29th August 2011
It’s not enough to know that the body of your old guitar is made of spruce and maple: What’s the bridge made of? If it’s ebony, do you have the paperwork to show when and where that wood was harvested and when and where it was made into a bridge? Is the nut holding the strings at the guitar’s headstock bone, or could it be ivory? “Even if you have no knowledge—despite Herculean efforts to obtain it—that some piece of your guitar, no matter how small, was obtained illegally, you lose your guitar forever,” Prof. Thomas has written. “Oh, and you’ll be fined $250 for that false (or missing) information in your Lacey Act Import Declaration.”
I’m all for not destroying the environment — and if Gibson is really doing something bad, then that should be dealt with. But some of these other situations just seem flat out ridiculous. Don’t the feds have more important things to do?
In short, no. To the bureaucrat in these degenerate modern times, all offenses are equally offensive; there is no proportionality. And, with the pervasive modern state, not all offenses can be addressed, so the bureaucrat will address those that give optimal return, i.e. the maximum amount of ‘See, I’m doing something to justify my salary!’ with minimal effort. Hence shutting down kids’ lemonade stands is more important than keeping Mexican drug cartel mules from crossing the border.