TS has left a new comment on your post "Private Sellers":
MikeB, I am responding to the "Meaning of Draconian" thread here because that one might be a little stale.
MikeB: "TS told us about the California gun owner who failed to turn his allen wrench a couple times and became a felon as a result. "I’d call that “cruel”. How about you, MikeB?"
I wouldn't say "cruel" as much as "excessive." I'd even call it abuse of power on the part of the cop."
I read about this on a police officer’s forum. Many of the other cops were calling him out on it, calling it “excessive” and mean. The thing is, he was following the letter of the law, and I have a much bigger problem with the law that allows him to make that arrest, than the cop who didn’t give the gun owner a pass. This is why we protest laws like this. We shouldn’t have to leave it up to the discretion of a cop to be a “nice guy”. I wouldn’t think CA’s “assault weapons ban” is draconian if it weren’t for the fact that they make it a felony. That is life altering. Not only do you go to jail, but you lose your gun rights forever, lose your job, lose your whole career, hell- maybe even lose your marriage... that’s draconian.
One thing that comes to mind right away is this, if something is against the law, the people doing that thing are responsible for their actions. They can choose to do it or not. If they choose to do it, only they are responsible for the consequenses. This is different from the many cases of shared responsibility we often talk about when the offenders are kids or impaired adults. Generally speaking, people make choices and to call the laws "draconian" is to shift the focus from those people to the laws themselves.
What do you think?
What about the point TS made when he said, "We shouldn’t have to leave it up to the discretion of a cop." We need clear laws that can be enforced in all situations, says TS.
Is that practical? Is there really such a thing as clear laws that can be applied in all situations? Don't we need to rely on police discretion? Isn't that part of the trust we place in our law enforcement people?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.