There ought to be a law about new laws

In 2017, the Georgia Legislature thought it was a good idea to let college students carry concealed weapons to class. (Cory Hancock for The AJC)

Credit: George Mathis

caption arrowCaption
In 2017, the Georgia Legislature thought it was a good idea to let college students carry concealed weapons to class. (Cory Hancock for The AJC)

Credit: George Mathis

Credit: George Mathis

I don't watch a lot of sports, but when I do it seems Georgia teams exist solely to make other teams look good.

The same might be said of the Georgia Legislature.

You'd think after 230 years we'd have enough state laws, but no. Like the emergence of mosquitoes from stagnant cultural backwaters, pesky politicians annually swarm Atlanta to create new laws intent on sucking our blood or embarrassing us further.

Wherever you travel in the U.S., you are bound to find conspiracy theorist who thinks the government wants to put tracking devices in our bodies. In Georgia, we make these people our leaders.

Indeed, in 2010 the Senate, by a 47-2 vote , approved a bill making it illegal to force people to get microchips implanted in their bodies. It never became law, which may explain that beeping noise you hear in your head every time you ponder the vicissitudes of representative democracy.

Politicians who promise "less government" are keenly interested in the most intimate details of our lives.

A couple of years ago there was an attempt to create a "religious liberty" law that would have provided legal cover to those who use religion to discriminate against homosexuals.

Gov. Nathan Deal took some heat, but he vetoed it . And he slammed the door on the idea when his ideological brethren attempted a revival in 2017.

This year politicians want a law that requires doctors to advise girls on the "risk" of using tampons .

I've never been elected to high office, but I think any law that can be replaced with a YouTube video or a conversation with your mother is probably unnecessary.

What evidence do we have that laws even work?

Murder is illegal, but AJC crime reporters seem plenty busy.

Georgia passed a "no texting while driving" law in 2010 , and police have written a lot of $150 tickets, but I'd wager more people text while driving now than ever.

Georgia’s "Secondary Metal Recycling" law took effect in 2012 with the aim of reducing people from stealing copper pipes and manhole covers.

Recently, a group of heavy metal bandits stole 1,000 pounds of bronze statues and plaques from the Walk of Heroes War Veterans Memorial in Conyers. The metal was worth an estimated $3,000, but it may cost $200,000 to repair the damages.

Georgia's anti-sodomy law, enacted in 1833, criminalized oral and anal sex between consenting adults. The law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986.

In 1991 Georgia Attorney General Michael Bowers rescinded a job offer to a lawyer after learning she was a lesbian, saying his office's ability to enforce state laws would be compromised by hiring someone who, he assumed, was breaking the sodomy statute.

Georgia's Supreme Court struck the state sodomy law in 1998 . In 2003, the Supreme Court reversed its 1986 decision, invalidating remaining anti-sodomy laws in 14 mostly Southern states.

I've not done much personal research on this, but I'm pretty sure laws aren't what consenting adults think about before having sex. At least I hope not.

Clearly we need some law and order, but maybe this year instead of creating new laws the Georgia Legislature should delete the embarrassing ones and revise those that aren't working.

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