“The intent of the legislation is right. We want to keep guns out of the hands of people who would most likely turn them on a loved one. The legislation is flawed, and almost impossible to enforce.” – George Brauchler, district attorney for Colorado’s 18th district quoted in Domestic offenders in Colorado are supposed to relinquish their guns, but it doesn’t always happen [via denverpost.com]

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19 Responses to Quote of the Day: The Dictionary Definition of a Bad Law?

  1. I think every law passed, and every regulation written, at every level of government, should come with an expiration date not to exceed 5 or 10 years from the date it is passed. This will accomplish two things.

    First, laws that are recognized as ineffective or bad would quietly die off on their own, so no politician would have to choose between trying to do the right thing or being painted as “soft” on whatever the law had been trying to do.

    Second, at some point a legislative (regulatory) body will be forced to choose between passing new laws (regulations), and refreshing old ones. This would force a natural selection of sorts, as well as keeping the overall body of law and regulation from growing without limit.

    It’ll never happen … But a guy can dream.

    • Just pass a constitutional amendment requiring that any law be read by the proposer, in its entirety as amended, out loud for consideration in chamber and personally handwritten by the quill…

    • I could go along with that. I might add that any law renewed would have to pass with a super majority, maybe 60-65% of the total members, not just percentage of those voting. If a law really is oh so popular and necessary, then it shouldn’t have a problem being renewed and attracting overwhelming support.

      Second, I might add a third chamber to the legislature whose job it was strictly to repeal current laws.

      Beyond that, I’d consider imposing term limits. Sitting in those seats of power is way too gratifying, so no one ever rocks ths boat. Make those elected positions less cushy and less permanent and people will start focusing on the nation’s future, not just their own.

        • Yeah, that is a large part of the problems. Sadly laws are much harder to remove than install and there is less interest in it for most legislators. I agree with the earlier suggest of having all laws sunset. That would keep them busy and it’d be hard to keep 600,000 laws on the books. I guess having laws voted on individually rather than packages would also be advisable. We might be able to get down to a mere hundreds of laws with such a regimen.

  2. yea, here in colorado we are supposed to just hand over our investments, if you are convicted of ANY violent offense that bars you from your rights to a weapon. even a restraining order strips you of your rights, you are forbidden from making a profit by selling your firearms, they are to be “donated to local law enforcement” so most folks will likely donate them to a family members gun safe, and keep them regardless of what the law says. keep on infringing colorado, karma is a bitch.

  3. At least a politician is acknowledging that a law is only enforceable as far as people are willing to cooperate. Besides, a searchable registry would be inadequate at best, tyrannical at worst. Not that I would know anything about it, but I have heard that some gun-owners own firearms that are not exactly “traceable” to them, so what would turning in “registered” firearms accomplish then? Again, not that I know anything about that. And even if they didn’t own that type of firearm, according to the anti’s it is so easy to buy a gun, couldn’t they just get one from a criminal?

    Sorry, I was doing that stupid thing called thinking. I’ve probably missed the entire point.

  4. If “flawed, and almost impossible to enforce” legislation was a basis for automatic repeal, the United States Code would be three pages long.

  5. Oh my, this concept deserves the prize for Comment of the Month. I can’t see how something as simple as this could be rejected by anyone other than a rabid fascist. My only contribution is that I’d prefer the time interval to be no longer than three years, and that here would be two extra steps in the protocol, which is to first perform an objective analysis of the potential for unintended consequences that would have negative effects to the extent that would violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment in terms of placing any segment of society at an unfair disadvantage in favor of another.

    The second step in the protocol is to analyze the intent and execution of the law in question to determine whether it is viable in the first place – this is where most laws would be disqualified since the kind of crap we see these days are justified simply out of paranoia rather than on reality – like the “boy’s & girl’s bathroom” laws that supposedly fix problems that do not yet exist and are covered perfectly well by existing laws. The current wave of “opioid control” laws are a good example of this same ideal, and the “assault weapon” and “hi-capacity magazine” bans epitomize the very concept of bad laws because of the misplaced assumptions that black semi-auto firearms and lots of bullets pose an immediate threat to our society – proof to the contrary be damned!

  6. “I can’t see how something as simple as this could be rejected by anyone other than a rabid fascist.”

    Define “fascism” please. You can leave out the rabid part, if you want.

    That a unelected bureaucrat, backed up by armed police, can determine just who would or would not be “likely” to turn a gun on a loved one is a huge and obvious slippery slope which is why important rights like the 2nd amendment are protected by our constitution. In point of fact, giving nameless bureaucrats the ability—at their pleasure because that’s how those kinds of decisions will be made—to decide when to define a private citizen as “dangerous” and “a threat” so that weapons can be confiscated is where you’ll find fascism. Gun confiscation = fascism, pure and simple.

    • Garrison – Indeed, sir. I don’t suppose any of the geniuses who concocted this law ever considered that those who would “likely” use a firearm for an incident of domestic violence would also be somewhat UNlikely to surrender said firearm voluntarily to the minions of law and order.

  7. That law-wrangling idea isn’t bad. I’ve suggested similar notions as a thought experiment for years. Love the “supermajority for renewal” notion.

    Some interesting stuff playing out right now…

    The “Patriot Act” has exactly that kind of sunset clause. Each renewal seems to be an opportunity to expand it.

    In principle, laws are “scored” by the C B O, and regulations costed out. Infamously, the A C A was constructed to game that scoring, so badly the C B O issued a disclaimer letter.

    Stuff like this is fodder – there’s no substitute for political engagement. Sadly.

  8. Welcome to Colorado. When our association of county sheriffs challenged our magazine ban the judge ruled that laws don’t have to provide any benefit to society or have a logical reason why they would. They also don’t have to be enforceable. Our magazine ban is still holding at 0 convictions after several years.

    • That just tells you how effective the law has been. The evil “high capacity” magazines and the people who use them no longer exist. They all went *poof* the second the law took effect.

  9. Unenforceable is the definition of ‘bad’ (ignore and wipe the damn thing out) law.

    FURTHER –

    If your ahole neighbors who needed a job (your government) ever tells you that they can’t do something BELIEVE THEM, then tell them to pack their sh_t and go home.

    If they say stupid sheit like “we cannot protect you unless you do X” THEN ONLY THE FIRST HALF OF THE STATEMENT IS TRUE.

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