You’re talking about that which is malum prohibitum vs. malum in se.
Malum prohibitum (plural mala prohibita, literal translation: “wrong [as or because] prohibited”) is a Latin phrase used in law to refer to conduct that constitutes an unlawful act only by virtue of statute, as opposed to conduct evil in and of itself, or malum in se.
The proliferation of regulations in today’s America is ridiculous. It’s been estimated that the average Joe Taxpayer inadvertently commits 3 felonies a day simply going about his daily life. It is literally impossible to conduct your daily business in America without violating some obscure rule or regulation.
When it becomes impossible to conduct your daily business without running afoul of some rule or regulation, things are primed to get nasty. The current pile of US rules and regulations – that which is Malum Prohibitum – is over 26 feet high at this writing.
Example: All any cop has to do is follow you around – there’s nothing that says he or she can’t follow you around all day – and wait for you to make some minor traffic violation. Then “touch” the back of your vehicle with a tainted hand. Call in the drug dog – who will “alert” – then your car gets searched. Chances are, they’ll nail you for something – anything. And there’s literally nothing you can do about it.
I find it darkly funny when you see someone hauled up in front of a judge on “resisting arrest” charges.
The “resisting arrest” charge is the ONLY charge… was there an earlier charge that got dropped for some reason? Nope. Just the “resisting arrest” charge.
But… arrested for what? There has to be a reason justifying the arrest that the guy allegedly resisted. Otherwise, why arrest him? But, the lone “resisting arrest” charge stands and nobody thinks this is ludicrous? You know, because logic and reason?
Cops call it “just doing their job” and “I don’t make the law. I just enforce it.” and “If you don’t like the law, then change it”… whatever happened to discretion?
Example: Once upon a time, if a cop caught you and your buddies drinking beer down by the creek – beer you filched out of dad’s stash in the fridge – and you were underage, the cop would make you dump it out right there on the spot, then take you back to your parents and tell them what you did. Chances are, the Wrath of Dad, the embarrassment, etc, was enough and it never happened again.
Today? Jeesuz… you get some arschloch cop and your kid winds up in Juvenile Hall, Child Protective Services gets called, your parents get reamed – doesn’t matter if they had absolutely no clue you filched beer from the fridge – and you wind up in family court fighting to keep your own kids… and your kids get a smear on their record (that will be sealed, if they’re lucky), possibly expelled from school… meanwhile, you spend your kids’ college fund, drain your savings and mortgage the house to pay all the legal and lawyer fees….
THANKS Officer Safety!
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1