Social Question

Facade's avatar

Are you a law-abiding citizen?

Asked by Facade (22847 points ) May 25th, 2010

We are told that laws (federal, state, etc.) are put into place for our own good, but sometimes, they just don’t make sense, or are clearly only for the good of “the man.”

Do always follow the law, or is your compliance dictated by what you feel is right?
Mind giving some examples?

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79 Answers

OpryLeigh's avatar

For the most part I follow the law. I have exceeded the speed limit (driving) on a few occassions but that is more from lapse of concentration than deliberately breaking the law. I can see the sense in most laws and so I try to respect them.

CaptainHarley's avatar

The only time when it’s acceptable to disobey a law is when it is clearly unconstitutional, and even then you should be willing to accept the consequences of doing so.

Seek's avatar

I generally follow the law.

Even speed limits.

I am sure there are some laws I don’t agree with and don’t follow, but I couldn’t consciously name them. I suppose there’s the gray area of being aware of people using illegal substances and not reporting them, but I don’t feel it’s my responsibility to do so.

Cruiser's avatar

I do jay walk, admit to downloading a song or two, I push the speed limit to keep up with traffic and other than that no need get too crazy.

CMaz's avatar

I plead the 5th.

ragingloli's avatar

I do what I want ‘cause a Pirate is free. I am a Pirate. Yarr harr fiddle dee dee.

Nullo's avatar

I tend to obey the laws.

liminal's avatar

I tend to follow laws by default because they tend not to be in conflict with how I live. Yet, sometimes, my inner rebel starts to emerge when faced with laws. The irony is that I have worked in the criminal justice system around 20 years. But, put up a sign that states “Do Not Cross This Line” and my toe aches to cross it, even if just a little bit.

When I think about outdated and dumb laws I get tempted to go on a crime spree. For example, I want to go to texas and buy sex toys.

Silhouette's avatar

No, I don’t. I break laws all the time. I walk my dogs on state land, the no trespassing signs are everywhere, I ignore them. I don’t stop at the stop sign posted at the intersection of bum fuck Egypt and nowhere. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve tossed a half eaten apple out the window, is it still littering if something can eat it?

No, I don’t obey the laws of my state, once, I even had anal sex, I didn’t like it and felt the crime had built in punishment.

perspicacious's avatar

Yes, I admit it.

Pandora's avatar

I was till I got a speeding ticket last week by accident. I had just turned the corner on the only road near me that drops to 25 and forgot to mind my speed. My first ticket ever. I feel so sad. :(

tinyfaery's avatar

I only follow the laws I agree with; laws that are truly for my own well being.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@tinyfaery

And therein lies a major part of the problem: self-centered disrespect for the law.

tinyfaery's avatar

Yeah. I have little respect for our criminal justice (oxymoron) system. I am a better citizen than most cops and lawyers I know.

Facade's avatar

@Pandora My first and only speeding ticket was also bullshit. Sucks.

@CaptainHarley “Self-centered disrespect”? I disagree. More like thinking for yourself.

BoBo1946's avatar

Like most everyone, don’t always come to a complete stop at all stop signs, don’t always go the speed limit etc.. That is my story on laws!

jfos's avatar

I routinely exceed the speed limit. Half of my movies were not purchased. Sometimes I make U-turns where there are “No U-turn” signs, as long as the coast is clear.

I don’t litter though. @Silhouette mentioned throwing a half-eaten apple out of her car. I don’t consider that littering. But as for real trash, I don’t litter.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I suddenly feel very boring. I don’t even speed.

Jack79's avatar

No, not at all. I have my own moral code, which in fact is a lot stricter than most legal systems in many respects (even samurais might have a hard time following it), but it’s not always law-abiding, especially when it comes to traffic laws. I hardly ever wear a seatbelt in the city, but the logic is that I’m not harming anyone this way. And I’ll park wherever makes sense, which means I’d rather park on a pavement as long as it’s not in someone’s way than at a perfectly legal parking spot that I know would be needed more by a neighbour with a lot of shopping to carry.

Blackberry's avatar

I break small laws simply because I can. My favorite thing to do is a rolling stop. At some roads that are flat where you can see if the coast is clear before you stop, there’s no reason to stop at those. Then of course I speed, and don’t use my signal when there are only two cars on the road etc.

BoBo1946's avatar

removed by self!

Michael_Huntington's avatar

If you consider downloading albums off the internet as breaking the law, then I guess I am not a law abiding citizen. I don’t give a fuck.

