Only in America – Crime and Punishment and the Ballot Box

America can be a confusing place at times.

Take for example some of our laws concerning violations of hunting or fishing licenses and regulations. Did you know that violating a hunting or fishing law in most states is at a minimum a monetary fine? However, the penalty can also be a misdemeanor which is punishable in jail for less than one year or it could be a felony and punishable in state prison.

These are potentially serious criminal penalties for violating a fairly innocuous law.

Or, how about the statute recently signed into law in Chesapeake, Virginia where the local government made it illegal to “trick or treat” by anyone over the age of 12 years. Man-O-Man, this law is serious! Per City Code 46-8, any person over the age of 12 years who is “trick or treating” on Halloween will be found guilty of a misdemeanor, required to pay a fine between $25.00 and $100.00, and potentially confined to jail for not more than 30 days.

Oh boy, better raid Jimmy’s piggy bank and find out a way to break him out of the ole “big house” for violating that heinous law.

Of course you have heard about the tremendous crime wave occurring in California where thousands of people face six months in jail and a fine of $1,000 for offering a customer in a food establishment a plastic straw! Wow, now that is a hefty penalty and if the jails and prisons where not already overcrowded they soon will be! Way to go, Jerry Brown.

These laws and the criminal penalties associated with them are but a few of the thousands of laws across this land that are on the books at the local, state and federal levels and which can supposedly penalize any and all citizens in very serious ways.

The reason America can be so confusing is that when you start researching some of these ridiculous laws and find that a 13 year old could go to jail in Chesapeake, VA for 30 days for donning his Power Ranger costume on Halloween or a hunter might pay a hefty fine or punished by a misdemeanor or felony but a person found to be illegally entering this country does not have to worry about being prosecuted at all!

More disturbing is that there are some people and law-makers in America who find the crime of illegally entering this sovereign country so insane and off the hook that they not only want to remove the law from the books altogether but they want to dismantle an entire federal agency responsible for its enforcement. Along the same line, elected leaders of municipalities can openly break federal immigration laws without blinking an eye and without the threat of confinement.

But you better believe that handing out a plastic straw to a customer or “trick or treating” are both far more serious crimes and ones that demand enforcement at every level.

Another thing that seems seriously out of whack is the fact that only in America can sitting Senators make baseless and unfounded felony accusations against a U.S. citizen of unquestionable character and not worry one iota about receiving a ticket in the mail, standing before a magistrate, paying a fine or facing any jail time. Yes, only in America can a sitting Senator attempt to disparage the entire life of an individual and his family for his or her own political gain and get off Scott free.

Fortunately, there is a very powerful little remedy known as the ballot box where confusing things such as these can face change though voter participation.

Viper One Six – Out

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