Let freedom ring; pass fewer laws

July 3, 2014

As our nation continues to age and mature, evolve and adapt, and change, it’s important to celebrate those core values of independence and freedom that led waves of people seeking them to come to this new land more than 300 years ago.

When the people who framed the Constitution decided they needed to add amendments, the first one Congress passed pointed a finger at itself, and started it with such a sweet little phrase: “Congress shall pass no law ... .” That first amendment, of course, goes on to guarantee our freedoms of speech and assembly and press, and our freedom to worship - or not - as we choose.

But isn’t that nice? “Congress shall pass no law ... .” Let’s hear it for fewer laws. The fewer laws we have, the fewer lawbreakers there will be.

In Delaware, the fireworks that put magic into our night skies and celebrate our independence also mark the end of the annual legislative session. Hallelujah. When out of session they can’t pass more laws.

It’s been a quiet session this year. A tight budget kept committees focused on using our tax dollars carefully and fairly. This being an election year, and many groups still steadily ringing the no-new-taxes bell, Gov. Jack Markell’s attempts to raise funds for more transportation infrastructure and cleaning up our polluted rivers found almost no friends in the General Assembly.

But the discussion has begun and will continue next year after the dust of the election has settled.

One bill that was moving in the right direction would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. This one is way past due. The current law makes criminals out of people who are not. It’s a law that restricts our freedom and independence.

It made it out of committee this year, but that’s about it.  Maybe next year good sense will prevail.

A legislative session with few new laws, or even better, reversing some that shouldn’t be on the books, is a good legislative session.

Let freedom ring!

  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Nick Roth, sports editor.

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