Ayn Rand Was Right

Do you really think we want those laws to be observed? We want them broken. There is no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is to crack down on criminals. When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking the law. Create a nation of lawbreakers and then you can cash in on the guilt. Now that’s the system! – Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957

Several bloggers have reported on the 10 year old Winchendon, Massachusetts boy who was suspended from school for five days for bringing a spent (that’s “fired,” “inert,” or “empty” for those of you in the Journalism profession) blank (that’s “never had a projectile” – the pointy bit that’s designed to come out of the barrel, the long tube-thingy that… never mind.) cartridge case to his school – a fired blank case that was given to him by a veteran, presumably after it was fired in a 21-gun salute on Memorial Day.

Yes, that’s outrageous.

But Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell has a little different spin on the story:

Well, the problem is, if you don’t have a license to have a firearm in Massachuetts, you can’t even possess ammunition or ammunition components. The truth is, this kid and everyone involved in this situation is lucky that it’s only resulting in a five day suspension. Under Massachusetts law, both the kid, the veteran who gave the kid the empty shell casing, and the teacher to took if from the kid could be looking at two years in prison for having ammunition components without a license.

These are the “reasonable restrictions” that the Brady Campaign wants to impose on the rest of the country. And they call us “nuts” and “paranoid” for arguing that these regulations are anything but reasonable.

I would be very curious to learn how often these laws are actually used in prosecution against armed robbers, drug dealers and the like.

A license to possess a spent cartridge case. It boggles.

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