The Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell explains to Americans, “Civil disobedience is a powerful and traditional way for Americans to resist bad government policy.” Dan notes specifically that it’s encouraging that “gun owners have no intention of obeying bad gun control laws, with evidence of massive resistance to bad laws in states such as Connecticut, Colorado, and New York.”
The regulatory burden in the United States has become absurd, for instance, but it’s difficult to envision a successful strategy to resist various bureaucratic impositions.
The great scholar Charles Murray has a column in the Wall Street Journal about fighting back against the regulatory state.
He begins with a very depressing assessment.
America is no longer the land of the free. We are still free in the sense that Norwegians, Germans and Italians are free. But that’s not what Americans used to mean by freedom. It was our boast that in America, unlike in any other country, you could live your life as you saw fit as long as you accorded the same liberty to everyone else. …with FDR’s New Deal and the rise of the modern regulatory state, our founding principle was subordinated to other priorities and agendas. What made America unique first blurred, then faded, and today is almost gone.
In some sense, we’ve been buried by red tape.
…consider just the federal government. The number of federal crimes you could commit as of 2007 (the last year they were tallied) was about 4,450, a 50% increase since just 1980. A comparative handful of those crimes are “malum in se”—bad in themselves. The rest are “malum prohibitum”—crimes because the government disapproves.
This is something that we’ve already discussed. I made the distinction just the other day between real crimes (which involve an infringement on someone else’s life, liberty, and property) and innocent behavior that is criminalized by government.
Here Connecticut residents stand up against infringement on their rights: