America can be a confusing place at times. Take, for example, some of our laws concerning violations of hunting or fishing licenses and regulations. Did you know that violating a hunting or fishing law in most states is at minimum a monetary fine? However, the penalty can also be a misdemeanor which is punishable with jail time for less than one year or it could be a felony and punishable with time in a state prison.

These are potentially serious criminal penalties for violating a fairly innocuous law.

Then there’s the serious crime-reducing law in Chesapeake, Virginia, where the local government made it illegal to trick or treat by anyone over the age of 12. Man, this law is serious. Per City Code 46-8, any person over the age of 12 who is trick or treating on Halloween will be found guilty of a misdemeanor, required to pay a fine between $25 and $100 and potentially be confined to jail for not more than 30 days.

Of course you have heard about the tremendous crime wave occurring in California where thousands of people face six months in jail and a fine of $1,000 for offering a customer in a food establishment a plastic straw. Wow, that is a hefty penalty. If the jails and prisons were not already overcrowded they soon will be. Way to go Jerry Brown.

These laws and the criminal penalties associated with them are but a few of the thousands of laws across our country that are on the books at the local, state and federal levels which can supposedly penalize any and all citizens in very serious ways.  

The reason America can be so confusing is that when you start researching some of these ridiculous laws, you find that a 13-year-old could go to jail in Chesapeake, Virginia, for 30 days for donning his Power Ranger costume on Halloween or a hunter might pay a hefty fine or be punished for a misdemeanor or felony. But a person found to be illegally entering this country does not have to worry about being prosecuted.

More disturbing is that there are some people and lawmakers in America who find the crime of illegally entering this sovereign country so insane and off the hook that they not only want to remove the law from the books altogether but they want to dismantle an entire federal agency responsible for its enforcement. Elected leaders of municipalities can openly break federal immigration laws without blinking an eye and without the threat of confinement.

But handing out a plastic straw to a customer or trick or treating are both far more serious crimes and ones that demand enforcement at every level.

Another thing that seems seriously out of whack is the fact that only in America can sitting senators make baseless and unfounded felony accusations against a U.S. citizen of unquestionable character and not worry one iota about receiving a ticket in the mail, standing before a magistrate, paying a fine or facing any jail time. Yes, only in America can a sitting senator attempt to disparage the entire life of an individual and his family for his or her own political gain and get off scot-free.  

Fortunately, there is a little thing known as the ballot box in America where confusing things such as these can face change though voter participation.

Viper One Six – Out.

Visit Dave Shearman’s website, www.viperonesix.com, or send email to viperonesix@gmail.com