Sunday, July 02, 2017

Everyone a criminal by laws of today

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 31, 2017)

Ayn Rand wrote "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws." Welcome to today. You are guilty; you may not have been caught yet.

When the laws are complicated, confusing, and contradictory, people will incriminate themselves by trying to stay "legal". This saves the enforcers and bureaucrats much trouble.

Contrary to the mythology, you are now guilty until proven innocent. Be ready to prove yourself legal at the whim of any government employee.

Are you sure you even know what's legal and what isn't? I guarantee you don't. It's estimated that each and every one of us commits an average of three felonies per day-- unintentionally and without evil intent.

Traditional American rightful liberty is no longer the default position; the default has become "Is that legal? Do you have permits showing you have asked, and paid for, the privilege to do what you are doing?"

Think of all the ways you are expected to enslave yourself. Are your papers in order and up to date? How about your drivers license/national ID and any occupational licenses? Is your daughter's lemonade stand legal, or is it a black market operation? Do you have the proper permit?

Do you carry any prescription medications with you? Are they in their original bottles? Do you have the prescription with you? If not, you may be considered a drug criminal.

How much cash are you carrying? Can you prove you got it legally, and not through engaging in acts of trade outside government permission? If not, expect to have it stolen from you if an enforcer finds it. In this case your money is guilty unless you can prove it innocent, at your own expense, and it will be forfeited to the thieves of "government" so they can buy more equipment and hire more enforcers to use against your life, liberty, and property. And you'll honor them for doing this job.

Enough! I will assume liberty. I don't care whether what you do is legal or not, and I won't help those looking to trap you. As long as you aren't using violence against the peaceable, or violating the private property of others, what you do is none of my business. Go in peace.

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Property rights preserved-- accidentally

Once upon a time, a long ways from here...

I lived in a nice little house right on the river. This was in a place with more actual liberty, and I enjoyed that liberty a lot. I wore a gun openly probably 75% of the time-- or more. And I carried concealed 100% of the time. I also wore buckskin clothes along with my Bowie knife most of the time, not that it matters.

One day, a gravel truck and front-loader (is that what they are called?) rumbled down my driveway and into the river, and started loading up on gravel. I didn't own the riverbed, so I didn't get too bent out of shape over it. It was pretty noisy, though, and my wife-at-the-time did medical transcription from home and was having a hard time hearing the dictation through the earbuds over all the noise. Plus, the gravel truck began tearing up my driveway.

So, I went out to talk to the guy. I was nice and told him the problems I had with his operation. I suggested some compromises that I thought would work for both of us. He wasn't amenable. He got very excited and angry and started saying he had all the permits (or whatever) to collect river gravel, and it wasn't my property, he had the right-of-way, etc.-- I actually wondered if he was going to shove me or something. I went back in the house.

The next day I was out in the yard messing around (I pretty much lived in the yard) when the truck came back. But this day, as usual, I had my gun on my hip-- not because I was thinking of him or anything, but just because that was how I dressed most of the time. I nodded at him, then went back to whatever I was doing.

He sat in the cab of his truck looking at me for a couple of minutes, then left. The next day the front-loader was gone from the river bed and I never saw him again. When he left without doing any loading, I wondered what was up. Then I remembered my gun.

I wondered if he thought I was wearing the gun as a threat to him. I'm just glad I had gone out of my way to be polite when I spoke to him the day before. His quick exit made me wonder if his "permits" and whatnot were maybe not as ironclad as he had claimed. Not that I really cared one way or the other. The problem was solved and never cropped up again. Of course, it could have gone differently.

Me, from around that time

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