In a recent discussion about speeding laws it was brought up whether or not we should be able to choose which laws we follow and which we do not. Clearly the answer is no, we should follow ALL laws. But as in the case of speeding there are laws we just can not safely follow. In my article "I Can't Drive 55" I posted a link to a video showing a group of people who did actually follow the speed limit on a 5 lane highway. The result was a dangerous situation which actually caused at least one accident. Laws if followed should not create danger, they should prevent it.
In the discussion it came up that there are several different types of laws... good laws, bad laws, stupid laws etc. I would like to examine this theory and try to identify examples of each.
1) Good Laws - These laws are laws most if not all of us agree with. Outlawing murder for instance is something we all agree is a good thing hence a good law.
2) Bad Laws - A bad law could be viewed by some as a good law but others disagree with it and see no reason for it. Outlawing minor drugs such as marijuana for instance. Pot does no harm to those around you (especially if you swallow it in food) so the only "victim" in such a crime is the one who willingly broke the law. In other words it is a victimless crime.
3) Stupid Laws - The blue laws on the books in many towns would fall into this classification. Outlawing selling alcohol outside of certain hours for instance. In NY when I worked as a cashier we could not sell beer before noon on Sunday and it was based off the register's clock since that is what would be audited. I actually had to make customers wait 5 or 10 minutes standing in the front of the store with their purchases because they wanted to buy a 6 pack of beer as if that 10 minutes really made some difference somewhere.
4) Laws that cannot be followed - A perfect example of this are speed limits. No one drives under the posted limits nor can you safely drive under the posted limits. I actually tried driving the posted limit on the Turnpike this week and was nearly run off the road by people cutting others off to get around me and I was a single car in the "slow" lane.
I suppose you could add a number 5 to this list in regards to laws such as the income tax which people question whether or not truly exist. I would call those X-Files Laws.
If I had my wish I would love to see the government just for a single year instead of putting their attention to new laws, focus solely on either repealing laws that fall under 2, 3 and 4 or at the very least correcting them and cleaning them up.