America in a state of desperation

Published 10:40 pm Monday, November 27, 2017

By Joseph L. Bass

Even a young person can see we experience many negatives in society today. As an old guy, who can remember the last year of World War II, it is easier for me to see them. I can remember when many of the problems we have today didn’t exist.

The reality of these problems can be seen in the laws in effect today dealing with behavior and safety. The nature of these laws indicates we are in a state of desperation, attempting to legislate our way out of negative behavior that didn’t exist 70 years ago.

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Some people seem to think it is possible to pass enough perfect laws that will remove the possibility of individuals making wrong judgments. If you then were to act on a bad judgment, it would be illegal, and you could be put in jail. This approach, the thinking goes, would make all of us good people and safe from each other.

I see three problems with this legislative approach. First, it fails to identify and address the social changes that caused the negatives. Second, it prohibits people from learning from their own mistakes. Third, it does not rely on parents to raise their children to be good citizens.

It is my view we need to identify and address the wrongful changes that caused the social negatives. Consider the social negatives of today that didn’t exist when I was a child.

There are far too many people in prison, draining taxpayer money from productive citizens to house, feed, and care for felons who are no longer first-class citizens.

There are too many poor Americans dependent on government for their housing, food, and care.

Constitutional civil rights are compromised in attempts to create a danger-free society.

For instance, we give up our right against unreasonable search and seizure of personal property at airports under the mistaken belief this makes flying safer.

Our right to weapons of self-defense is seriously restricted. Mass killings occur in “gun-free” zones, buildings where possession of firearms is banned. This is based on the mistaken belief that gun-control laws prevent deranged people from walking into a “sanctuary” with a weapon and killing scores of people.

The mere possession of a weapon under many circumstances is a crime, without a person actually doing something wrong.

Expressing a politically incorrect view on social media can result in a child being expelled from school and maybe even arrested.

Americans are feeling a desperation because of these trends. But the trends continue. Increasing social negatives result in more people campaigning for more restrictive laws.

Unless we identify and address the real causes of social negatives that did not exist 70 years ago, we will no longer be “the land of the free.” We will be a nation of people in legal straightjackets living as sheep fearful of being put in jail for acts we did without harming anyone as children.

Joseph L. Bass is the executive director of ABetterSociety.Info Inc., a nonprofit organization in Hobson. Email him at