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Illegitimate Liquor Laws


Regarding the “Party Patrol” story: The police cannot enforce the law against underage drinking because no one has ever respected this law. The law targets a small, specific class of people, who resent it. The police use the law and their inability to enforce it to win grants from the state and then to bully people. They hand out drinking tickets the way a robin picks ants out of an ant hill.

No one who receives such a ticket feels any shame for breaking the law, because he knows that his crime is not a crime at all. Rather, he feels like the victim of the police, because he is one. The police rob him of his money, strip him of his right to use the roads, and force him to attend a seminar that he cannot take seriously.

By using these laws as an excuse to hassle people, the police disrespect their own mandate, which is to enforce the legitimate laws, the ones pertaining to crimes we really don’t want to suffer. The police have debased themselves. They have made themselves both ridiculous and loathsome by “going undercover” with a case of beer to give out tickets for drinking. Then they turn around and tell the newspaper that their victim should have kept his door closed.

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