, and have been unemployed for quite some time now, no plan is being worked on. In fact isn’t it strange that since the election, unemployment is no longer a concern? Those people don’t exist anymore.

    The level of incompetence, dishonesty, mindlessness, narcissism, and idol worship that surrounds this current POS in the White House is mind boggling.

  2. Retired Spook December 29, 2012 / 12:10 pm

    What’s amazing to me is that, as heavily armed as we are as a nation, someone on the receiving end of an act of bureaucratic tyranny hasn’t said, “that’s it; this won’t stand. I am going to be the line in the sand regardless of personal cost,” and just starts shooting people. If our devolution from being a nation of laws continues, it’s only a matter of time before something like that happens. And once it happens, the floodgates are going to open, and I wouldn’t want to be an over-zealous judge or prosecutor when it does.

    BTW, I believe the AR-15 magazine Gregory held up on Meet The Press was a 30-round, not a 10 round. Ten is what Senator Feinstein wants to limit it to. Also, the hypocrisy of Gregory ridiculing Wayne LaPierre’s suggestion of providing armed guards at schools when Gregory’s own kids go to a school that has nearly a dozen armed guards is beyond the pale, but not unexpected coming from a Leftist like Gregory.

    • Amazona December 29, 2012 / 1:39 pm

      A practiced shooter can replace a 10-round magazine with anther quickly enough to make the one or two second lag between that and going from round 10 to round 11 in a larger magazine negligible.

      It’s all symbolism, it’s all emotion, it’s all demagoguery, it’s all hysteria.

      • Cluster December 29, 2012 / 1:58 pm

        It’s all symbolism, it’s all emotion, it’s all demagoguery, it’s all hysteria.

        Another great definition of liberalism

      • neocon01 December 29, 2012 / 2:45 pm

        BINGO….

      • dbschmidt December 29, 2012 / 6:45 pm

        A practiced shooter like Jerry Miculek can outperform even a 10-round semi-automatic pistol with a revolver. So, as you stated, it’s all hysteria for the low-information folks whether in the Congress or voting for them.

      • M. Noonan December 29, 2012 / 6:52 pm

        Democrats should just propose the “mean looking gun ban act of 2012” and call it a day…remember, Democrats were the people who, back when, were opposed to us spending money on a wire-guided, fire and forget it missile…they also said the M1 Abrams tank wouldn’t work because the driver’s seat was too high for a normal sized man…the dimwit who made that announcement didn’t notice the up and down lever on the side of the seat…these people are pure and simple idiots when it comes to weapons. The only weapons they know about are those carried by their personal security detail…other than that, they haven’t a clue.

      • Retired Spook December 29, 2012 / 7:14 pm

        A practiced shooter like Jerry Miculek can outperform even a 10-round semi-automatic pistol with a revolver.

        DB, my normal CC gun is a 5-shot S&W model 60 stainless .38. I have two speed loaders for it, and have gotten off 15 shots in under 15 seconds. And I’m certainly not what would be described as a “practiced shooter”.

      • neocon01 December 30, 2012 / 10:11 am

        This time around the big focus for control freaks will be on the “large capacity magazine” as somehow the real problem of gun violence, not the criminal maniacs doing the shooting. Apparently 10 shots are okay, but 30 is pure evil. It would be fun to ask Biden, or any of his pals, if they deign to show up at a Congressional hearing, what they make of this famous photo of Malcolm X, shown with an M1 carbine, and two magazines taped together, “jungle-style”. Then as now, using a roll of tape to make reloading quicker was not illegal. Will the new Biden gun control laws also address the crucial issue of adhesive tape control?

        Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/12/malcolm_x_ruins_gun_control.html#ixzz2GXnQvDQ6

  3. Amazona December 29, 2012 / 1:36 pm

    I’ve been saying for years that we need to debride our body of law. In medicine, debridement is the action of taking away diseased or necrotic tissue to get down to a layer of healthy tissue, so healing can take place. We need to do the same thing with our laws.

