Have you ever felt like a criminal? I’m not necessarily talking about whether you have committed a crime and were caught. I am talking about “feeling” like a criminal for doing something you were absolutely sure was legal and you were well within your rights to do. None-the-less, you just felt pressured or uneasy.
What if I told you that you are a criminal? There is no way to lead a life in America today without breaking the law in some way or form (More about that later.) That “feeling” you get at times is self-preservation at its best. We live in a nation where even though we are completely lawful, at times we have been led to believe otherwise.
Here’s an example: You are driving the speed limit or slightly below and you see a police officer, you let off the throttle, tense up, and hope to yourself the blue lights don’t start flashing behind you. Now, if you were speeding, you were deliberately breaking the law and should be held accountable. But you were not speeding. You were being lawful.
What I am talking about is oppression. I’m speaking about a nation full of people that don’t “feel” free. If we did, we would be a lot more confident as a people. Rather than educate ourselves about our freedom, we choose to operate under the state radar and merely hope that we are not picked out of the crowd.
Do not consent to a search, ever. Too many men fought, bled, and died for your rights, one of which is protection against illegal search and seizure, which is found in the 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. A favorite tactic of Government officials is to accuse you that you must have something to hide if you do not consent to a search, i.e. make you “feel” like a criminal. The burden of proof is on the State, not you. You are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. I would never suggest being disrespectful to those in law enforcement, after all, put yourself in their position. Their job is difficult enough not knowing what they are getting into on a daily basis. That being said, another favorite tactic of theirs is to convince you that they are your friend and make you feel comfortable enough to say anything. You can bet when it comes time to defend yourself that whatever you said will be used against you.
Now, back to the idea of you already being a criminal. As an example, in the State of Michigan, under penalty of perjury, you have agreed to something if you own a vehicle. That is, on the back of your vehicle registration it says the following:
“I or anyone I employ to operate this commercial vehicle will be knowledgeable of all State and Federal motor vehicle regulations.”
This is my personal vehicle, what do you mean commercial? This is my daily driver, what do you mean employ? How about the “will be knowledgeable of all State and Federal motor vehicle regulations”? Do you know all of these regulations? My point is if that were left up to us, the people, to decide whether or not that law should have been written, do you think it would read like that?
We have become lazy and uninformed. We trust our legislators with no boundaries. I don’t want to get too deep into a subject for the sake of a brief article, but I am inclined to ask, is the driver’s license a right? Unfortunately no, it has become a privilege. At some point in our past, we were afforded the “right of passage” under Constitutional Law. We have since given up that right and received it back as a privilege. The same thing has happened to our guns. What was once a right has become a privilege.
I do not condone breaking the written law. I do, however, state that I believe there are too many laws. What I find interesting is that we continue to write laws in hopes that it will contain or diminish crime. It does no such thing. If an individual is intent on breaking the law, does it really matter to them how many they break? And to what extent?
How many alcohol-related laws are on the books? What if we actually enforced the ones that we already have? If a drunk driver received 10 years in prison per offense, how long do you think it would take for others to decide, on their own accord, that it’s simply not worth it? You see, that’s what is happening now. People are weighing the consequences. There are folks with multiple DUI offenses. Yet, they will be at the bar this Friday, again.
So, while we continue to write new laws and spend millions of dollars advertising responsible drinking, we don’t actually enforce the laws that have been there all along. We write more.
I will close with some serious humor. It’s something that we can laugh at, but should be deeply concerned about. It is illegal to whistle underwater in some States. It is illegal to spit against the wind in some States. It is illegal to mislead someone into thinking that margarine is butter in some States. Do we need more laws or shall we enforce the ones we already have? Maybe, just maybe, consider getting rid of some of the stupid ones.
What will it take for you to start paying attention? Perhaps after you are convicted of a crime for saying, “please pass the butter.”