Friday, November 22, 2013

The Need for Regulations

I think everyone recognizes that far too many things are being regulated these days. Everytime someone does something, there is a call for some kind of legislation to ensure that behaviour is acceptable by the rest of the population. 

This is reaching extreme proportions. Yesterday, I was assailed by a woman who opened her door to shout at me that my dog defecating on the grass was illegal and she would report me. I replied it is not illegal, trust me, I was served with a notice prompted by this woman some months ago so I now know the law.

She shouted again that she would report me again, so that is how I know who reported me in the first place. I had said to the Animal Control officer that, if she would simply tell me to keep my dog off her property, I would.  But the woman didn't have the guts to simply confront me, she had to resort to someone who represented "the law".

The incident is unimportant, but I think it is telling in how we deal with people we don't like or behaviour that we find unacceptable. We call for legislation.

Last night, on the Michael Coren show on Sun TV, a reporter told how the city of Vancouver is banning doorknobs. No kidding, they are banning doorknobs and people must replace knobs with lever-type handles. Supposedly, this will be easier for people with arthritis. Who knew that doorknobs were such a problem?

You know what I think, well maybe you don't care what I think. But I will tell you anyway because this is really bugging me. I think that we are legislating every detail in our lives, to the same degree that we are giving license to every sexual behaviour.

Yes, I know that probably seems a stretch to relate those two things - doorknobs and sex. But think about it. What is the one area of our lives that people say there should be no laws?  Sexual activity. The only area left untouched at this point is pedophilia, but there are even efforts to remove that taboo.

People want absolutely no restrictions on their sexual behaviour. And most people do pretty much what they want. As the recent surge in the number of chlamydia cases in girls aged 16-24 testifies. But people need restrictions; most of us function better when we have boundaries; most of us want boundaries.  But the present consensus that no one should restrict my sexual activity gives rise to the need to have boundaries somewhere else.

And so we have this crazy need to legislate everything. Keeping my dog from walking on your lawn, changing doorknobs to lever handles, is there anything that won't be legislated?  What happened to plain old common sense and to giving people the thumbs-up that they really can run their own lives sensibly? Those went out the window when we gave our moral lives complete free rein.

If we can't control our morality, then we will control absolutely everything else, even the most trivial of things. It makes us feel better about the real crap we are messing around in.

PS - My daughter emailed to say that I should clarify something.  Someone might think that I am letting my dog defecate on people's property.  That is not the case. Haligonians always pick up doggie doo, in fact this city is rather good in that area.  So this lady's problem is not with that, she objects to the dog even walking on her property. 

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