Twenty years ago, none of us would have ever guessed that lawn care would become a law enforcement issue. Now while those of us in my Texas town worry about getting in trouble for watering our grass too often or on the wrong day, a 70-year-old woman in Orem, Utah has been arrested for not watering her grass often enough (http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=1444771). Seems you just can’t win.
I’m sorry, but as a former cop and a current taxpayer, I really think our police have more important things to do than rounding up the elderly for criminal negligence in regard to their yards. Yes, I know all about the broken windows theory – but I only buy it up to a point.
This story illustrates just how ridiculous our laws have become. Now, it does have a somewhat happy ending: the woman was released and the officer who made the arrest was placed on administrative leave. But it’s not the cops enforcing these stupid laws who are the real problem – it’s the elected officials who make such laws in the first place.
Legislators gone wild is a real and growing problem in this (and other) countries. Ordinary citizens can’t even keep up with what is and isn’t illegal anymore. It used to be pretty easy to live your life as a law abiding citizen. Now it’s becoming almost impossible to go through everyday life without breaking some obscure law or another.
And, perhaps worst of all, it’s breeding disrespect for the law in general and for the police and the rest of the justice system.
Let’s lay off the lawn enforcement and similar petty offenses and focus on the real and dangerous criminals who are running loose in our society – instead of continuing to make laws that turn good people into "criminals" themselves.