Inspired to bring this one up from a recent article asking if Americans are “ready to legalize Prostitution.” Frankly, in most cases more problems are created by making something illegal than were caused by the issue in the first place. Once you put people’s activities outside the law a lot of the social and even legal (after all, if they’re already breaking one law, what’s one more?) restraints go away.
One basic rule of life is that if there is a demand for something, then someone will create a supply. Making it illegal doesn’t end that. It just brings all the trappings of criminal activities along with it. We saw that with Prohibition. We see it in “Prohibition II”. And we see it in prostitution.
And so, I wrote the following on the subject of “There ought to be a law.”
Actually, in the vast majority of cases, no, there ought not to be.
Think about what “law” means. Law means that someone from the government can come and use force on a person to make him or her comply, to submit. Force. And if they resist that force, the government can increase the level.
In the end, if they continue to resist, the government can kill them.
Even if you don’t have a “death penalty” on the books, it is always the end game of a person refusing to submit to the law.
And it has to be that way because without that ultimate use of force, there comes a point where someone can say “no” to your law and you have to say “okay.” At which point it’s no longer law but a strongly worded suggestion.
So when you say “there ought to be a law” you are saying “it’s worth killing people to ensure that this happens” or “to make this less likely to happen.”
That’s what “law” means. That’s what law is.
It is the same with anything you want the government to do and to pay for. Taxes, after all, are also laws. Someone can say “no” to paying the tax and you send armed men to force him or her to pay. And if he resists those armed men, they can kill him.
“The government should provide/pay for…” means “we are willing to kill someone to have…”
And it’s not even just the willingness to kill the people who break the law because the use of force occurs before any trial is held to determine guilt or innocence. Police respond to a bad tip and break into someone’s home. Resident, having no reason to expect the police, acts to defend himself. And the result is the coroner has to come and haul away one or more bodies.
Someone, maybe several someones, dead because “there ought to be a law.”
This is not to say that there should be no laws and no taxes, but that we need to go into that eyes open about what it means. Does a study on why Lesbians have a higher incidence of being overweight (an actual CDC study) really justify killing someone? Is it really worth killing people over smoking an unapproved plant? And so on.
Thomas Jefferson wrote:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed
There, I believe, is the crux of it. To secure these rights of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness, does justify the use of force to the point of deadly force. Defending our nation, laws to censure those who credibly threaten the rights of others to Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness, and the minimal necessary taxes to accomplish those ends. And no more. Let other things be accomplished by other means, means that don’t come with the sanction to use force up to and including deadly force.
Reserve law and government for things that really are worth killing over.
Oh, and one more little thing. Before you decide that it’s okay to kill those “other people” (you know who they are) because you don’t like what they’re doing, just remember:
Anything government can do for you, it can do to you.