DominicX's avatar

I’ve been drinking underage for a while now. That’s really the only law I break. And every now and then I download music illegally. :)

Scooby's avatar

For the most part ‘Yes’ :-/
I have also been known to do my own thing, take the law in to my own hands! as they say!! :-/
well, Im not waiting all day for the Law to show up…

ragingloli's avatar

@DominicX
And every now and then I download music illegally. :)
But you are rich!

DominicX's avatar

@ragingloli

Hey, the only time I download music illegally is when it’s obscure foreign music that I can’t find on iTunes. :)

tranquilsea's avatar

I am basically law abiding, more so than my husband is. I obey traffic laws and most civic laws. I won’t walk my dog in areas where dogs are not allowed, but my husband will.

I believe that if you feel that a law is obsolete or needs to be changed, then you should work to have it taken off the books or change it.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Facade

Where “thinking for yourself” comes into the picture is during the run-up to elections, when you have the option of supporting a prospective candidate or even running for office yourself. After elections, thoe elected start passing/amending laws. When the laws are passed, you can still think for yourself, but your actions are limited by the laws passed.

As I stated above, the only exceptions to this are laws which are clearly in contravention to the Constitution, and even then, you must be willing to pay the price for civil disobedience.

chels's avatar

I do what I feel is right.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Obey a few, break a few…it all depends on how crampy I am ;)

susanc's avatar

I don’t get building permits.

arpinum's avatar

I don’t believe the people who say they don’t break the law. Reason: there are so many laws on the book. No one knows all of them, and most probably know a small fraction of them. If the government wanted, they could follow you for a week and find something illegal, even if you are trying to be on your best behaviour.
Police can find a violation on almost anyone’s car if they look for a few minutes.

Blackberry's avatar

@arpinum Indeed, and even with rules everyone knows about, for example with driving, these people I am sure go at least 1 mph over the speed limit.

YARNLADY's avatar

I am a huge proponent of following the law, and I live what I preach. A while back I asked a question on here about whether people pick and choose which laws they want to follow and I was appalled at the overwhelming majority of people who said they do. Most of them were the biggest complainers about the state of the country today – duh!

downtide's avatar

I generally obey the laws of my country, even if I disagree with them, because I have too much to lose if I don’t.

I never exceed the speed limit because I can’t walk that fast (I don’t drive at all).

The only law I’ve knowingly and deliberately broken is the one about not smoking Cannabis… O.o

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Yes, and I think I shouldn’t be such a goodie-goodie. I think now I am going to make some changes and show another side of me!!!!! I am tired of being so good!

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’m a military policeman so it’s safe to say that I am a law abiding citizen.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@YARNLADY

I agree. It seems that those who complain the loudest, and who think the government owes them a living, are also the ones who flout the law and then giggle about it.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

If laws make sense to me and follow my own moral guidelines, I follow them. If they don’t, I don’t.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I hope for your sake that most of the more serious laws follow your personal guidelines. Otherwise let me know in which prison you wind up and I’ll visit when I get the chance. : )

YARNLADY's avatar

@CaptainHarley For once I agree with you. I know people who believe laws are just for stupid or weak people, and their only guide is take what ever they can get.

Facade's avatar

Age seems to be a factor here for whatever reason…

Blackberry's avatar

@Facade I know what you mean, were you thinking for the same that I am maybe?

tinyfaery's avatar

It will just be us soon.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Just about the only thing that holds this Country together is the rule of law. Take that away and virtual anarchy would prevail.

@tinyfaery God help us all!

CaptainHarley's avatar

I would think that Blackberry would understand how it feels to be on the recieving end of prejudice, but I guess agism is ok since there are older people of every race, yes? : )

YARNLADY's avatar

@CaptainHarley I’m not sure it’s ageism, but more like the young person believes every other one agrees with them. In fact, most of the young people I know are all as law abiding as possible.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@YARNLADY

Shhhhh! ( I’m trying to get them all worked up! ) LOL!

Blackberry's avatar

@CaptainHarley Any ism is not Ok in my book. I give the older crowd the most respect out of all the crowds, I just simply just get frustrated with their driving tactics at times lol.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Blackberry I take it you have ended up behind me – Mrs Drive 55 Alive – herself.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I bought a 1970 Boss 302 Mustang after I got back from Vietnam. I had it balanced and blueprinted, put in an almost square camshaft, torsion bars, JR Headers, etc. It would pull the front wheels about 3 inches off the ground when I side-stepped the clutch at 7,000 RMP! I loved that car, but I got rid of it when I got married the first time. Turns out I should have kept the car! Heh!

