I recently saw a news story about how Gov. Bryant is set to sign into law a bill which apparently reduces the potential penalties for committing a number of illegal acts. As I recall, things like prison overcrowding and costs related to housing inmates were cited as justification for the penalty reductions. I do not recall hearing any reference made to justice for victims of criminal acts during the broadcast.

Expanding on that theme, I submit that if reducing the penalties for some illegal acts is beneficial, then why stop there? Why not just make everything that is currently illegal suddenly perfectly acceptable and legal? Think of the endless possibilities for saving government money and boosting the economy for several types of business. If nothing is illegal, then there would no longer be a need for Law Enforcement Personnel. There basically would be no laws and therefore nothing to enforce. We could turn jails, prisons and courthouses into museums, bed-and-breakfasts and all manner of tourist attractions. Ben and Erin Napier could launch a whole new Home Town Jailhouse Renovation TV show.

The Old Warren County Courthouse in Vicksburg has long been a favorite museum of mine and there are already various “Old Jails” and “Old Courthouses” scattered hither and yon. There would be an ample supply of “new” Old Jails and Old Courthouses suddenly available. Having one of these renovated facilities available in more locations would offer more visitors opportunities to visit one without having to travel so far. There could be at least one in virtually every county.

I realize that there would still likely be the age-old problem of some individuals stealing and vandalizing the property of others who, through hard work and dedication, have accumulated more than those unwilling to put forth the effort to work for what they have. However, since failure to pay income taxes, etc. would no longer be illegal, there should be considerably more personal wealth retained by working individuals. Those needing to protect their hard-earned belongings should have more money to buy more guns and ammunition or hire former law enforcement personnel as personal body-guards and/or private security for their properties.

Murder would no longer be illegal, so just think how many people who presently refrain from that activity, due to its being illegal, would no longer have to hold back; simply go ahead and take out anyone they reasonably feel deserves killing. It would have to be a boost to the funeral business, or at least to the medical profession, if the shooter is not a particularly good shot.

Since nothing would be illegal anymore, anyway, there would be no reason for the making of new laws. Therefore, no need to continue to the fund the Legislature. Think of the money that could be saved by sending all the legislators home, where they could get a real job; or possibly take up the no longer illegal practice of stealing others’ money; although it occurs to me this might not be a significant change in many instances.

Fred Pittman


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