March 2, 2009
A Rule of Law
One of the basic principles of making laws is that if the law contradicts cultural norms or human nature it will be an unenforceable joke. It's too bad the city council will doubtless make a mockery of this rule of law on Tuesday by approving the anti-scavenging ordinance, yet another ordinance that contradicts human nature. This will only diminish respect for the laws that already exist.
Of course, many people who believe emotional reflexes are actual rational thinking will support the council's expected reflex approval. But people who are hungry, tired, and more or less desperate, are always going to heed their survival instincts rather than a foolish law based on wishful thinking and fear of an unlikely event.
If Sacramento's laws allow cops to evict homeless people from their cars just because the registration is expired, or allow repo companies to trash perfectly useful items that have been left behind by former homeowners who have been foreclosed and evicted, then it is only poetic justice for those who still have houses to get ripped off too.
If we allow these injustices to continue to injure other Sacramentans, we deserve the karma of victimization that this ineffective ordinance is designed to look like it will prevent.