We're always a stroke of the pen away from becoming criminals.
Yesterday I posted that if the Feds outlawed ham radio that quite a number of hams would simply go underground. I have already gotten a couple of back channel messages from readers that they wouldn't.
Can't say as I blame them.
Right now amateur radio is controlled by the FCC and is legal. Amateurs are licensed and as long as it stays this way the government has a certain amount of control over it.
If it gets outlawed the government will have no control over it because those that are in it are criminals and when something goes underground there is no control over it.
I would imagine that after some jerk gives an airplane or two some bogus landing instruction the Feds will wonder what happened.
The state of New Jersey a while ago outlawed the possession of a number of firearms a few years back and ordered them turned in. California did likewise and when the turn-in by date arrived and went the number of firearms turned in was pretty slim. It was really an insult to even the meanest intelligence.
Now it's likely there is a thriving underground business of outlawed firearms.
We have laws outlawing the possession of narcotics and all they seem to have done is to create a criminal class all of its own.
Druggies are going to do drugs no matter what. The business of illegal narcotics continues to thrive.
Besides thriving financially, the quality control is dubious and there is the accompanying violence with it that tends to follow illegal activities.Those that partake in illegal activities don't go to the police.
Druggies tend to settle differences in an alley someplace with guns, knives or clubs. They really have no choice as asking for police help would likely put the victim in an awkward position and possibly get them carted off to the pokey.
We can take a look at prohibition and call that a miserable failure because all it did was create criminal empires. Many of these are still with us to this day having switched into other fields of criminality after the Volstead Act was repealed in 1933.
Generally difference between rival bootleggers were settled with guns. The St. Valentines Day Massacre is the classic example as to how criminals settle their differences.
The law was flouted universally. It is sometimes said that more Americans drank during prohibition than they did before the law was enacted.
While governments all over the world have been trying to stop prostitution for years, the trade still flourishes worldwide. It shows no signs of going away.
Incidentally I once lived in a town where the trade was somewhat overlooked by the local police. There was a tacit agreement between the madam and the police chief. So long as the girls were kept clean and there was no theft and rough stuff the brothel was permitted to run.
It was actually somewhat of a win-win situation. The police had a certain amount of control over it and the girls were working in an environment of relative safety unlike in other places where the prostitutes working underground were constantly at risk of harm by wierdos.
It would be foolish to say that we do not need laws. We do. There are behaviors out there that are intolerable to all of us. A society permitting theft, rape and murder is not a society, it is a struggle to survive.
Still, it strikes me that the government spends too much time creating criminals with the stroke of a pen when they should be following the rule that Thomas Jefferson said.
The government that governs least governs best.
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