Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Prejudice vs. Legal Line Drawing

If you assume all blacks are criminals because of the actions of a few black criminals, we call it prejudice and everyone (with a very few lunatic fringe exceptions) decries it.  But what about laws that discriminate based on age, or mental illness history?  Because many aged 18-20 do stupid things while drunk, we ban a fair number of responsible 18-20 year olds from drinking.  There are probably some 13 year olds who can be trusted to drive (and a few 40 year olds who can't be trusted).  Not everyone under 18 is incompetent to make their own decisions about contracts and handgun purchases.  Most people with mental health histories are no danger to others or themselves, but national law and many state laws prohibit possession of firearms or ammunition.

At what point do these laws that discriminate based on misbehavior by a tiny minority of a group qualify as lawful and sensible?  Discuss.

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