“Defining Malicious Intent”
It seems to me that we have two sets of laws in this country. The laws that apply to protect man and those that exist to guide him along a preselected path of living chosen by our politicians-usually to in some way match their own. It is the latter I wish to talk about here. I think we need to examine some of our morality laws and ask ourselves what the intention is of those that committ these crimes, and most importantly of all to contrast their intentions with our own. Because my friends I see similar intentions all across the board! The sex drive is undeniable-yet we punish those who would pay to have it quelled? We all pay for it somehow. What drives a man to consume alcohol? Myriad things-same as what drives man to consume currently illicit substances.
These are our friends and neighbors. I like to smoke marijuana from time to time. Why? To relax, to change my perspective, to allow certain trivial worries to escape me as I tap into greater ideas. It does not always work like this but that is always my intention. I’m not sure there is a marijuana smoker on the planet who smokes it to hurt someone else anymore than a drinker indulges in his substance to affect others beyond his own self. The man who solicits prostitutes does so because he would rather spend his time earning money than earning the sympathies and endearments of some young lady. Is this really so wrong? Must everything sexual be about love and relationships?
Religion has infected our politics and it happened a long time ago. Somewhere along the way man has taken the morals he uses to govern himself and applied them to his neighbors. He fears his children growing up to disagree with his teachings and thus tries to snuff out even the possibility of that happening. But does this not limit freedom? Once we start imprisoning people who have hurt no one but themselves, we have committed a great crime against not only them but our Constitution. Or are we too far gone from the ideals of our Forefathers to even understand this concept?
I think we need to take a moment to define what malicious intent is and how it applies to our current policies and enacted laws. Every law outside of our “victimless crime” laws does in fact have a victim. Having a victim is a necessity of all proper laws. Robbing, raping, killing-all of these involve a willful intent to harm the victim in some form or manner. All of these things involve malicious intent. It is that intention to hurt ones neighbor that prompts punishment and the removal, however temporary, from the society whose trust the criminal has violated.
Now take the man who committs a crime of indulgence. Like the sins we committ every day-angels we are not-but outside the spectrum of the politically approved. What was his intent? Self satisfaction, same as what the vast majority of us dedicate a large portion of our lives to. There is no malicious intent; in fact these “crimes” are usually committed in quite the opposite frame of mind. They are committed in the frame of mind of pursuing one’s happiness in whatever form it might take and regardless of the judgement society has cast upon certain activities. So what then, was the crime? Of choosing a vice that society did not agree with and nothing more!
I understand the majority in this country are religious and have certain values they subscribe to. I repsect that and aspire to improve myself in certain areas as well. But what does your morality count for if it was forced upon you by the government? How can you claim faith in your fellow man or even yourself when you feel the need to be controlled in these areas? I often hear about how we would become a nation of drug addicts and whore mongers were these things legalized. Well, are we now a nation of alocoholics and tobacco smokers? And furthermore if this nation only needs to be allowed to do these things for it to start doing them with great passion and frequency, then why are we denying ourselves? Why live in friction when we are supposedly the most free nation on earth? Does the most free nation on earth choose to engage in acts of forced self denial?
But there is the rub. This is not self denial. Those who would do these things are not interested in denying themselves in these areas and for the most part engage in these activities regardless of the law. This is one set of men attempting to deny another set of men something because of their own morality. It is not good enough in their eyes to have their own moral code; they need to afflict it upon the world around them as well. They forget that moral code ceases to become honorable the moment it becomes law because choice is removed from the matter entirely. They take what should be between only man and God and make it between man and man in power.
…A moment to mention DWI’s. The only crime that should exist that operates without clear malicious intent. But to the educated mind it almost is… the willful disregard for the lives of others that takes place every time one operates machinery while heavily intoxicated is a quieter sort of malicious intent. Were these all family members on the road, would you do it then? Most would not, and those that would certainly would be afflicted by this condition. The same as the man who would fire a gun in the air for fun with no consciousness of where the bullets might land and who might be in their path on the way down. Disregard for the safety of others may not be malicious intent per se but it is certainly a branch off the same tree. Even given this, take note that we are very lenient on our drunken drivers. Why? Quite simply because they did not intend to harm anyone.
If we continually draw out a huge percentage of our society and brand them as criminals for their moral preference we serve only to breed quiet disharmony and contempt for our laws in general. If a normal man smokes marijuana and spends a month in jail for this crime then suddenly this one habit becomes a defining characteristic. After all, this man has no other issues that would lead him to jail for such a period of time. So anything that would result in less than a month sentence suddenly becomes more acceptable. After all, society has this elitist air about that its laws are pitch perfect, so why worry about the morality of crimes less damning than the one already committed?
We cannot regulate man’s passion or desire and that is why our war on morality will always remain unwinnable. Even under threat of legal action and jailtime these laws continue to be broken, because these men are fuelled by something beyond regulation. Denying someone a desire only adds fuel to the fire by making it tabboo. The great Abe Lincoln himself said, “Prohibition… goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”
Allowing these men to live their lives will never affect us because we have laws to prevent exactly that. Legalizing drugs does not mean robbery and assault and the like will suddenly become legal as well! And if you cannot walk by places where men do things you do not approve of without being so bothered as to be unable to live in your own peace, then I have to wonder whether you truly want to live in a freee society at all. Partially free or free to do as I would is simply not what America is about.