Laws themselves a senseless crime

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 23, 2018)

Droughts are a serious problem. They cause wildfires, dirt storms, crop failure, and they deplete the aquifer. Droughts are harmful and dangerous. Someone should do something! Why aren’t droughts illegal already?

On the other hand, you don’t want floods, either. Or property-damaging hail or tornadoes. Those should be criminalized as well.

There needs to be a legal minimum and maximum amount of rainfall each month, and bans on assault weather, so everyone is safe and healthy.

Reasonable people understand it is absurd to criminalize nature. People who advocate, write, pass, and enforce laws are not reasonable people. When nature and laws collide, nature will always make a fool of laws.

I once had a short hedge which grew berries every summer. Nothing was interested in the berries until they fermented, then the robins would gather to eat the fruit and get drunk.

It was funny to watch and proves a point.

Robins aren’t arrogant enough to threaten other robins with a cage for eating berries, and to kill them if they resist hard enough. Only certain humans are this arrogant.

Seeking mind-altering substances is not just a human trait. It goes much deeper into the nature of living things– at least those with a mind to alter. Trying to make the behavior go away with laws is as stupid as criminalizing weather.

The potential to cause harm doesn’t justify laws, either. Everything can cause harm, so laws covering anything could be justified by that standard.

Crime only occurs when an individual’s life, liberty, or property has been harmed by the actions of another. Crime– harm to individuals– is the most common result of writing and enforcing laws. It’s the same whether the laws are against substances, tools, or the victimless behaviors commonly called “vices”.

Even in the case of harm, do you really need a law against murder before you’ll accept it’s wrong to murder? Would you wait to make sure murder has been properly criminalized before defending someone who is being attacked? I hope not. What is the point of a law telling you what you already know? Does putting it in writing really change anything? It justifies hiring judges, police, and prosecutors, and paying them all with money stolen “legally” through the act of taxation, but it doesn’t solve anything.

You don’t need laws to make acts which harm life, liberty, or property wrong, and laws which criminalize other acts or objects harm life, liberty, and property by their existence. Laws are a senseless crime.

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