Vail Daily letter: Drenched in laws |

Vail Daily letter: Drenched in laws

Fredric Butler
Vail, CO, Colorado

It was written that the number of laws relating to crimes and handed down to Moses was 10, and those were manifested in 10 pages (tablets). In the archives of the federal government, it is estimated that there are about 5,000 statutory laws relating to criminal behavior, and of that count no one really knows for sure, as they are reposed in 50 separate titles of around 65,000 pages.

Beyond these tomes are the federal criminal regulations that have been manufactured, hatched or promulgated by the various federal agencies. These number anywhere from between 10,000 and 300,000. Again, no one knows for sure, since they are contained in about 165,000 pages of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Not taking into account the 16,000 new IRS officers established by the Affordable Health Care enactment and there are around 138,000 federal law enforcement officers tasked to administer and enforce these federal statutes and regulations.

In addition to federal law, Colorado residents suffer the oppressive burden of state statutes, regulations and ordinances that have been fomented by the Legislature (statutes), state regulatory agencies (regulations), the county of Eagle (ordinances), and whatever municipality (ordinances) that may have jurisdiction over you at the moment.

Again, these criminal proscriptions are too numerous and convoluted to compile for this letter to the editor. Needless to say, at any moment in time, the number remains a mystery and ephemeral. What, with the State Patrol, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, district attorneys’ investigators, county sheriff’s and municipal police personnel, enforcement of these state and local laws are well-prosecuted.

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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Does all of this make you, the citizen, feel really protected? It is humanly impossible for any American to have digested and become cognizant of all these laws and regulations, whether he be a layman, police officer, attorney or judge. If you accept that premise, then you come to realize that one of the great fictions and charades of our system of jurisprudence is the myth that “ignorance is no defense of the law.”

The consequences or effects of this ignorance are applied discriminatorily and unequally between the private citizen and those public officials seeking to enforce the law (even if they are unaware of it) because of another judicial fiction – sovereign immunity! As a member of a law enforcement agency, one is not accountable for his violation of another’s civil rights no matter the degree of injury. Owing to these fictions, can it be said that we are protected by the law, that we have civil and constitutional rights, that all men are created equally or that we are free?

If the private individual or citizen can come to realize that he does live in a world of political and legal fantasy, then he will develop the tolerance to accept the result of an election that is partly corrupt, mostly a fantasy and completely the result of illiteracy. Fantasy is soothing to the soul!

Fredric Butler


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