Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

June 28, 2013

States should be free to govern themselves

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I don’t like being told what to do. I live life by my own rules and I answer to no one but myself. I like it that way. 

I also have no need to tell others what to do. If your morals differ from mine, have a blast — as long as whatever you’re doing isn’t hurting me, who am I to complain?

The United States were founded on these basic principals: You do your thing and I’ll do mine. And as long as your thing doesn’t hurt my thing, I’ll leave you be. 

It’s a standard tenet of freedom. It’s libertarianism in it’s purest form. It’s not anarchy. Anarchy doesn’t care if your thing hurts my thing. Anarchy is survival of the fittest at the expense of the meek. Libertarianism not only allows for, but promotes certain protections against the chaos that anarchy brings.

Back up a minute. Please note that I said “The United States were founded.” Not “was” founded. 

See, people seem to forget that in the rest of the world, “state” and “nation” mean the same thing. We’re supposed to be 50 little countries with our own identities and customs who come together in times of need and have each others’ backs. 

But more and more the states have become nothing more than a bureaucratic arm of the federal government. Washington D.C. is the end-all-be-all and states have to ask permission to use the restroom — figuratively speaking, of course.

An example is the recent ruling by the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law enacted during the Clinton administration that allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other states.

Before I get into this, I’ll remind you that I am an ardent supporter of same-sex marriages. 

That said, the state of Texas — for example — is not required to allow licensed New York State drivers to drive on their roads. They do, mind you. But that could change tomorrow if they get a glimpse at how some of the idiots up here drive. 

Sticking with driving, different states have different speed limits. Different states have different vehicle inspection requirements, emissions standards, etc. And if you’re in Texas, you have to follow Texas law even if you’re from New York. 

Why then should Texas be forced to recognize your New York State marriage? Gay or straight? 

If you’re licensed to carry a gun in one state, that license doesn’t carry over if you move to a new state. You need to get a new one. And if your new state doesn’t allow that particular type of gun, you’re S.O.L., if you know what I mean. 

Same goes with dogs. There are some states where certain breeds are banned. 

I own a pet hedgehog. Legal in New York. Illegal in Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii and Pennsylvania. And there’s no reason to make a federal case of it — pun intended.

My thought is that if you don’t like the laws in a certain state, don’t move there. Stay with like-minded people and let other like-minded people comfort themselves. 

Please don’t make the slavery argument against me. Owning people is wrong on any level. It’s not “immoral.” It’s just WRONG. It isn’t a states’ rights issue. And it gets back to “your thing” interfering with “my thing.” And as much as I support same-sex marriage, there is no comparison. 

Scott Leffler and his hedgehog live in beautiful Lockport, New York with his two daughters. Follow him on twitter @scottleffler.