The Law-Abiding Citizen Is as Rare as a Flesh-and-Blood Unicorn

During the raging debate over firearms control there have been frequent mentions of the law-abiding citizen. Yet the law-abiding citizen may be as rare as a flesh-and-blood unicorn.

It is estimated that four out of every ten U.S. citizens have probably tried marijuana at some point in their lives. When you add in those who have used cocaine, heroin, meth and any other prohibited substance, the number rises to five or more out of ten.

Those who drive automobiles or other road vehicles for a number of years have probably exceeded the speed limit dozens of times, or have gone down the wrong way on a one-way street or road. Arresats for DWI are a frequently reported item on local newscasts. In New Mexico, the Albuquerque Journal does a special insert about every six weeks, which shows four pages of closely-spaced color photos of those convicted of DWI. Jurisdictions with jaywalking ordinances frequently experience persons crossing streets at other than designated crossings.

How many homeowners have residences that meet all building codes in all their specifications? A personal anecdote applies here: When we replaced the float in our toilet because the toilet was taking too long to flush, we learned that there was a city of Albuquerque ordinance which specified that the distance between the top of the overflow pipe and a designated line near the top of the float assembly must be one inch.

Switching to pets, how many pet owners comply with all registration, medical shots and other animal control ordinances? Recently in Albuquerque, four dogs escaped back yard containment and mauled to death a very young boy. The back yeard fence was in jviolation of an Albuquerque ordinance.

There are also laws still on the books from a bygone era that most people don’t know about but could get arrested for a violation.

Besides these governmentally-instituted laws and regulations, there are hosts of rules in professional associations that the rule-abiding professional is expected to follow.

When we consider how many laws, ordinances and rules the public is expected to follow, it is clear that the law- or rule-abiding citizen my be as rare as a flesh-and-blood unicorn.


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