I'm not really all that mysterious

Legislating Morality

One of the more disingenuous arguments against gun regulation is that laws don’t prevent crime, therefore they are useless.

As Jim Wright points out, the purpose of law is not necessarily to prevent crime, but to give victims and society explicit recourse against transgressors.

One form this argument also takes it the idea that we “cannot legislate morality”. This is true, but MLK, Jr. also says:

Now the other myth that gets around is the idea that legislation cannot really solve the problem and that it has no great role to play in this period of social change because you’ve got to change the heart and you can’t change the heart through legislation. You can’t legislate morals. The job must be done through education and religion. Well, there’s half‐truth involved here. Certainly, if the problem is to be solved then in the final sense, hearts must be changed. Religion and education must play a great role in changing the heart. But we must go on to say that while it may be true that morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated. It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless.

Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963 Western Michigan University speech

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