Monday, January 27, 2014

Passive Resistance

Glenn Reynolds has a timely piece on passive resistance--citizens simply not going along with government edicts. He focuses on Colorado's passage of laws legalizing marijuana and the dismal enrollment figures of ObamaCare. He also separately links to an article discussing the failure of a recent Connecticut law requiring registration of so-called "assault weapons" and "high capacity" magazines.

I don't know whether the ObamaCare fiasco reflects passive resistance or sticker shock. I suppose in the end it doesn't matter, because the result is still a massive failure to comply with government edict--and given the way ObamaCare was passed in the face of strong public opposition, there is no other term to accurately describe it.

The criminalization of marijuana probably had broad public support when it was passed. But in doing so, no one asked the public if they wanted the 4th Amendment thrown out the window. Some supporters are probably people who just want their pot, but I suspect many more are people that have realized that the so-called "drug war" has been a failure at every level.

Of course, laws governing the registration of firearms have been increasingly ignored over the years because there is no mistaking the end purpose of such laws--confiscation. In fact, what I've seen over the years is a progression from passive resistance to contempt for the law. Not only ignoring the law, but a very active community intent on figuring out ways to work around the law. And, of course, the more the government tries to ban or restrict weapons, the greater the interest it generates in the public. Just from my own observations, in 1994 when the Brady Bill (aka, assault weapon ban) was passed, very few people outside of the survivalist community had any interest in "black rifles." By the time the law expired, such rifles had cachet. Now, its seems that everyone wants one.

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