I'm not a lawyer, but it seems incredibly self-evident to me that laws rightly govern behavior, not thought. Laws, no matter how stringent, cannot prevent one from thinking whatever one wishes to conjure up in one's mind.
No law can peer into the recesses of one's brain in search of "illegal beliefs."
Because laws are naturally limited to the scope of behavior, society cannot punish wrong-doing before it happens. We write laws with the hope that they will deter unwanted behavior, but hope is all we can do; a quick trip down US 220 between Williamsport and Jersey Shore demonstrates how effective that law about the 55 MPH speed limit really is!
If people are so incredibly willing to violate the speed limit, it's a wonder that they don't toss nearly all laws aside. If we truly desire to change the way people behave, we must do two things: 1. Educate them on the importance of obeying the law; 2. Write laws that actually make sense.
People need to know why it's important to obey the law, and they need to know that violators will be held accountable. Laws need to be relatively easy to comprehend, they need to be fair, and they need to make sense.
We don't need "fewer" laws; we need laws that apply to everyone; are easy to follow; and seem right and fair to the vast majority of the populace.
Laws need to change when circumstances do, and those who write them need to learn from the past: "If it didn't work out well in the past, don't try it again."
Why should laws change when circumstances do? One example should suffice: The so-called "Stand Your Ground Law" in Florida didn't work out so well for Trayvon Martin, and I doubt that it will be good for George Zimmerman. Lawmakers in that state should reconsider their decision to allow people to "stand their ground." Maybe "Stand Your Ground" is OK for inside the house, but outside, on the street? Not so much.
I know, I know, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but it didn't turn out so well when it was put to the test of being applied in real life ... and death.
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom