November 8, 2010
The United States has been known, in both story and song, as the “Land of the Free.” But it seems that year after year we become less free and more controlled. Today we are managed from cradle to grave by city, county, state, and federal statutes. We were even told this year, by our city attorney, that the zoning laws in our city supersede city statute and that if our home zoning code does not specifically permit you to have or do something, then it is, by their definition, illegal and they can fine or confiscate property.
Things like this are happening across the United States at every level of government. When Ed Schultz petitioned the federal government to show the American people which law makes the average private sector worker liable for income tax, they would not do it. There response was “we will show them by enforcement.”
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines freedom as: “The quality or state of being free a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.”
Compliance is defined as: “1a: the act or process of complying to a desire, demand, proposal, or regimen or to coercion. 1b: conformity in fulfilling official requirements.”
And lastly Precognition is defined as: “Clairvoyance relating to an event or state not yet experienced.”
Freedom denotes the ability to make choices and perform actions that you determine is in your best interest in whatever manner you decide. With freedom comes the requisite responsibility to ensure that you do not tread upon the rights of anyone else. With that responsibility comes the duty to make whole any breach made to another’s rights or property.
Most laws have a basis in social morality. Society acknowledges that to take something that does not belong to you is wrong and you have a damaged party – the person who owned the property that was stolen. Murder, assault, battery, trespass, property damage, libel, slander, and many more, are all examples of laws where a person has been damaged by the action of others.
In a truly free society if there were no damaged party there would be no crime. In the above examples we can readily see that for any of these things to happen there has to be someone who is injured by the actions of another. We expect everyone in America to comply with these laws because it protects everyone equally, even the person who committed the crime.
But what about the millions of laws (statutes) on the books today that makes if virtually impossible for the average person to go through the day without committing a criminal act. Here are a few examples; and while reading this list, think in your mind, ‘who is the damaged party:’
You pull up to a stop sign, notice no one is coming from any direction,
and before coming to a complete stop you roll on through. No accident
is caused, no one has to evade your vehicle in fear of getting hit,
• Your driving down the street listening to your favorite song, and even trying to sing along, in key, and almost miss your turn but you quickly look around and no one is nearby, so you quickly apply the brakes and turn the corner. But you did not have time to use your directional signal; but no one was hurt, no damage.
• You have a motorcycle and decide, on a nice warm summer day, to take a ride and feel the freedom of the open road and wind in your hair. Only your state has a helmet law; but have you hurt anyone, have you caused damage? No.
• The Constitution, and the Supreme Court has confirmed, that you have the right to keep and bear arms. Yet as a law abiding citizen, wearing a holstered firearm, without menacing anyone, without damaging anyone, can been made a criminal solely for exercising a right. Even in states with open carry laws police will respond to a “man with a gun” call and treat anyone found there as if they were a criminal.
• You are a delivery driver and have to make frequent stops to deliver items so you forgo wearing a seatbelt.
• You cross the road where there is no cross walk.
• You own property and add a porch to the back of your house without getting permission.
• You own property and finish the basement without getting permission.
• You own property and you want to plant a garden or raise half a dozen chickens for eggs for your family without getting permission.
• You learned a trade to support yourself and your family but you did not get permission.
The list could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. In each and every item listed above there is no damaged party. There is, however, the law that says you must do these things, “for your own good” of course.
The government tells us that these laws are put in place to provide an orderly and safe society, just a less free society. However, using that logic they would have to outlaw motor vehicles and doctors as either one of these cause more deaths to Americans each year than firearms do. They tell us that they want to control us with these laws to prevent certain things from happening. In many of the examples above one could recognize the potential of reducing accidents or injury which is fine and noble.
But now we touch on the precognition element of this article – if no one is harmed by not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign then the only logical conclusion is that it is meant to prevent a future occurrence from happening or is it just that the nanny state wants to punish anyone who does not do what they are told, anyone that does not comply.
The logical argument to this would be that they simply want to avoid the cost and trauma of accidents on our streets. Yet, when the statute is broken, and no harm is done, you still may be fined or jailed. I do not believe that the government can see the future and know, with any certainty, that what they are doing is stopping a particular accident. What they are saying is nothing more than you must come to a complete stop or you are guilty of that violation. But, in cases where no damage has occurred, if you are doing things solely because you are told you must do them, then you no longer have choice, you are not the deciding factor, and you do not have freedom.
Part of the problem with our system of law is that it tries to cover every aspect of our lives to save us from ourselves. We are being treated as stupid children who do not know what is good for ourselves and have to have big brother tell us what we can and cannot do.
Would it not be more reflective of a free society that we make people responsible for their own actions? How about if I drive down the road, without a seat belt, and I get in an accident and get hurt, I take responsibility for my own actions. If someone else is to blame then they are responsible for making me whole or as much as can be. If I die then that person is tried for manslaughter and goes to jail. Freedom, responsibility and duty!
Yes there are tragic things that occur in life, none of us are getting out of here alive, and it won’t be easy. Freedom cannot be held as the price to pay for a false sense of safety. We have millions of laws on the books to keep us safe yet year after year things seem to get worse. We have tens of thousands of gun laws on the books and every year people are killed by guns. Not because we don’t have enough gun laws but only because bad people don’t care about the law and will find the instrument they want to use on the black market. We have tens of thousands of motor vehicle laws across the nation, yet more and more people are killed on our streets and highways. Not because we don’t have enough laws it is because of human nature, or human stupidity,(I think they are linked).
