The result of overcriminalization is that prosecutors no longer need to wait for obvious signs of a crime. Instead of finding Professor Plum dead in the conservatory and launching an investigation, authorities can instead start an investigation of Colonel Mustard as soon as someone has suggested he is a shady character. And since … everyone is a criminal if prosecutors look hard enough, they are guaranteed to find something eventually.
Overcriminalization has thus left us in a peculiar place: Though people suspected of a crime have extensive due process rights in dealing with the police, and people charged with a crime have even more extensive due process rights in court, the actual decision of whether or not to charge a person with a crime is almost completely unconstrained.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Columbia Law Review: Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything Is a Crime
[This would appear to be the goal of those that wish to “prevent gun violence”. Government prevents there being a victim by prosecuting people for victimless crimes. An example is the prosecution of people for being in possession of gun in addition to prosecution of people who injure innocent people with a gun.
This makes a certain amount of sense but only if there is no value to the victimless act being prosecuted. The prosecution of severely drunk drivers has little downside because driving while drunk has a high risk of injuring innocent people with very rare benefits.
Even if firearm possession is legal the more laws there are regulating the possession of firearms all the better it is for government to “prevent gun violence”. When Huffman’s Rule of Firearms Law results in nearly every gun owner at risk for decades of prison time, without a single victim, we have serious potential for abuse and even a police state.
In order to claim prosecution of gun ownership is a net benefit one must demonstrate gun ownership has little value to society and/or a large societal cost. Small minds will present an argument of vigorous assertion that this is true. But a more compelling argument can be made that thoughts are more dangerous than guns. For example The Communist Manifesto and some religious books have been used as tools to kill and injure far more innocent people than firearms in the hands of private citizens.
The concept of “preventing crime” is a very risky and dangerous path to tread. We are already too far down this path and we should reverse course rather than continue to, what I fear is, a genocidal conclusion.—Joe]