Lawyers, Guns, And Money

Copyright 2005 Steven L. Van Dyke, all rights reserved


As some of you know, I'm big on personal responsibility. Couple that with the literal streak from being a programmer and you wind up with someone who gets annoyed when people 'interpret' the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and with all of the laws that get passed about guns and knives. But a lot of people, including a lot of elected officials, don't see what I get upset about. I think I've finally hit upon a way to explain this to politicians.

Guns and knives are tools, and like all tools they are potentially dangerous. Guns are, I freely admit, designed to be dangerous, at least to whatever they're aimed at. Of course, so is a saw.

In politics, money is the main tool. Like any tool, it can be used in bad ways. In fact, a briefcase of cash can - and has - done more harm than any handgun ever will. But as with guns it's not the money itself that's the problem, it's the people of ill intent with the money.

In an effort to keep people of ill intent from having guns there are various background checks, screenings, permits, and other assorted hoopla that law-abiding gun owners have to go through. Likewise, politicians have to file mountains of paperwork regarding their finances and go through strange legal contortions just to pay their campaign's bills.

But guess what? Those sneaky people of ill intent don't follow the rules! Imagine that - someone who's willing to commit one crime also being willing to commit another. The nerve of those people!

Seriously though, the next time you, as a legislator, see an attempt to ladle yet another restriction on law abiding gun owners in a futile attempt to control criminals, stop and think about how you'd feel about having another round of paperwork added to your campaign's disclosure requirements. And I, as a gun owner, promise to look at the next campaign reform proposal as if it were another Assault Weapons Ban.

I've seen many reports about the corrosive effect of laws that aren't enforced, for whatever reason. When a law is described as "just for the bad guys - we don't normally enforce it" then I can't help but wonder why we have it. A law that's intended just to let a few extra charges be tacked on is a law that can be used against anyone at any time. Often these laws are so vaguely worded that they really could be used against just about any one at any time. These laws should be struck from the books, partly to remove tools that can be used against law-abiding, but unpopular citizens, and partly to have a legal code that's enforced, not ignored.

Hopefully someday we'll end up with a set of laws and regulations that restrict the ill intentioned, punish the guilty, and leave the law-abiding in peace. Until then, remember the wise man's words and "enjoy every sandwich."


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