Thursday, January 19, 2012

The strike is over (for now), the battles are still being fought

Paul Hsieh has a post at pjmedia titled "SOPA, Guns, and Frredom; You do not protect honest nonlinear content producers from pirates by breaking the Internet forthe innocent". This article compares gunlaws to SOPA because they "both punish the innocent for a guilty few." And he has a great point and writes briefly about other rights which have been eroded--buying medicine, insurance, or election laws.

In order to buy specific kinds of cold medicine, drain cleaner, lye, or any growing number of items, a law-abiding person has to show ID, sign a piece of paper and jump through any number of hoops (if they can find it in the first place).

If you make a horrible mistake and stock up because you have a large family and they are all getting sick, or if you live at the edge of a county and buy some medicine in both, you may end up with the sheriff at your door. If you want to learn to make soap and buy a bunch of lye, you may end up on a terror watch list. God forbid you have a hobby farm or large garden and need a bunch of fertilizer.

From Volokh, via Hsieh, this country's jurisprudence used to be based on a presumption of innocence.  But no longer.  Under the guise of safety or the war on drugs or any number of issues, the innocent many are punished for the actions of the guilty few.  We are punished by having our rights and our liberties eroded.  As Hsieh says in his article:
To fight these bad laws, it’s not sufficient to fight merely the individual issues. We must also fight at the level of broader principle. In other words, we should not fight merely for internet freedom or firearms freedom or medical freedom, but for freedom as such. This means promoting the concept of limited government.
And that is the bottom of the issue.  None of these individual laws would have to be fought on a per-case basis if government was limited and freedoms were not.


Old NFO said...

Good points all, and yeah, now you're presumed guilty and you have to PROVE your innocence..

Anonymous said...

Not to mention that voting doesn't require showing ANY ID whatsoever...

Ed H.
Atomic Fungus