When is it proper to ignore the law?


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longrifleman
July 17, 2004, 04:51 PM
I was reading the thread in General about this : Rape. Your best friend/wife/g-f/sister etc...what do you do?
and the question was an unavoidable part of that discussion. This is something that I have given a lot of thought to over the years.

We discuss aspects of this fairly often in specific circumstances concerning firearms but I would like to broaden it to the philosophical reasons for everyone else's decisions for when they will choose to disobey the law.

Our LEO's will say it is never ok to disobey the law but I can't agree with that for several reasons. I am more interested in learning from other's so I will hold my opinions for a while.

I would like to avoid specific cases involving real people to save the mods some heartburn if possible. I'm not here to promote insurrection or vigiliantism but those issues may become part of the discussion. If so, lets keep it very theoretical.

Here's a what if to get it started: Your house is robbed. You see the guy leaving and get his license no. The officer who comes to take the report runs the tag and gets a funny look on his face. When pressed he admits that the tag belongs to the Sheriff's brother. No arrest is made.

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griz
July 17, 2004, 05:05 PM
When the law is wrong there is no moral conflict with breaking it. Laws requireing blacks to sit in the back of the bus are a classic example. You still must be ready to accept the legal fight when breaking the law.

In a case like the one you are talking about, the problem, if there is one, is with the people enforcing the law. Go up the chain. Talk to the state police. If that doesn't work, go higher. And don't forget the Sheriff is elected. Take notes and go to the newspaper.

There was a news story that you might find interesting a couple days ago. A man who had been abused as a child (beaten, raped, left for dead) went to jail and was accidently put in the same cell with the man who abused him years before. The younger man nearly beat the abuser to death. The police decided not to press charges because of PTSD. Right, wrong, accident, intentional, I don't know.

atek3
July 17, 2004, 05:24 PM
“All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”
Marbury vs. Madison 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803)

Black Snowman
July 17, 2004, 06:25 PM
“All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.” Marbury vs. Madison 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803)
Too bad it's so difficult and expensive to make this work. It seems SO SIMPLE but people's lives are forever trounced by traitorous laws. In a system where "a hundred guilty should go free rather than one innocent man suffer" this is abhorrent.

To me, violating the law is acceptable when necessary to protect threats to life and liberty. In other areas it gets a bit blurrier for me. HOWEVER violation of another's freedom to life and liberty is not acceptable if it's legal or not which is why I get :cuss: :fire: :banghead: :uhoh: :scrutiny: :what: about the current state of affairs in the USA.

I have known too many lawyers, officials, etc . . . who were entirely concerned with what COULD they do to never even once stop and think about what SHOULD they do. This complete vacancy of morals I find absolutely reprehensible and unacceptable but seems to be normal human state.

madcowburger
July 17, 2004, 07:03 PM
Well, there's proper and then there's prudent. It's always *right* to ignore bad, unjust, anti-constitutional, un-American laws. But it's not always a good idea, unless you have good reason to be darned sure you won't get caught.

If you get caught, you *will* pay a price, in money or flesh.

The court system has become an assembly line conviction mill, in which it is considered far better that 100 innocent men should suffer than one guilty man should go free. I've reached the point where I believe the judicial system is so bad that the prosecution is always wrong, even when the defendant is actually guilty.

Getting caught exercising your rights is only an acceptable risk if you are either (1) O.J. Simpson-rich enough to mount an effective legal defense, (2) well and truly able to physically take care of yourself on the inside (which you probably aren't unless you're Mike Tyson or close to it), or (3) really well armed and ready and willing to go down fighting in a blaze of glory rather than be captured.

The prison system in this country is one of, if not *the* most inhumane and diabolical and monstrous in the world, perhaps in the history of the world. It is just a Gulag Archipeligo of assembly line, government-sponsored rape/AIDs-infection factories.

"It may be necessary to kill a man. But to incarcerate him destroys both his dignity and yours." -- Robert Heinlein

MCB

Billll
July 17, 2004, 07:43 PM
Respect should always be rendered to authority.






Of the same sort you'd render to stinging insects or venomous reptiles.



Let's be careful out there.

Chris Rhines
July 18, 2004, 09:59 AM
Very personal question, and there's no one-size-fits-all answer. For what it's worth, I think that everyone should break the law as often as possible, just to stay in practice. When the feds have outlawed private contracts, banned firearms, and are conducting periodic door-to-door sweeps for contraband, it's a bad time to be a noob at civil disobedience.

- Chris

VeT|Us
July 18, 2004, 10:55 AM
When following a law puts me or someone I love at risk,
I disobey it. Example: It is illegal for me to carry a knife or for that matter, any other weapon
When I have to travel trough bad areas where the chanse of me getting into serious trouble is high, I carry a weapon anyway.

I'd rather be in jail than in a wheelchair or worse.

Art Eatman
July 18, 2004, 11:06 AM
"The Law": 1. Crimes against person, as in gratuitous violence of whatever sort. 2. Crimes against property, as in theft or vandalism. 3. Crimes against government, as in IRS or speed limits.

Rough generalizations, above, of course.

By and large, I tend to feel rather lax as to crimes against government. I am ruled more by fear of consequences than by any real desire to be a good little serf. For #1 and #2, above, I probably don't need to have any laws on the books to control my behavior.

Art

Bainx
July 18, 2004, 11:08 AM
THE reason these jerks [our public servants] have been so busy writing all of these laws is to give them the flexibility of covering all the bases in making you a law-breaker if they should so decide.

longrifleman
July 18, 2004, 11:32 AM
All good answers so far, but maybe I framed the question too narrowly. What specific actions, levels of corruption or incompetence is your line in the sand that you won't allow the govt to cross?


(I like Billll's best so far-Art is in second place)

Molon Labe
July 18, 2004, 09:52 PM
As others have said, it is the duty of every good citizen to ignore laws that are immoral and/or unconstitutional.

As far as “drawing a line in the sand” goes, I have already drawn my line in the sand as it pertains to certain issues.

Want an example? Concealed carry. I have a natural right to carry a concealed weapon. While others have sought “permission” from the government to carry, I simply exercise my natural right to carry. The idea of asking permission from some idiot in Columbus is repugnant, immoral, and unconstitutional in my book...

XLMiguel
July 18, 2004, 11:07 PM
There is a legal doctirne/defense that more or less says that when following the law would cause greater harm that ignoring/breaking the , it is OK to break the law. This is not to say that you may not need a sharp lawyer to make your case. Do not confuse a 'legal system' with a 'justice system' (the later doesn't really exist, though sometimes kharma works -).

Treylis
July 18, 2004, 11:12 PM
All laws which violate the Non-Aggression Principle can be violated and one can remain morally in the right, although in practical terms, you probably want to be careful.

R.H. Lee
July 18, 2004, 11:13 PM
Here's a what if to get it started: Your house is robbed. You see the guy leaving and get his license no. The officer who comes to take the report runs the tag and gets a funny look on his face. When pressed he admits that the tag belongs to the Sheriff's brother. No arrest is made.


Either the feds or the state attorney general would be happy to indict and prosecute both the sheriff and his brother.

JPL
July 19, 2004, 03:11 AM
If you're willing to suffer the consequences that may attach to breaking a law -- any law -- then you're free to violate any and all.

WonderNine
July 19, 2004, 03:14 AM
When the law was written by a big, fat poopyhead. :)

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