Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Lawmakers Are Idiots

Lawmakers in Arizona want to ban cell-phone use while pumping gas. This is based on the urban legend that cell phones can trigger explosions while pumping gas.

However, the urban legend has been disproved. Check it out here.

Either the Arizona legislator is a stupid reactionary, or is incapable of 10 minutes of research (if that), or sees the opportunity to level more fines on citizens in order to rake in more money for his locality (in this case that is the entire State of Arizona).

Here's the thing. We have way too many laws. Many more than are necessary to protect us - and I would argue that most of the new ones just hurt us by criminalizing stuff just because someone is annoyed by a particular behavior (not because they are harmed by it). Thus, our freedoms are curtailed.

Maybe - like term limits - we should limit the number of new laws our respective governments can pass each year or two. That way, we would mostly only have laws when we really needed them (except, and I'm being cynical here - we'd probably just get more laws with huge fines, since that seems to be what the law is about these days)

Hat tip: Radley Balko

Kid Handsome


Blogger bob_vinyl said...

That's a good point. I'm not sure limiting the number of laws would work as they would very likely pass the frivilous laws and things with actual merit (few and far between as they may be) could be left by the wayside. On a similar note, I've considered the possibility that laws should have expiration dates. That would allow worthless or detrimental laws to expire, others that may be worthwhile but slightly off-base to be tweaked and good laws to be repassed with a new expiration. Once agin, I'm not sure if it will work and it certainly wouldn't solve everything, but it would at very least simply things by allowing laws that no longer apply to fall off the books.

7:05 AM  
Blogger The Management said...

Actually we do have expiration dates on a lot of federal laws. Often it's the only way to pass controversal legislation. They are called Sunset Laws, two big ones were the Patriot Act and the Assult Weapons Ban.

I like the idea though. Maybe all of them should get em.


9:44 AM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I was thinking of it being mandatory for all laws, not just as a compromise.

12:28 PM  
Blogger The Management said...


I tend to agree with you about making these provisions mandatory. I think it's especially helpful on a Federal level where useless riders (loaded with political pork) are frequently attached to worthwhile bills. A mandatory expiration of such laws might at least provide legislators with the opportunity to keep the worthwhile provisions and still manage to "cut the fat."

I'm not saying they would take that opportunity, but at least it would be there.

1:35 AM  

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