Who is a law-abiding citizen? | Darn Wright
Last updated 6/3/2022 at 3:52pm
“If you pass gun laws, you’ll be taking away guns from law-abiding citizens.”
That is the common mantra from many who do not want any common-sense gun safety laws. This bumper sticker-type thinking got me thinking, and I will share with you my struggle around “Who is a law-abiding citizen?”
Collins and Merriam-Webster dictionaries defines a law-abiding person as one who is “abiding by or obedient to the law.” Then any person who does not follow our criminal laws and our civil laws are considered to NOT be a law-abiding citizen? Even with their directions, I still don’t know who is a law-abiding citizen. Do you?
It seems I have only questions when it comes to defining a “law-abiding” citizen and I am reaching out to my readers to help me to clearly understand who is a “law-abiding citizen.”
To help you help me through my quandary, maybe these true scenarios will be of assistance.
Ted Bundy was killing woman after woman, stealing, lying, and cheating long before he was found guilty of his serial crimes. So was Bundy a “law-abiding citizen” up to the point when he was formally found guilty of his crimes?
If it’s true that a non-convicted person is a “law-abiding citizen,” then for over the four decades the identity of Joseph James DeAngelo, the Golden State Killer and serial rapist, was unknown. But he was “on the lam,” so during that time frame must we consider him as a “law-abiding citizen?”
What about all our own county’s cold cases? Are these unknown rapist, killers, arsonists “law-abiding” citizens”?
A person is going to trial for killing “another” law-abiding citizen and a potential juror, another law-abiding citizen, lies about her history. Due to the lying juror, the defendant ends up having a hung jury and is freed.
Now, which one is the law-abiding citizen? Or are they both still law-abiding citizens, therefore can possess guns? Are they both non-law-abiding citizens and neither one of them can possess a firearm?
While in the role of a Washington State Probation and Parole (PPO) supervisor, one of my subordinate officers falsifies a travel sheet so she could receive payment for the use of her own vehicle. But in fact she had used a state car during that time. Is she a law-abiding citizen?
In 1992 it was revealed the U.S. House of Representatives (Rubbergate) allowed its members to overdraw, or use rubber checks, (bounce checks) to pay off their “loans” from the House’s bank. These federal legislators abused (stole?) from their House bank, and they did so without any risk of punishments for not paying back their “overdrafts.”
Apparently, NO House member was formally prosecuted. Should every one of those pranksters, in my opinion “thieves,” be labeled as “law-abiding citizens”?
Then from this do you agree any of us who choose to be chronically mischievous with our bank dealings also have the right to carry the label of being a law-abiding citizens?
Since Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency and was never adjudicated, either criminally or civically, for his alleged crimes, should Nixon be considered a law-abiding citizen?
How do we classify a person who was convicted of a felony (marijuana charge) in one state, but since the person is now living in a state that no longer has the possession of marijuana a crime?
Is this person a law-abiding citizen? But then when he returns to his home state of conviction is he now not a law-abiding citizen? Or should we label him as being both a law-abiding and a non-law-abiding citizen? Now, how much does that make sense? Or does logic have anything to do with it?
What about a person who reads a banned book or teaches a banned topic? Is this person no longer a law-abiding citizen? Or are those just “white lie”-type crimes and should not be used in our calculation to determine who is or who is not a law-abiding citizen?
If we pay someone to do a job for us and pay them “under the table,” are we, as well as the payee, law-abiding citizens?
Is a law-abiding citizen one who is innocent until they are found guilty of a “serious” crime in a court of law? Now from those scenarios, maybe you know why I am really confused on who is not a law-abiding citizen and who is a law-abiding citizen.
Darn right, please let me know your thoughts at [email protected].