Legislate by De-legislating

Perhaps it is an idea whose time has come. One example, I’ve been told, is from Kentucky. The story goes that Kentucky has a limit on the number of statutes on the books. When that limit is reached, an old statute must be repealed before a new one can be added.

I don’t know if that story is true; I’ve heard it from various sources all my life. I have tried to do due dilligence through a number ofl searches and have not been able to verify the Kentucky story. There are numerous comments from a vast number of sources that propose the same idea. It’s one method to limit government.

A story appeared today about a town in Colorado who has adopted the old Kentucky concept and is, in a fashion, implementing it. They are repealing bad, poorly written laws, one each month for a year. They are removing statutes that punish those who innocently violate these poorly written pieces of legislation. Some of these statutes appear to have been passed specifically to target a selected group or individuals.

Tiny Colorado city busy repealing laws during a ‘Year of Freedom’

Greg Campbell, 6:46 PM 08/12/2013

After a busy state legislative session, Glendale, Colo. — a one square-mile enclave of libertarianism surrounded by the city and county of Denver — has decided to focus on repealing laws rather than passing new ones.

During what Mayor Mike Dunafon has called the “Year of Freedom,” Glendale is revoking one vague, arcane or redundant law a month for 12 months.

The first law stricken from the books on June 4 criminalized the sale, transfer or possession of an “assault weapon,” which was vaguely defined in city code as a gun with a folding stock and a rate of fire greater than “reasonably necessary for legitimate sports, recreation or protection activities.”

Councilman Jeff Allen called it “a very bad law and badly needed to be revoked.”

The latest to land on the chopping block is one making it illtegal for minors to be in the same building as for-profit pool tables.

In an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation, Dunafon said the law — dating from the 1970s — could have been used to ruin the owner of a Glendale restaurant, who also runs an attached nightclub with pool tables. Every time a family with kids under 18 comes in for dinner, she’s committing a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

It’s a situation that could have been exploited, Dunafon said, by hypothetical unscrupulous developers who would rather run her out of business than buy out her lease.

“The basic idea is that all we do is excessively legislate,” Dunafon said. “We don’t ever take laws off the books.”

Continuing to outlaw things like minors near a pool table — Dunafon pointed out that even the YMCA has pool tables — creates a situation where “you have government as its worst,” he said. “It becomes then like a homeowners association. Guy across the street, he doesn’t like the color of your house, so he goes through the code book and makes you change the color of your house.”

Dunafon said too many elected officials forget that their jobs aren’t just about passing new laws.

“De-legislation is also legislation,” he said. “They don’t think in those terms. They just think of the next oppressive thing they’re going to do to the guy down the street. That’s really where the Year of Freedom came from. … Take this stuff off the books, clean it up and restore freedom to the people.”

The column continues on a second page on the website. Isn’t it wonderful, in progressive-tainted Colorado, that some intelligent thought still exists and there are elected officials who still aim to remove impediments in the lives of their constituents.

I challenge all our elected officials from our local city councils to our county, state and federal governments: Examine the books for outmoded, poorly written or malicious statutes that target specific groups and repeal them.

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