Observant readers should have noticed that law-abiding is always in parentheses in my earlier post. That’s because I don’t really like the term, and only use it to make a point about the term.

“Law-abiding” doesn’t mean “honest and peaceable.”

“Law-abiding” means you are compliant with every law; whether it’s sensible or irrational, or even it it’s destructive. Even if you were unaware of the law.

Law-abiding,” for instance, means you never dug a hole or tilled a garden without informing the relevant notification authority and waiting for strangers to come onto your property and paint the ground. If you have, you aren’t “law-abiding;” you may be an unconvicted felon. Law-abiding” means you never popped the flow restricter out of a shower head, or installed a toilet that hold “too much” water. “Law-abiding” means you never coasted through a stop sign because there was no other traffic.

“Law-abiding” means you’ll never be anonymously accused other potentially committing a crime in the future.


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2A advocate, writer, firearms policy & law analyst, general observer of pre-apocalyptic American life.

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