In first five parts, I posted that one of the problems in America today is that our legal system and our laws are too complicated. It’s impossible to understand the laws that we have in place. And it’s impossible to enforce the laws we have.
I posted these 10 steps to clean up the laws in America:
- Fewer laws, not more
- Simpler and easier to understand
- Easier to enforce
- ONLY have laws that are enforceable
- Enforce all the laws we have
- Laws can’t change meaning over time
- Get rid of old laws that don’t apply any more
- Don’t have laws that modify previous laws. If the law should be changed, then replace the old law
- Don’t have laws that do the same thing as a previous law. If there’s already a law against something, don’t make a new one that covers a special case of the same thing
- ALL laws must be made available on the Internet
1 – Fewer Laws was discussed in part 1.
2 – Laws That are Simpler and Easier to Understand was discussed in part 2.
3 – Easier to Enforce and 4 – ONLY Have Laws That Are Enforceable were discussed in part 3.
5 – Enforce All The Laws We Have was discussed in part 4.
6 – Laws Can’t Change Meaning Over Time was discussed in part 5.
7 – Get rid of old laws that don’t apply any more
If you do a search for “old laws still on the books”, check out this article on LegalZoom, or the Dumb Laws website to get an idea of some of the old, outdated laws that are still in effect today.
These old laws are unnecessary, not enforced any more, and many are totally ridiculous.
I won’t list them all here, but some examples include:
- Illegal for a child to build a snowman taller than themselves on school property
- Illegal to drive a car in reverse
- Illegal to wear suspenders
- Illegal for women to wear pants
- Illegal for a man and woman to flirt with each other in the street
- Illegal to eat in a vehicle
- Illegal to kiss your wife on a Sunday
- Illegal to shower naked
- Illegal for a barber to advertise prices
- Illegal to say “Oh, boy”
- Illegal to sell donut holes
- Illegal for a child to burp during church
- Illegal to sneeze within city limits
- Illegal to serve beer and pretzels at the same time
- One-armed piano players must perform for free
- Illegal to keep Christmas decorations up after January 14th
- Illegal to cross state lines with a duck atop their head
- Illegal for a man to knit during fishing season
- Illegal to wear slippers after 10pm
- Illegal to sleep with your shoes on
- Illegal NOT to drink milk
- Illegal for children to trick-or-treat on Halloween
And there are MANY, MANY more!
Sure some of these are pretty unlikely to happen (crossing state lines with a duck on your head) but others are extremely intrusive and should NEVER have been put into law in the first place. Some of them even violate our right to freedom and violate the constitution.
Why would you care, you might ask?
The biggest reason is because you might inadvertently violate one or more of these dumb laws, most likely without even knowing it. In fact, it’s extremely likely you’ve violated one or more of these dumb laws in your life.
If you violate one of these laws, technically you’re a criminal. It doesn’t matter if the law is fair or just. In the eyes of the law, if you break the law, you’re subject to the penalties dictated by the law. And if you were ever convicted of violating one of these laws, your permanent record will show that you are a criminal.
Even if you are later able to get the conviction overturned it will still be on your record for the rest of your life.
It’s reasonable to assume that most of these laws are so ridiculous and so unlikely to be enforced that you don’t have to worry about it. I think that’s probably true. But what if… ?
What if the judge is crabby that day?
Or what if the police officer has a grudge against you?
Or what if someone has a reason to want to get back at you for political reasons?
It’s also very possible that you could be harassed through enforcement of one or more of these ridiculous laws. At best, people could make your life miserable while you had to fight off these claims while racking up legal expenses for your defense.
At worst, you could be found guilty, face fines, and possibly even face jail time plus have an unjust black-mark on your permanent criminal record.
The second reason why you should care is that every law on the books has a cost to us as citizens of the United States. The more laws on the books, the harder it is for police, lawyers, and judges to learn their jobs and do their jobs.
More laws also makes it more complex and more time consuming for people, businesses, law makers, and attorneys to research when they are trying to find out what laws apply to certain situations.
Having more laws on the books also makes it more expense to print and purchase the set of laws. That raises the costs for lawyers who need to have copies of all the laws for their practices.
It also drives up the costs for libraries who want to maintain a copy of the laws and statutes for their customers.
In other words, the more laws there are, the more it costs every single one of us American citizens.
These laws are unnecessary and wrong. To leave them on the books is an insult to citizens of the US.
Call on your government officials and law-makers at all levels to strike these laws from the books, clean up the laws we have, and work to reduce the overall number of laws in America (at all levels of government.)
– Weston Henry
American Greatness Steps – #3: Fix The Law Making Mess (Part 1)
American Greatness Steps – #3: Fix The Law Making Mess (Part 2)
American Greatness Steps – #3: Fix The Law-Making Mess (Part 3)
American Greatness Steps – #3: Fix The Law-Making Mess (Part 4)
American Greatness Steps – #3: Fix The Law-Making Mess (Part 5)
American Greatness Steps – #3: Fix The Law-Making Mess (Part 6)
American Greatness Steps – #3: Fix The Law-Making Mess (Part 7)
American Greatness Steps – #3: Fix The Law-Making Mess (Part 8)
American Greatness Steps – #3: Fix The Law-Making Mess (Part 9)
LegalZoom – https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/top-craziest-laws-still-on-the-books
Dumb Laws – http://www.dumblaws.com
Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/weird-laws-in-america_us_56a264abe4b0d8cc1099e1cd
How many of dumb laws do you think you’ve ever violated?
Why do we still have dumb laws like these on our books?