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Opinion / We The People

Laws Upon Laws

laws

I remember a conversation long ago with my parents when I was in my early twenties. We were discussing seat belt laws and bicycle helmet laws.

My feeling at the time was that of course those laws were a good thing. Even, perhaps they were a necessary thing. Why shouldn’t there be laws to protect people from harm that may come upon them if they didn’t use a safety belt while in the car, or if they didn’t wear a bicycle helmet while riding a bicycle?

Why wouldn’t my parents agree? It seemed like common sense that laws to protect people were needed. I asked my parents why they were opposed to those laws?

They said, “Why do we need laws for everything? It is common sense to use a safety belt while in a car, or to wear a bicycle helmet while bicycling. But in America we have the freedom to decide these things for ourselves.” They added that each day there are more and more laws being passed and that is chipping away at our personal freedom. 

Their answer sparked something in me. Yes, WHY did we need so many laws about every part of our life? The safety of our individual rights was at stake too. If we expected government to protect us every step of the way…what would that do to our individual freedom?

It seems like the conversation I had long ago with my parents needs to be had again, across the nation. Young people today have been convinced that laws upon laws will make everyone safer. If only that were true. Then everything would be so much easier and safer.

However, people do not always follow existing laws. Adding more laws upon the laws that are not currently enforced is not a solution. Many laws simply do not achieve the goal they were written to reach. We must ask ourselves, and ask the next generations…” Do we want to live in a country where there are so many laws, that the simple act of stepping out your front door may be breaking a law?”

Diana Erbio is a freelance writer and author of “Coming to America: A Girl Struggles to Find her Way in a New World”, along with her Blog Series, “Statues: The People They Salute”.

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PaulE

Hi Diana, I think I can clarify why we have ended up with “laws upon laws” in this country over the last 50 to 60 years. Congress has been composed overwhelmingly in that time frame by people from one educational background. That being lawyers. Most, with little to no private sector experience, when straight from college or university to politics. With such a monolithic and limited view perspective of how to solve issues or problems, that being to reflexively choose the path of enacting more laws and restrictions for any issue that comes before them, is it really that much of a mystery how we ended up in the place we are today? Remember the old adage of the hammer and nail? Where if the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail and is treated as such. Pounded by the hammer no matter where… Read more »

Rik

Yes, excellent article! … Perhaps that’s why we had a 13th Amendment that somehow disappeared. We have the “ultimate” last word Justices of the Supreme Court, we have an Attorney General, then we have all levels of Federal and State Judges, all of whom were attorneys. When you have “lawmakers” who are attorneys, guess what? They “seem” to pass laws that benefit the legal profession. Just follow the $$$$ people. And the Obama’s are buying a house on Martha’s Vineyard … it should have bars and prison guards! A lawyer has never met a law that didn’t contain “reasonable doubt”. Case closed!

Drue

These issues will be coming to a head in the not too distant future. Civil war is a real possibility. Be sure you are prepared.

Drue

I agree that we have way too many laws. But, let’s take a minute on this seat belt and helmet thing. If one refuses to buckle up or wear a helmet, they are making a life choice. If they are involved in an accident and sustain injuries due to choosing to not buckle up or don a helmet, then they should bear ALL the expenses of their medical care. Don’t use my tax money to keep them on life support. Not my problem. Some people are born stupid. Some acquire it later. Life is about the choices we make. Right or wrong.