Six Laws That Were Great On Paper

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Six laws that were great on paper — and insane everywhere else:

6. Smoking Bans in Pubs and Bars Means More Drunk Driving
A study by researchers Scott Adams and Chad Cotti discovered that, when faced with smoking bans in bars near their homes, alcohol-drinking smokers would simply drive further to other jurisdictions where the bans weren’t in place. That also meant they had a longer drive home when they were potentially drunk off their asses. Adams and Cotti found that, on average, there was a 13 percent increase in drunk driving fatalities in areas that had instituted smoking bans.

5. Sex Offender Laws Make Them Harder to Track
Somebody took a map of Dubuque and drew 4,000-foot diameter circles around every “predator free” landmark in town. They quickly realized that with dozens of overlapping circles covering the entire city, there was literally no place that a sex offender could legally live.
Once everyone on the sex offender registry became basically homeless, a good number of them went underground and disappeared off the police radar altogether.

4. Fishing Restrictions Mean Smaller Fish
In one study, a batch of Atlantic Silversides were divided up between three tanks. In the first tank, 90 percent of the largest fish were culled; in the second, 90 percent of the smallest fish were culled; and in the third control tank, they culled fish at random. Counter-intuitively, it turned out that the second tank ended up having larger fish, over longer periods of time.

3. The Endangered Species Act Endangers Species
As luck would have it, an estimated 90 percent of all endangered species in the United States can be found on privately owned land. When an animal on the endangered species list is found living somewhere, the surrounding habitat is automatically protected right along with it, and any activity that might harm the animal must cease. If the Fish and Wildlife Agency identifies a particular area as home to a giant kangaroo rat, for example, then farmers are restricted from tilling the soil there. Timber companies can’t harvest trees.
Obviously the farmers weren’t exactly content to let the government put the needs of a rat, no matter how giant or kangaroo-like, above their livelihoods. If their land seemed like a suitable habitat for an endangered species, then the solution was obvious: Wreck the ever-loving shit out of the property to make it as unattractive to that animal as possible, kind of like keeping the refrigerator empty and never washing towels until your dickhead roommate moves out. Alternately, if they found an endangered species living on their property before the government did, then it was time to shoot, shovel and shut up. Kill the animal, bury it and never say a word to anyone. The endangered species list basically became a hit list for any animal that was on it.

2. Boxing Gloves Mean More Head Injuries
The only thing boxing gloves have reduced are the number of cuts and bruises, while significantly increasing the risk of brain damage and number of deaths. [...] Yes, it turns out boxing gloves have only made it easier to punch a guy square in the face with full force. While the glove protects the hand against injury, your opponent’s brain still has to deal with the full force of the blow, actually made worse by the added weight of the glove.

1. The Paperwork Reduction Act Does Nothing of the Sort
If a particular government agency wants to collect data from more than nine people they must apply for an Information Collection Requirement (ICR) from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). These ICR numbers have to be renewed every three years or, you guessed it, there are reams of reports to that have to be filed in order to update them.

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