When Eammon Hennessey would be hauled before Judge Ritter, "that old fart," for protesting, he would never plead guilty or innocent, he would plead anarchy.
"What's an anarchist, Eammon?" Judge Ritter would say.
"An anarchist is someone who doesn't need a cop to tell him what to do," says Eammon.
"But we need laws, Eammon," says the Judge.
"Judge, what good are your laws? The good people don't need them, and the bad people don't obey them."
The glorious and fearless "Members of the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Standing Committee" of the anointed Utah State Legislature recently debated this
. You can listen to the audio here
, which includes my friend Charlie's comment starting at 46:20.
"Do I have to pull out a map and make sure I meander my way through and not get within a thousand feet of some of these places? It, it approaches a level of absurdity for somebody who, for my own safety and that of my family and others around me, might choose to carry a weapon."
Do gun control advocates really believe that someone already hell-bent on harming innocent people will pay attention to a law restricting firearms within 1000 feet of anywhere?"Judge, what good are your laws? The good people don't need them, and the bad people don't obey them."
I had posted the opening quote here
, talking about what was the safest place on Patriot's Day. No one was shot at gun rights rallies in Virginia, but there were victims at a supposedly gun-free hospital in Knoxville.
Where did Jared Lee Loughner go shooting? Not a gun rights rally. Whether he's crazy or not, he's not stupid. He chose a rally for a politician whose party members are practically deathly allergic to the idea firearms for self defense. The immediate response was to tackle
him, whereas had he opened fire at any gathering of gun owners, it would have meant his immediate death -- certainly after he first shot Gifford, and possibly even as he drew his gun.
Arizona now "allows" open-carry. What if Gifford had a reputation for carrying a pistol at her side?"Judge, what good are your laws? The good people don't need them, and the bad people don't obey them."
There were already plenty of laws against shooting civilians. Did they really matter to Loughner? Would it have mattered had he used an illegal firearm purchased off the street, or stuck a shiv in Gifford? Of course not."Judge, what good are your laws? The good people don't need them, and the bad people don't obey them."
But notice what Eammon said: he didn't say just "laws," but "your laws." There are still rules for civilization, like "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not steal." These are based on the fact that behavior contrary to those laws is a violation of others' natural rights
. But laws by judges, legislatures and executives, by their very nature, tell innocent people what to do though they're not harming anyone in the first place. "Thou shalt pay a tax, or else." "Thou shalt not open this unapproved business." "Thou shalt beg government for permission to work on your own land."
So again, "Judge, what good are your laws? The good people don't need them, and the bad people don't obey them."
Ayn Rand gave us the answer as best as anyone ever could:
"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against - then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."