Thursday, January 27, 2011

Legislating by the Lowest Common Denominator


So here's the thing.

Kucinich suing over an olive pit in his sandwich is idiotic. And it makes opponents to tort reform look pretty damn silly.

But here's an article about a 5 year old kid who dropped a loaded .22 in his pre-school class and, yeah, that makes opponents to gun control look really really really really damn silly.

In both cases we're sort of looking at the lowest common denominator in a specific issue. Kucinich, a wealthy and well insured congressman sueuing for a hefty sum over biting into an olive pit...and somebody leaving a loaded handgun where a 5 year old can get it and bring it to school.

In both cases, depending on your political bent, they're cause to ponder certain laws to restrain idiots from being idiots. And in both cases, the law would be reactionary to stop the lowest common denominator from being a complete idiot with the system.

But doing so would prevent sane people, the majority of Americans who are responsible and thoughtful and sane, from exercising their rights within a reasonable framework for reasonable purpose. We can further restrict an American's right to sue based on the actions of a hyper litigous person, just like we can restrict gun ownership and child safety laws based on the actions of a hyper irresponsible person...

...though in both cases the laws meant to correct the problem would be based on addressing the behavior of the very lowest common denominator.

However we address issues of our day, the method should be codified for the sake of consistency, so that our legal structure is based on a consistent methodology rather than the changing whims of political agenda...if we're going to legislate based on the lowest common denominator, we should apply that method to all laws regardless of political ideology.

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