Legislators need to rethink laws

Freedom New Mexico

The results of a poll conducted on the Portales News-Tribune website concerning the individuals charged with the “crime” of gambling at the Portales Country Club gives me hope.

It showed that a substantial percentage of those who took the poll recognize that laws can be wrong.

A third of the respondents took a libertarian view — that they should not be charged because they were consenting adults. Perhaps it was the soft libertarian view, which even the early Supreme Court agreed with, that laws that are not based upon specific Constitutional authority are already null and void without further action. That is encouraging.

Perhaps some of those respondents even thought more deeply and recognized that if the law violates the basic human right to live as you see fit, as long as you don’t cause actual harm to any innocent individual, the law is illegitimate.

The people who voted that the law needs to be changed to prevent travesties like this in the future are at least pointing in the right direction. Perhaps they actually agree more with libertarians, while wishing to remove the specter of arrest for those who dare cross the misguided law. Perhaps they still feel an obligation to obey laws, even when the law is obviously wrong, until they are able to convince the state to agree with them. As more and more things get criminalized this feeling will fade.

I pity those who voted, “Yes. The law is the law.” This is the position that is completely devoid of any ethical compass whatsoever.

Laws are passed and enforced by fallible individuals and are wrong-headed as often as not, even in the best of circumstances.

The balance has shifted in recent years so that the vast majority of laws that are not based upon the necessary foundation that underlies all real law: The protection of an individual from coercion or theft.

Everything that is actually wrong, and a great many things that are not, were already illegal centuries ago.

Society needs no new laws; it just needs to get rid of the bad ones. The only thing, if any, that a legislative body should be doing nowadays, rather than passing new laws or trying to patch bad laws, is abolishing counterfeit laws. That would keep them busy for decades.