No, I have not always been a “law-abiding citizen!” : D

arpinum's avatar

Some laws I have broken:
I transported house plants across state lines, fruits as well, without inspection
I printed out a Dilbert cartoon
I transformed a song into a ringtone
I’m using an extension cord for non-temporary use
I’ve fixed plumbing without having the necessary license
I use my car key as a hold clip on the gas pump in states that forbid clips
I’ve transported an unrestrained animal in my car
I’ve logged into wifi networks without express permission
I had an opposite sex housemate without being married to them
I drive without shoes on
I’ve done things with the lights on
I failed to report and pay sales tax on goods purchased online

these are the ones I know of. There are most likely many more

Blackberry's avatar

@YARNLADY That is a pretty smart organization there, I wonder if they could bump it up to 60 lol?

@CaptainHarley That is awesome, my girlfriends dad had something similar except it was a Torino, he also sold it when he got married lol.

YARNLADY's avatar

@arpinum did you ever spit in a public place? Ooooooo Noooooo
@Blackberry 60 is a good driving speed for Astronauts and Air Force Pilots, 55 for the rest of us.

arpinum's avatar

@YARNLADY yes, but in the bushes, I don’t think thats illegal. Again, proving my point
@CaptainHarley I thought the Boss had a rev limiter set to 6150, did you really get it up to 7000?

SeventhSense's avatar

I cut the tags off my mattress.

arpinum's avatar

Oh, almost forgot, held up a liquor store and smacked my grandmother in the face.

YARNLADY's avatar

@SeventhSense You are the consumer – the law only applies to the dealer.

SeventhSense's avatar

Naaa I’m a fugitive now. I roam the land with a futon as my companion.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Many laws are designed as a sort of tax collection, i.e. Speed traps.

Nullo's avatar

I promised myself once that if obeying the law required me to go against my principles, I’d find a way to avoid the law.
Fortunately, I haven’t yet had to test my resolve in this regard.

@CaptainHarley Don’t look now, but Fluther’s practically swimming in prejudice.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@arpinum Not that I was ever aware of. I missed the 2–3 shift once while speed-shifting and the tacometer hit about 9,000 before I got my foot off the gas. 7,000 was the “official” redline on the car as best I can remember. It’s been a number of years, so I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. : )

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Nullo LOL! TELL me about it! : D

@YARNLADY Speed limits here in Texas on the open roads are 70 MPH. On my Harley, I take full advantage of that. : ))

Nullo's avatar

@CaptainHarley * roffles quietly at the thought of a taco meter *

BoBo1946's avatar

just one last comment on the law..certainly respect the law and those who apply the law. After all, we live in the best country on “God’s green Earth!” It is not perfect, but damn good!

ragingloli's avatar

@BoBo1946 you do not live in Germany

BoBo1946's avatar

@ragingloli got’cha…understood!

arpinum's avatar

@CaptainHarley Only the Can-Am racing Boss 302s could get up to 9,000 rpm. That must have been one badass car.

SeventhSense's avatar

@ragingloli
Germans harumph…you guys don’t even have proper supermarkets. Ok you can build a car but… not a real truck.
Don’t even get me started on the porn…
@Bobo
What do you mean understood. Who do you think helped them rebuild their shattered economy after WW2?

CaptainHarley's avatar

@arpinum Well, as I said, it’s been quite a number of years and I could be wrong, but I DO know that factory “redline” on the car was 7,000 RPM. : ))

CaptainHarley's avatar

LOL! Nahhh. Concealed carry hadn’t yet be introduced for civilians! : D

SeventhSense's avatar

You didn’t a weapon with that beast. It was obviously armed.

ragingloli's avatar

@SeventhSense
Huh? Our supermarkets are all over the place. Sometimes competitors are right next to each other, and our food prices are the lowest in all of Europe. Just because we do not decorate them with fancy tinsel does not mean they are not ‘proper’ supermarkets. On the contrary, no frills is the way to go.

“Ok you can build a car but… not a real truck.”
We make the best cars, and also, Scania and MAN, mofo!

SeventhSense's avatar

This is a truck
This is a bus without seats.

ragingloli's avatar

The second is the contemporary design. The former is a quaint attempt at clinging to a prehistoric visual style.

SeventhSense's avatar

Whatever
Whatever
We created trucks to cover ground and move commerce and they do that like none other. The USA wrote the book.
That prehistoric primitive look holds an engine like no other.

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