Earlier this year, libertarian author Charles Murray made the case for civil disobedience via his book “By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission.” The federal leviathan can add all the regulations they want, but they have to enforce them.
That’s the hard part.
“I have two chapters explaining why rolling back the regulatory system through the normal political process will never happen. It’s not just improbable but impossible,” Murray explained in an interview with AEI. “The only way to reduce government power is through civil disobedience—just ignoring pointless, stupid, or tyrannical regulations.”
“Obviously, it’s not as simple as that—I take many pages describing the criteria for deciding what regulations may be ignored and procedural issues.”
There’s a lot more to Murray’s plan, including the Madison Fund, a pro bono legal organization that he hopes would be created to overload the federal bureaucracy with so much legal work, thery’ll stop bothering to enforce the non-sensical regulations because there’s just not enough manpower.
That’s essentially what the gun owners of America are doing when faced with “tyrannical regulations.” They are basically channeling Murray and Andrew Jackson, saying, “You passed the regulations. Now let’s see you enforce them.”
Bob Owens at Bearing Arms reported last year about gun owners in Connecticut who were ignoring the states new registration laws:
More than 85% of Connecticut’s gun owners refused to register their weapons. When spokesmen for the Connecticut State Police made rumblings that they knew who had at least some of these firearms, and that they might attempt to start arresting some of the 80,000-100,000 non-compliant gun owners, Connecticut’s gun owners noted that there were only 1,100 State Police, and dared them to try.
Governor Dannel Malloy hasn’t dared rattle that cage since.
And the gun owners in New York are treating gun laws in their state similarly.
About 44,500 assault weapons have been registered in New York since a new gun-control law was enacted in 2013, records released by State Police to a gun-rights group this week showed.
The Shooters Committee on Public Education, a gun-rights group based in western New York, successfully sued after the state refused to release the details. Now the group claimed that the statistics showed what they suspected: Few gun owners are complying with the SAFE Act adopted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature in January 2013.
The total number of applications to register assault weapons in New York was 25,536.
“The majority of gun owners and sportsmen in New York have absolutely no respect for this law,” said Stephen Aldstadt, the group’s president.
The group said that estimates have showed that there about 1 million assault weapons in New York, so if that’s the case, about 4 percent were registered as required under the SAFE Act. But gun-control advocates said there is no way of knowing how many assault weapons exist in New York.
That is ultimately the difficulty in passing mandates. Government has to be able to enforce them, otherwise it finds itself in the position of New York and Connecticut…and many other states, counties and cities.
And it isn’t just gun regulations that are being ignored. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that Uber told the city of St. Louis exactly what they could do with their protectionist regulations. When they started operating despite the St. Louis Taxicab Commission saying they couldn’t, the mayor replied that the police had better things to do than chase Uber drivers.
It appears that more and more, Americans are tapping into their inner rebel, perhaps tapping into that long tradition of telling tyrants and oppressors they didn’t care what rules they put on them, they’d do what they want.
Is this a bad thing? Tell us what you think in the comments.