A Nation of Too Many Laws

I often proudly proclaim that we are a nation of laws. The United States has been writing, passing, and enforcing laws since its inception in 1776, and even before that. In thinking about laws I often come to the conclusion that laws inhibit our freedoms. I also proudly declare that we have a Constitution that guides our thinking on how to proceed when writing laws. Does the Constitution really help us decide whether a law is necessary? I think in most cases the Constitution does not come to mind when lawmakers get busy to formulate a new law. At this point of history the United States has so many laws in so many jurisdictions that we need an army of lawyers to assist us with the interpretation, and to help protect us from harm caused by the wrongful application of same. We need a reset in law making. How can we be free to say, write, or do what we want freely when we are being guided by the Constitution, Federal, State, County, Township, and Municipal laws? For instance, my home town has a law on conducting garage sales. I’m sure your town does too? Why are such laws necessary? Most likely because somebody’s neighbor decided to hold a garage sale every Saturday of the year. A simple thing such as a sale intended to reduce the clutter going into a landfill turns into something ugly. The law is written to control our behavior.

The more laws we have the more opportunity there is for us to become law breakers. Therefore, more need exists to employ law keepers known as policemen to keep our behaviors in check. One of the most frequently broken laws in America is called the Speed Limit. Speed Limits are laws intended to regulate our need for speed, but under the guise of safety to the general population. Speed kills they cite, therefore we must limit your needs with signage that tells you what is safe. If every municipality that is responsible for posting the limits were to arrest every driver who broke the limit we would be able to pay for every highway in America with improvements too. Thankfully, the cops arrest speeders using statistics, placing speed traps at random around the area and being seen writing citations every where. The penalty’s for repeated speeding violations are severe, and one can lose his driving privilege, another loss of freedom.

A Speed Limit That Is Hard to Keep On A Bicycle

Another law that is frequently broken is driving while under the influence of an intoxicating beverage or alcohol. Again, in the name of safety, you place yourself into jeopardy by drinking and driving. No mater, even if you are driving like a sober judge, if you are pulled over you put your driving privilege on the line. Most of these laws are the result of a group called Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD. These moms are upset over losing a child in an accident caused by someone who drove drunk. Alcohol impairs your ability to think clearly, and your body to react more slowly, therefore, you must be apprehended and incarcerated for your own protection. In this case it is not your own safety the law protects it is the safety of others.

As an attempt to learn how large the law problem is in America, I asked Google to tell me. The answer, is there are too many laws on the books to know just how many there are. One fact that I did learn is that there are over 23,000 laws on guns and gun ownership. We have a body of politicians whose job it is to write new laws. We have gotten so stupid about this that we refer them as “do-nothings” if they don’t pass new laws every year. The average is about two hundred new federal laws every year. Multiply that by 244 years and we have over forty-eight thousand Federal laws on the books. If you have ever looked at how the laws are written by reading one you will know that within every law are numerous other laws that control every scenario possible. I think the number I cited is way too low. Of course the problem is magnified when we move down to the states and municipalities.

Just this week, I learned that A friend of mine was being punished by my hometown of Frankfort for trying to live his life the way he wanted to. The friend lives in the country just outside of town. He has a huge barn on his property, and thought how neat it would be to cater to the latest hot trend of barn weddings. For some reason, he thought it would be wise to have his farm incorporated into the Village limits. WRONG!!!!! The Village got wind of his business and decided to teach him a lesson. First, the land he was on is zoned for Agriculture. I know the Village would not have let him build a barn on a residential plot. But, my friend thought since the barn existed before the land was part of the Village he was okay. WRONG!!!!! The Village sent out a fire inspector to determine if there were any fire hazards in the barn. Come on folks, barns are usually built of wood and have hay strewn around. The Fire Marshall wrote him up and decided he needed to install a sprinkler system, he did. They also insisted his county approved electrical system was not up to code, so they had him install a new electrical box to replace the new one he had. He did that too. Then the Village asked if he had a Village business license. Out of curiosity, I read the ordinance on Village Business licenses. It doesn’t cover offering your barn as a venue for a wedding, but they have a line labeled “other” to cover the known listed business types. One reason for the license is to flush out if alcohol will be served, sold, or stored in the building? If there is, then a new law kicks in namely a the need for a liquor license. I know Frankfort is not a teetotaling town there are numerous taverns and bars within the town limits, but they want to control what goes on to insure my safety. Sooo, we have a law to guarantee that; another loss of freedom.

When my friend thought he was near the finish line the COVID-19 pandemic hit and shut down all activities. Several weddings had to be cancelled or rescheduled due to the virus. Six months have passed and the virus numbers are reduced to allow some wedding party activity to occur, except that the Village slapped an injunction against his business to stop.

I guess my point in this post is that too many laws can be a detriment to liberty. We seem to lose common sense and apply stupid laws to new and wild business ideas like barn weddings. Too many laws also give our leaders too much power and inflate their ability to control others. Liberty requires fewer laws and less control. We will never again get back to the liberty we had two hundred and forty-four years ago unless we start reversing the trend to define every breath, and every move we take with a law.

A good start in reversing the trend is to return to the original ten commandments issued to Moses by God.

3 Responses

  1. Frightening. Too tangled to unravel?

  2. […] A Nation of Too Many Laws […]

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