The Fallacy of Legality

Governments do one thing well.  They make things illegal.  They have done so with startling efficiency since before the ink was really dry on the Constitution.  Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, they fail to understand the fallacy of legality.

The idea itself isn’t really that hard to comprehend.  Most know it on some level at least.  That idea is that the legality of an act only matters to those inclined to follow the law.  By definition, those that will run afoul of a law aren’t likely to follow laws in the first place.

Where the fallacy of legality kicks in is where government enacts laws in the name of public safety.  For example, take the old Texas law that forbid Suzanna Hupp from taking her gun into a diner where she was eating with her parents.  Hupp was inclined to follow the law because she was law abiding.  Unfortunately, George Hennard wasn’t so inclined.  He rammed his pick-up truck into the diner and began to shoot patrons.  Two of the dead were Hupp’s parents.

Honestly, this isn’t a difficult thing to comprehend.  Unfortunately, we see far too often that those we elect to “lead” don’t grasp the basic concept.

Laws exist as grounds for people to know what is acceptable and what isn’t, not as a way to hamstring the law abiding but as grounds for the non-law abiding to understand they are crossing the lines of decency.  They should serve as the expectations of what humans should do.

For example, laws against murder don’t hamstring the law abiding (despite smart remarks to the contrary).  Instead, the level an expectation that people should not kill and that those who fail to comply will be punished.

In contrast, “retreat first” laws that require a victim to try to get away before they engage in self defense don’t do anything but hurt those who would follow the law.  A criminal doesn’t really get affected by the law necessarily.  After all, they’re usually the aggressors so the the laws wouldn’t be applicable anyways.  Instead, a law abiding citizen who is attacked is legally obligated (in states with such brain dead laws) to try to get away.

The fallacy of legality is the idea that somehow laws protect us by taking away our natural right, despite ample evidence that such laws never deter those who should be the target of our legal system.

Of course, it’s not like either party currently in power seems to grasp the concept.  After all, such thinking would limit their ability to make up stupid laws that errode our freedoms.  That would require a shift in worldview that most politicians are physically, psychologically, and spiritually incapable of.

…and we’re the ones who lose.


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