Tuesday, May 01, 2012

An odd way to do things

There are many, many laws on the books for people to violate, and often the law breaker isn't even aware that they're breaking the law.  Example:  intentional destruction of telecommunications equipment.

I understand this was put on the books because in domestic abuse situations, the abuser will destroy the phone to keep the other person from calling for help.  A laudable idea, I guess, though I can pretty much guarantee you that the only real effect is to give the cops something else to charge a person with, and thus more leverage in settling.  I mean, knowledge of the law should deter some people from violating it, ideally, but if you don't know about it, no deterrence.

Another example would be getting charged with reckless child endangerment if you get a DUI with kids in the car.  The drinker will surely know not to drink and drive, but might not realize the extra kicker that comes with having kids along for the ride.

It seems that the way our society teaches people about these laws is when somebody gets charged with violating it.  Then that person and people close to him/her learn of the law, so that's one way to educate the public.  But it seems like a damned inefficient way.  Also, pretty unfair. 

Some laws are just obvious, and address an obvious wrong.  Murder, assault, that kind of thing.  And some are so well known that even though it's not obvious that the act is wrong, the person will know that they are violating the law.  Speeding, DUI, that kind of thing.

But getting angry and smashing up your own phone?  Not so much.

I just wonder why our school system doesn't teach about these laws?  Too much to cover already, I suppose.  Seems to me that knowledge of the law would effect some deterrence in at least some people, much to the betterment of society.

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