    Instead of passing a simple, specific law we have started to pass massive omnibus laws. cumbersome and complicated, all the better for burying earmarks within the volume of language and complexity of the bills. Then when inevitable Unintended Consequences pop up, we just slap bandaids on the problems of the moment, and then more “fixes” when they just result in more problems, till we have a teetering mass of overly complex laws that no one can really understand.

    The law regarding the woodpecker is an example. The law is supposed to protect wildlife but in execution does the opposite. I wrote not long ago about hunters being attacked, maimed and nearly killed by grizzlies, and then when they have managed to kill the attackers being slapped with federal indictments of crimes, costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend. Does anyone really believe that the law intends to say it is OK to kill a human attacker to save your life, but not a bear?

    I think we should have a Congressional commission to go through our laws, examine them for efficiency, break them down in composite parts if they are too complicated,, and repeal anything that is not lean and effective. I think it’s a lot more important than fussing about private citizens using performance-enhancing drugs—an issue for their sports but not for the federal government.

    • Retired Spook December 29, 2012 / 2:06 pm

      I think we should have a Congressional commission to go through our laws, examine them for efficiency, break them down in composite parts if they are too complicated,, and repeal anything that is not lean and effective.

      Noooooo! Not a CONGRESSIONAL commission!!! That would be like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. They’re the ones who passed the laws to begin with. How about a private commission made up of business owners?

      • Amazona December 29, 2012 / 2:23 pm

        I see your point about a Congressional commission, but see problems in putting this in the hands of business owners. I believe it was you who suggested using retired military officers to vet visa applications from illegal aliens. Whoever it was, it was a good idea, as these are people trained to evaluate and decide, neither of which appear to be requirements of Congresscritters, and this would provide an excellent pool of leadership and background in analytical thinking.

      • neocon01 December 29, 2012 / 2:47 pm

        TERM LIMITS….then …….

      • Retired Spook December 29, 2012 / 2:54 pm

        Amazona,

        Just as long as it isn’t elected officials, retired elected officials, or unelected government bureaucrats or retired bureaucrats. Unfortunately, when you eliminate those categories, you pretty much diminish the likelihood that it will ever happen. Every time we get to this point in any discussion about solving problems that government has either created or failed to solve, my brain keeps reverting back to the fact that there has to be some kind of societal or economic reset before there will ever be the will to change the path we’re on. The danger in that scenario, of course, is that we end up with something like the French Revolution, something that should be avoided at all costs. There just aren’t any easy answers. If there were, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in.

      • M. Noonan December 29, 2012 / 6:57 pm

        A citizens commission – make it in the manner of a federal grand jury. Get 15 regular folks together and essentially make the law enforcers and regulators defend their laws and regulations…seriously. Yes, time consuming, but it would be worth it. Pass a law saying that as of X Date all laws and regulations in force in the United States as of Y Date will be considered repealed unless the Citizens Commission upholds them…so, regulators and lawmakers, get out your charts and graphs and convince 15 Americans (and it would have to be unanimous) that the law or regulation has to stand. Give them 12 months of time…anything not brought before the commission is gone as of X Date…and anything not unanimously confirmed by the commission is also gone.

        Think about it – they couldn’t possibly do them all! Most laws and regulations would die simply for lack of time! The government would have to be very selective in which laws and regulations it brought up…and had better have rock solid arguments in favor.

      • Amazona December 29, 2012 / 8:34 pm

        I also suggest that every new bill be of a limited length—I have heard 10 pages as the maximum, which sounds good to me—and be accompanied by a short brief (sorry about the pun) describing its compliance with the 10th Amendment. We might as well get that detail right up front.

        Oh, and it would also have to be written by the sponsor—no more special interests like the SEIU presenting a bill to be rubber-stamped by compliant Dems.

        And if a legislator can’t be bothered to read what he votes on, he can’t be bothered to be in the House or Senate.

      • dbschmidt December 29, 2012 / 9:50 pm

        An educated and enlightened citizen panel. A group that understands the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Federalist Papers plus other founding documents and not the Woodrow Wilson version of Supreme Court opinions which purport to explain why Congress has the power to regulate anything it pleases.

