Take Eddie Leroy Anderson, a retired logger from Idaho whose only crime was loaning his son “some tools to dig for arrowheads near a favorite campground of theirs,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Anderson and his son found no arrowheads, but because they were unknowingly on federal land at the time they were judged to be in violation of an obscure Carter-era law called the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.
The government showed no mercy. Wendy Olson, the Obama appointee prosecuting the case, saw to it that father and son were fined $1,500 apiece and each sentenced to a year’s probation. “Folks do need to pay attention to where they are,” she said.
Statutory law in America has expanded to the point that government’s primary activity is no longer to protect, preserve and defend our lives, liberty and property, but rather to stalk and entrap normal American citizens doing everyday things.
After identifying three federal offenses in the U.S. Constitution — treason, piracy and counterfeiting — the federal government left most matters of law enforcement to the states. By the time President Obama took office in 2009, however, there were more than 4,500 federal criminal statutes on the books.
“Too many people in Washington seem to think that the more laws Congress enacts, the better the job performance of the policymakers,” Lynch notes. “That’s twisted.”