Today’s Really Stupid Law
Here it is:
A recent raid on a cockfight in Pickens County that resulted in 33 arrests suggests that this barbaric sport is alive and well in west Alabama.
Coincidentally, the raid, which occurred a little over a week ago, comes when a bill is pending in Congress that would make it more difficult to stage animal fights. We urge our elected officials to support the legislation.
Officials who raided the Pickens County operation said a cockfight was in progress in a wooden outdoor pit. There were at least 11 dead roosters and hundreds of live roosters at the site, said Sheriff David Abston.
The suspects were charged with misdemeanor counts of gambling, cockfighting and illegal possession of alcohol. The state penalty for cockfighting is a maximum fine of $50 — not much of a deterrent to the weekend entrepreneurs who make hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in the illicit activity.
The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, pending in Congress, could help curb the cockfights, particularly those like the one in Pickens, which drew participants from east Mississippi.
U.S. Rep. Artur Davis is a co-sponsor of the legislation. Its main feature would increase the penalties for interstate transportation of an animal for a fighting venture from a misdemeanor to a felony. People convicted under the statute could be fined or imprisoned for up to three years or both.
Shame on Artur Davis for putting his name on this ridiculously unnecessary expansion of federal powers.
First of all, why cockfighting is a crime at all is beyond me. Is it something nice? No. Something I would ever do? No. But the only suffering is by a bunch of stupid roosters. And what’s gonna happen to these roosters after Johnny Law busts up the fights? They’ll be killed. So why not let them go out in a blaze of glory? Anyway, I sure hope no-one who opposes cockfighting eats chicken, because what happens to the Colonel’s best prior to the application of his secret recipe of herbs and spices would be called tortuous by even John Yoo.
Second, even granting the criminality of cockfighting, no-way this is a federal issue. How do cockfights in Alabama effect interstate commerce? I want a real answer, not a Wickard v. Filburn answer.
This is the ultimate example of the unthinking use of the criminal law as a means of social regulation. “Ewww, I don’t like that. Let’s make it a felony.” Crimes ought to be reserved for more serious issues.