        With consideration that the Constitution was 4 pages long; albeit large pages–I could go with 10 in plain English without riders or pork of any kind. 1 bill==1 topic with at least 10 business days to view and respond on the internet of many other places. Oops, another broken promise of the most transparent government ever. Plus, I like the idea of effectively sun-setting all laws unless someone steps up to the plate and defends it.

      • M. Noonan December 29, 2012 / 11:03 pm

        I agree with the sunsetting of laws – though I’d mostly do that for tax increases…all tax increases have a 5 year time limit unless extended by a 2/3 vote in both houses.

        I’d like an amendment to ban the government from issuing debt, as well. You want it? Ok, then propose the necessary tax increase to pay for it…and remember, in 5 years time you’ll need a super majority to extend it, so it’d better work as advertised.

        Also agree that a bill should never be more than 10, type written pages long. If its longer than that, then they are trying to scam us.

      • neocon01 December 30, 2012 / 10:08 am

        No LAWYERS!!! on it

      • Amazona December 30, 2012 / 12:24 pm

        Unfortunately, there would probably have to be at least one lawyer on any such panel, just to make sure the wording is enforceable, if only to review it for clarity and a structure that lets it be applied.

        We, as a nation, after generations of sloppy public “education”, have let our language erode to the point where people think they can just slap on any definition, or interpretation, and it is tricky to write something that is very specific and not infinitely definable.

      • Retired Spook December 30, 2012 / 1:49 pm

        Unfortunately, there would probably have to be at least one lawyer on any such panel, just to make sure the wording is enforceable, if only to review it for clarity and a structure that lets it be applied.

        I nominate Judge Andrew Napolitano.

  4. Jeremiah December 29, 2012 / 4:02 pm

    my brain keeps reverting back to the fact that there has to be some kind of societal or economic reset before there will ever be the will to change the path we’re on.

    Yes, we’re almost evenly divided in America…with slightly more people in allegiance to the liberal left. The left’s “war on poverty” has been successful in luring people in to their trap.
    Too, the liberal left has been successful in mind control through the public educational system.

    If change comes, it won’t be by revival, but through physical suffering, by way of their wallets and bank accounts being drained dry. Small businesses are barely making enough to live on the way it is now. And if they have children, it’s going to be really hard for them to put food on the table (lucky to) for them after another 15% is tacked onto their taxes.

    I somehow doubt that people will wake up that easily, though. Too many are under Big Brother’s spell, that “gimme, gimme, gimme” spell. Worst part is, the government wants us all under that “gimme, gimme, gimme” spell.

    Only thing I know, is, I resist the government, and if necessary, by force.

  5. dbschmidt December 29, 2012 / 9:39 pm

    While researching a different project–I ran across one of my old favorites from Mr. Sowell–thought I might just post it.

    Thomas Sowell is not only one of the finest columnists in the business, he’s a prolific author, a brilliant economist, and he has an incomparable knack for simplifying complex concepts that few other human beings can match. Enjoy the distilled wisdom!

    25) “Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?”

    24) “Imagine a political system so radical as to promise to move more of the poorest 20% of the population into the richest 20% than remain in the poorest bracket within the decade? You don’t need to imagine it. It’s called the United States of America.”

    23) “Four things have almost invariably followed the imposition of controls to keep prices below the level they would reach under supply and demand in a free market: (1) increased use of the product or service whose price is controlled, (2) Reduced supply of the same product or service, (3) quality deterioration, (4) black markets.”

    22) “What sense would it make to classify a man as handicapped because he is in a wheelchair today, if he is expected to be walking again in a month and competing in track meets before the year is out? Yet Americans are given ‘class’ labels on the basis of their transient location in the income stream. If most Americans do not stay in the same broad income bracket for even a decade, their repeatedly changing ‘class’ makes class itself a nebulous concept.”

    21) “There are few talents more richly rewarded with both wealth and power, in countries around the world, than the ability to convince backward people that their problems are caused by other people who are more advanced.”

    20) “The poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits ever since 1994. You would never learn that from most of the media. Similarly you look at those blacks that have gone on to college or finished college, the incarceration rate is some tiny fraction of what it is among those blacks who have dropped out of high school. So it’s not being black; it’s a way of life. Unfortunately, the way of life is being celebrated not only in rap music, but among the intelligentsia, is a way of life that leads to a lot of very big problems for most people.”