In the end, laws that punish people where there is no damaged party does nothing but constrain the freedom of the law abiding. The goal is admirable but unrealistic; you cannot save the people from themselves, because the very act of trying removes their freedom and makes all people potential criminals in the eyes of the state.
But at the same time, if you are the state then the more laws you have the more power you have over the people. Ask any policeman, and they will tell you, if they want to stop someone, all they have to do is follow them long enough and they will make an infraction that will justify stopping them.
We are told having all these laws is to help keep us safe or is it more likely having all these laws allows the government (at whatever level) to have more and more control over the people.
Everyone I have talked with believe we need some law, especially for instances of damage. But where do we draw the line. For every law that is passed, that operates upon the people, a proportionate amount of freedom is lost. Remember, freedom is choice without constraint or coercion, but we should recognize the accompanying responsibility and base our laws accordingly.
An example of government law run amuck is the Health Care Bill. We are told that “Health Care” is a right. If that is so then the person who has the right has the responsibility inherent in that right. But what our government is telling us is that person X has the right to health care and person Y has the responsibility to pay for it and doctor Z can only perform and charge what the government says he can perform and charge.
For each of the person Xs receiving a benefit (right) of healthcare, they did not pay for, the person Ys are damaged by loss of property, their taxes, and the doctor Zs are damaged by loss of choice for their patents and their earnings for that service.
Each year thousands of law abiding gun owners, merchants, and gun smiths are taxed, burdened with restrictions, licenses, fees, and taxes to comply with gun laws. While the criminal element goes to the nearest bad guy black market and buys whatever he wants. Who is the law impacting? The BATF&E, in audits over the years, has been shown to arrest, or put out of business, people for simple, honest, paperwork violations, without any criminal intent, for solely not complying with the “law.” These violations have been as simple as writing Nebraska instead of using NE, or someone signing in the wrong spot or having transposed a zip code number.
If laws were really about criminal activity they would target only the criminals. The law would identify an act of damage against another member of society and punish the behavior. What does it matter if John buys a gun from Roger? What does it matter if John buys a gun from any gun store? Criminals are going to get the weapon by whatever means is available. The government says they want to make it hard for the criminal to get guns. They have been at it for almost a hundred years – how are they doing?
There is one way to get rid of all the illegal gun crime in the nation. How about if we activate the National Guard, all retired police officers, all active military and every active policeman and went to every house and every store in the nation and confiscated every gun they could find? Every registered gun will have to be accounted for or the person goes to jail. Let’s say we take off the streets a few million guns – would we be safe then?
How long have we been fighting the war on drugs? Have we stopped drugs coming into the country? Do you think they can smuggle guns into the US by the same method? The only thing laws, that do not apply to damage, do is remove more of your freedoms. It is sold to you as a placebo of safety and good order, but do not be deceived, it is for control and nothing less.
Laws that control people to act or do certain things are created to force people to comply with the will of the state. Whenever coercion is used freedom is withdrawn, even if done so willingly. Compliance is another word for action by coercion, we do it because if we do not we may receive some punishment, even when that action does no harm.
We give the state/government credit for knowing what is best for each of us. They are trying to prevent bad things from happening, to minimize risk. But they have no crystal ball, they have no ability to see into the future, they have no precognition. But what if each of these laws was on the book as criminal multipliers? If person X fails to stop at a stop sign and causes an accident, then an increased sentence multiplier is added during sentencing? Then the average person driving down the road who comes to a intersection, surveys the conditions, slows down to ensure it is safe to proceed and then does so without damage, then he has committed no criminal act.
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The bottom line is that this is about freedom -- freedom to make decisions and bear the burdens or fruits of those decisions. Freedom is not a mantra to evoke patriotic feelings it is a state of being. The more infringement we allow our government to impose upon the people the fewer freedoms we will enjoy. Until one day we shall awake in a land where freedom was only what our ancestors experienced.
© 2010 Michael LeMieux - All Rights Reserved
LeMieux was born in Midwest City, Oklahoma in 1956 and graduated from
Weber State University in Utah with a degree in Computer Science. He
served in both the US Navy and US Army (Active duty and National Guard)
and trained in multiple intelligence disciplines and was a qualified
paratrooper. He served with the 19th Special Forces Group, while in
the National Guard, as a Special Forces tactical intelligence team member.
He served tours to Kuwait and Afghanistan where he received the Purple
Heart for injuries received in combat.
Mr. LeMieux left military duty at the end of 2005 after being medically discharged with over 19 years of combined military experience. He currently works as an intelligence contractor to the US government.
Michael is a strict constitutionalist who believes in interpreting the constitution by the original intent of the founding fathers. His research has led him to the conclusion that the republic founded by the Constitution is no longer honored by our government. That those who rule America today are doing so with the interest of the federal government in mind and not the Citizens. Michael believes that all three branches of government have strayed far from the checks and balances built into the Constitution and they have failed the American people. A clear example is the Second Amendment, which the Supreme Court and the founders have all said was an individual right and could not be "infringed" upon, now has more than 20,000 state and federal laws regulating every aspect of the individuals right, a definite infringement. He has traveled around the world living in 14 States of the Union including Hawaii, and visited (for various lengths of time) in Spain, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Korea, Scotland, Pakistan, Mauritius, Somalia, Diego Garcia, Australia, Philippines, England, Italy, Germany, and Puerto Rico.
Michael now lives in Nebraska with his wife, two of his three children, Mother-in-Law and grandchild. His hobbies include shooting, wood-working, writing, amateur inventor and scuba diving when he can find the time.
Contact Michael through his Website: www.constitutiondenied.com