Monday, July 5, 2010

There Ought To Be A Law

When personal responsibility was a given

No phrase in the American lexicon grates on my nerves more than 'there ought to be a law'. Usually this phrase is uttered by some well meaning, yet ignorant person in response to some sort of perceived injustice. The thought process is that some law should be in place, or proposed to limit the behavior which caused the perceived injustice. The only problem is... this reasoning flies in the face of our system of government.

There are a few inherent flaws with this reasoning, and I'll show you how I came up with this.

  1. The United States Constitution was designed to limit the government. It was a document to restrain government from exercising too much power and influence over our lives. The founders understood that 'men are governed best, when they are governed least'. They knew that in order for America to be a prosperous and free nation, men must be able to govern themselves responsibly without interference from some all powerful referee. In the event that man was unable to do so, a justice system was established to settle grievances. However, it was understood that the justice system was a system of last resort. Should free, self-governed men not be able to settle their disputes on their own, the final recourse was to take the matter before a justice of the peace to arbitrate the matter for them. However, by creating laws, inherently freedom is diminished, and the role and power of the government are expanded. If you take away my right to 'X', then you've removed my freedom, and expanded the government's role in policing the enforcement of that removed right.

  2. I've read through the United States Constitution, and nowhere can I find where it limits citizens rights to, well, anything. There was the 18th Amendment which outlawed the manufacture, transport and sale of liquor, however, that was overturned by the 21st Amendment. Therein lies the beauty of our system of government. The limits were placed solely upon the governing powers and not upon the citizenry. John Adams framed it this way, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." In other words, he knew that in order for our society to exist and flourish, men had to understand that there was a universal right and wrong, and had to accept a morality superior to themselves. Without the ability to do so, the nation would dissolve into chaos and anarchy specifically because there were not (and never intended to be) laws which prohibited behavior of the citizens of the United States. Prohibition by definition is preemption, and preemption does not exist in the Constitution. Our system was set up so that men were free to do whatever they wish, but that they would have to bear the full consequences of their actions. This novel concept is known as personal responsibility. When you create a law which preempts behavior, personal responsibility is limited or removed altogether.
Personal responsibility demands people held accountable to their actions. In the event that someone makes a poor choice, our justice system and Judeo-Christian precepts exist to make penance for the error. Sadly, our country long ago moved away from the concept of personal responsibility and instead began to preempt the rights of the citizens. Since that time, our recognition of an absolute moral authority has diminished, and our callousness and disdain for the rights of others has increased. In our nation today, we've eliminated personal responsibility to the point that 4 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices recently ruled against the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. They hold the opinion, contrary to the authors of the Constitution, that in order to prevent violence, the right to hold a gun must be preempted. How far we've fallen from the nearly Utopian society which the founders designed and left to us.

Now, you may be asking yourself, why I felt the need to write this. If your curiosity is so piqued, I would point you to this column by a local newspaper associate editor which is nothing short of breathtaking ignorance on display.

Please take the time to comment! Click the Informed Opinion Link adjacent to the Post Title.

1 People Have Had Their Say:

Anonymous said...

We don't say: "There ought to be a law".

We say: "It could be a law, I don't know!"

Hear for yourself:

Don't worry, you will be intrigued enough to keep searching for this guy. Then, eventually, you'll find one where he says: "It could be a law, I don't know." Then, he'll tell you about winning the goddamn lottery. Fun.
=) Don't worry about being unemployed, just sign up on a goddamn crazy check. If they deny you, send them to this blog and tell them I'm your goddamn therapist. It's a sure thing. It's called SSI mother fucker. My sister would be on it if she could ever get off the meth. Until that we said fuck it, because she can't sit still long enough to sign the goddamn application. I'm not shitting you. 3 A.M. this bitch rings my doorbell. Not once, not twice, but for 15 minutes. Then she beats on the goddamn windows. Oh, I found it... right here. We all have a sister who's fucked up on meth and all the rest of that shit. "It could be a law, I don't know!"

You'll be o.k. The goddamn government is hiring like crazy. Just paint yourself black and get lazy as hell. That's the hiring criteria.


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