    19) “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

    18) “Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.”

    17) “The vision of the anointed is one in which ills as poverty, irresponsible sex, and crime derive primarily from ‘society,’ rather than from individual choices and behavior. To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by ‘society’.”

    16) “No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind.”

    15) “Life has many good things. The problem is that most of these good things can be gotten only by sacrificing other good things. We all recognize this in our daily lives. It is only in politics that this simple, common sense fact is routinely ignored.”

    14) “There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs.”

    13) “Civilization has been aptly called a ‘thin crust over a volcano.’ The anointed are constantly picking at that crust.”

    12) “We seem to be moving steadily in the direction of a society where no one is responsible for what he himself did, but we are all responsible for what somebody else did, either in the present or in the past.”

    11)” For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not as the distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before.”

    10) “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

    9) “Intellect is not wisdom.”

    8)” The charge is often made against the intelligentsia and other members of the anointed that their theories and the policies based on them lack common sense. But the very commonness of common sense makes it unlikely to have any appeal to the anointed. How can they be wiser and nobler than everyone else while agreeing with everyone else?”

    7) “Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

    6) “Experience trumps brilliance.”

    5) “The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.”

    4) “One of the consequences of such notions as ‘entitlements’ is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence.”

    3) “Weighing benefits against costs is the way most people make decisions — and the way most businesses make decisions, if they want to stay in business. Only in government is any benefit, however small, considered to be worth any cost, however large.”

    2) “In short, killing the goose that lays the golden egg is a viable political strategy, so long as the goose does not die before the next election and no one traces the politicians’ fingerprints on the murder weapon.”

    1) “There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs.”

    • neocon01 December 30, 2012 / 9:55 am

      STICK TO YOUR GUNS
      28 Dec 12 | Justin Giles

      Stick To Your Guns
      Justin Giles, Sergeant US Marine Corps (former)

      Imagine you are walking through the woods on a dark cloudy night. You are startled by a vicious, snarling beast concealed in the blackness. Not knowing what else to do you scramble up a tree, afraid and unsure what to do next

      http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2972987/posts

      • Amazona December 30, 2012 / 12:34 pm

        neo, this is an excellent article. Perhaps we should press Congress to address the Constitutionality of allowing foreigners to decide our elections. To me, the mere presentation of an ID issued by a foreign nation is proof positive that the person is not a citizen, as does the inability to speak enough English to vote.

        I had not thought about the fact that the number of electoral votes is determined by the population of a state, not by the number of votes cast in that state. So, if we count illegals and their many children in the census as part of the population, giving that state an additional Representative, theoretically a state could have ten million illegals counted, to give it an extra electoral college vote, and have only a few hundred thousand votes cast for the candidate who then gets all those electoral votes assigned because of illegal residents.

        Therefore, the counting of illegals in the census, for the purpose of representation in Congress, gives two methods of allowing foreigners to determine United States law and government.

        One thing about the Left is that they never miss a trick.

    • Amazona December 30, 2012 / 12:19 pm

      Thanks for the quotes from one of my heroes.

  6. Amazona December 30, 2012 / 9:36 pm

    From an article on Natural News:

    (NaturalNews) “The reports are absolutely true. Facebook suspended the Natural News account earlier today after we posted an historical quote from Mohandas Gandhi.

    The quote reads:

    “Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.” – Mohandas Gandhi, an Autobiography, page 446.

    This historical quote was apparently too much for Facebook’s censors to bear. They suspended our account and gave us a “final warning” that one more violation of their so-called “community guidelines” would result in our account being permanently deactivated.

    They then demanded we send them a color copy of a “government issued identification” in order to reactivate our account. Our account was removed from suspension just minutes before InfoWars posted its article on this Facebook censorship, and the Facebook page is now functioning at:
    http://www.Facebook.com/NaturalNews

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/038484_Gandhi_quote_Facebook_censorship.html#ixzz2GaakuZ48

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