A Nation Of 300,000,000 Criminals

HERE IS A FRIGHTENING LOOK at ourselves, recently published in the Washington Times by reporter Brian W. Walsh, detailing the horrors of overcriminalization and the government's rush to prosecute Americans for minor offenses. Kathy and George Norris were quiet, industrious Americans whose only crime was to not have the proper paperwork on a specific number of orchids they purchased overseas in their small orchid supply business.

Bill Ayers

Bill Ayers

"You don't need to know. You can't know." Those are the words Kathy Norris, a 60-year-old grandmother of eight, heard when pursuing court officials the day after federal agents had subjected her home to a furious search. The agents, six of them, wearing SWAT gear and carrying weapons, were with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, spent half a day ransacking the Norris home in Spring, Texas. No questions were answered while they emptied file cabinets, pulled books off shelves, rifled through drawers and closets, and threw the contents on the floor.

This particular American nightmare began with the search in October 2003 only officially ended when Mr. Norris was released from federal supervision in December 2008 after two years in the slammer, 71 years old, unnerved, a mere ghost of his former self.

Two Congressman, Chairman Robert C. Scott, D-VA, and ranking member Louie Gohmert, R-TX, conducted a truly bipartisan hearing in Washington earlier this year, giving voice to the increasing number of Americans who worry about this sort of "overcriminalization."

We wish this hearing well. This type of heavy-handed prosecution is no way for a great nation to behave. We will strongly resemble a corrupt, broken nation if this level of law enforcement against ordinary citizens is allowed to persist. How long before we regain our composure, our faith, our honesty, our compassion, our sense that we are a nation of reasonable men and women, and not merely a land of hidden laws, information and thug antics...

And yet we coddle so many others who thumb their noses at America herself...

Read it all.


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