Sometimes, it feels like there are laws about everything. Proponents can always defend them, but some can seem a bit unnecessary. For example, Michael D. Tanner wrote in the National Review that all of the discussion in recent years about fantasy sports betting was simply going outside of what the government needed to control. The sheer amount of time, energy and money put into deciding if people could play fantasy sports online seemed rather absurd, something he said the government had no real business being involved in. Is he right?
He does have a point that the Founding Fathers may have agreed with. In the Declaration of Independence, when speaking about reasons for rebelling against King George III, they wrote: "He has erected a Multitude of New Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their Substance."
In the years since the revolution, is the United States simply doing the same thing that England was doing then? Some would argue that's exactly what has happened.
Tanner went on to reference laws governing very minor issues -- and, in some cases, things that are seen as good deeds. For instance, he said that some cities and towns, which tell food vendors they need to have business permits, have told children that they could not have lemonade stands since they didn't have the right permits. Many adults remember having lemonade stands as kids, but now it's something local authorities may stop.
He also noted that doing something as simple as giving food to the homeless -- for free -- had been banned in over 50 cities. He pointed to traditionally liberal cities like Los Angeles and Seattle as examples. Many people prefer to give food to the homeless, when asked for money, to make sure that they are getting the food that they need -- rather than using the money for something like alcohol. But, in some places, local laws have been created to stop people from doing it.
Knowing Your Rights
So, are there too many laws and too many reasons to be arrested or fined? Some, like Tanner, would argue that this is definitely the case. Whether you believe he's right or not, the reality is that new laws are passed year in and year out. It's crucial to know your rights if you've been arrested, especially for something you didn't even know you weren't allowed to do.
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