This story is downright scary. I’ve touched on this alarming trend of criminalizing just about everything, for example the outrageous Gibson raids. And it’s being done without consideration of “willful intent”, which used to be the threshold for criminal convictions. And a lot of the things they’ve deemed illegal are just plain stupid, in my opinion.
Here’s an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal’s piece:
“One controversial new law can hold animal-rights activists criminally responsible for protests that cause the target of their attention to be fearful, regardless of the protesters’ intentions. Congress passed the law in 2006 with only about a half-dozen of the 535 members voting on it.”
Now, I’m an omnivore and therefore no big fan of PETA. I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat Purina Rabbit Chow. But that’s just stupid.
And there’s this one:
“…a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, man with an extensive criminal record, was back in school pursuing a high-school diploma and working as a drywall installer. While doing some remodeling work, Mr. Yirkovsky found a .22 caliber bullet underneath a carpet, according to court documents. He put it in a box in his room, the records show.
A few months later, local police found the bullet during a search of his apartment. State officials didn’t charge him with wrongdoing, but federal officials contended that possessing even one bullet violated a federal law prohibiting felons from having firearms.
Mr. Yirkovsky pleaded guilty to having the bullet. He received a congressionally mandated 15-year prison sentence, which a federal appeals court upheld but called “an extreme penalty under the facts as presented to this court.”
I should think so.
Clearly this guy was not one to blindly trust, but it sounds like the court accepted the “I found the bullet” story. I mean, come on. 15 years in Federal Pound-You-In-The-@$$ prison for a lousy .22 Long cartridge? Even a serious round like 9mm or .45 shouldn’t count…because they’re not firearms. What the hell was he gonna do, throw it at somebody? Maybe put it in a slingshot?
It’s as if we’ve reached some kind of crazy lawmaking inflection point, where our representatives are constantly in such a rush to prove they’re “doing something” that pretty soon damned near everything will be illegal. Combine that with the recent trend towards militarizing our police forces, and you’ve got the key ingredients for a very disturbing situation. We may all end up in prison camps, but at least our Congress-critters can sleep well knowing they’ve done something.
Congress should only meet for, say, 60 days a year, so we can limit the damage. And every new law should have a sunset provision. Force them to revisit it in five or ten years and decide if it still makes sense.
And if it doesn’t, maybe we can find a way to put them all in the Big House to commiserate with all the other ne’er-do-wells.