By Rod Eccles
In America, at least in the America that I used to know, people believed in themselves and they believed in freedom and the individual pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately, we do not seem to believe that anymore.
The reason I say this is because at the beginning of this month, the state of Oklahoma added more laws to their books. In fact, more than 200 new laws took effect on Sunday. Here in New Hampshire, we had our day of new law reality including a law that makes a citizen a criminal for taking a cell phone picture of an undercover police officer while you are stopped at a traffic light.
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And the silliness continues because, in California, farmers raising egg-laying chickens cannot confine them to cages. Also, the so-called Yes Means Yes Consent Law went into effect. In this law, if both man and woman are drunk and they have agreed upon drunk sex, the man, and only the man is guilty of sexual assault and if found guilty must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
In Michigan, you now have a limit on the amount of cold medicine you can purchase at any one time. In New York, you are required to recycle old computers, video game consoles, and televisions, even if there is no recycling center in your town and even if your town does not pick up such materials. Also in New York, in 2015, it became illegal to take a photo with a lion, tiger, or any other big cat.
Louisiana implemented a ban on smoking within 25 feet of an entrance to a state office building. In Nevada, high school students can be denied a driver’s license if they miss too much school and if you home school, you must prove it.
Of course, municipalities add to the plethora of new laws as well. In Los Gatos, California banned gas-powered leaf blowers. Yes, just leaf blowers but other gas powered lawn and yard equipment is still legal.
In total, by some estimates more than 10,000 new local, state, and federal laws took or will take effect in the United States in 2015. That does not include the gigantic new book of regulations and rules that also come into effect during this year.
Every law that is enacted takes away a bit of your liberty and it strips you of making your own choices. For example, the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare took away your ability to choose how you garner your health insurance or if you want to have it at all.
In America, we used to be a free people that had the ability to go from coast to coast without unjust government regulation but now we have so many laws that it is estimated that most Americans break the law daily and they don’t even know it. Someone once said the average American breaks about 5 laws every morning by the time they get to work and they don’t even know they broke a single one of them. I am not talking about speeding either.
It is often said we are a nation of laws. Of course, that statement originally meant that our government was based on the Constitution on the Federal level and the Constitution on the State level. Now that statement has a whole new meaning and there is no end in sight.
Our legislatures all across the Fruited Plain are writing and debating bills that may become laws. These are laws that will restrict you and me from realizing the dream of our Founders.
The politicians always say that these new laws are needed to allow us to live a safer and more enjoyable life. I don’t know how enjoyable life is when you are getting a ticket or being arrested for something that used to be thought of as a simple bad decision.
The funny thing about all these laws, one of the most important ones is often ignored, and that is the one on illegal immigration. These laws are not just being ignored by the illegal immigrant, but they are also being ignored by the legislators that wrote the law in the first place. It seems that only Americans are being held accountable for all the laws in our nation.
Yet through all of our troubles, through all of our nation’s ills, immigrants, legal and illegal, still seem to think this is the place to be. Unfortunately, it is too bad that when they get here, they won’t have the freedom to explore all that this nation once had to offer. After all, somewhere in this country, enjoying your liberty is against the law.