Just As I Thought

A commonwealth of scofflaws

Spurred on by the story of a couple of guys who are visiting the US to break some of our more… well, stupid laws, I looked up the laws in Virginia. You know, my home state, where lawmakers recently tried to outlaw wearing low-riding pants? Well, here are some of the laws that did make it to the books here, laws that we quite probably all in violation of:

  • Not only is it illegal to have sex with the lights on, one may not have sex in any position other than missionary.
  • If one is not married, it is illegal for him to have sexual relations.
  • Citizens must honk their horn while passing other cars.
  • Children are not to go trick-or-treating on Halloween.
  • In the city of Dayton, a person of color may not be outside or within the city limits after 7 pm.
  • In Norfolk, women must wear a corsette after sundown and be in the company of male chaperone.
  • In Stafford County, it is legal for a man to beat his wife on the courthouse steps so long as it is before 8:00 pm.

Scarier still are some Federal laws:

  • A US citizen can take possession of any foreign, uninhabited island, as long as it contains bird droppings
  • To be a dominatrix is illegal.

Now, that last one is very interesting. It’s an abstraction based on the text of the law, which is:

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 113C > Sec. 2340A.

Sec. 2340A. – Torture

(a) Offense. – Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

(b) Jurisdiction. – There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if –

(1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or

(2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender

Well. Wouldn’t Donald Rumsfeld be interested in reading that specific section of the US Code? Hmm?

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