Sunday, March 8, 2009

Soft Targets

A man was recently arrested for laughing too hard. A trivial piece of news but the outward symptom of a real disease. Two things: the policeman who carried out the arrest thought he was justified and the "criminal" was a law-abiding like-you-and-me citizen of our country.
The fact that the policeman thought he had justification is scary enough. It suggests that the Police make it up as they go along. They probably have to, to be fair. They have been deluged with new, pointless offences for years. The total area of grey areas of the law increases daily. We now have a specific law against setting off a nuclear weapon. As if the existing laws on explosions, murder, destruction of property etc. weren't enough. There are now hundreds of reasons the Police can now give you to enter your home without a warrant. The Police will not know them all, so if they need to they will make it up on the spot.
The other point I would make is that the guy who was laughing "too much" was just a regular bloke. Normal. No risk of alienating a section of the community. He obeys laws. He pays taxes. He respects authority. He is you and me.
Soft target.

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