[Editor’s Note: Our laws and mores were put in place to protect our rights, to help us and to keep us safe. That said, there are often unnecessary or borderline moronic laws still in existence. Why?
According to Wikipedia, the reason for the existence of these obsolete dumb laws are two main reasons that references why false or inaccurate laws may persist:
1) exaggeration or misinterpretation of real provisions of law, and 2) common law cases
(1) Some of the purported “dumb laws” have no basis in reality, or are an exaggeration of real laws. For example a reasonable law about the preservation of rare cactus species may be presented as humorous statement that “There is a possible 25 years in prison for cutting down a cactus.”. The minor phenomenon’s popularity is attested to by existing websites that generate the “dumb laws” at random.
(2) Reports about ‘dumb’ laws often originate from case rulings issued in common law countries. The reason is that the court decision on a particular case may, for example, state that a dog-owner has to pay damages to his neighbours because his dog keeps barking at night and repeatedly disrupts their sleep. When taken out of the context, the ‘dumb law’ appears: “Dogs may not bark after 6 PM”. Since in common law systems decisions of certain courts become precedents, such ruling is formally also included in the legal system and is considered a source of law.
We’ve all seen these websites talking about there ridiculous state laws, but what about the ‘dumb’ laws of the United States? Take a look at some of the most shocking U.S. laws that are still legal. ]
Every country has some weird laws, but the United States has some of the weirdest.
It’s not always what the law says you CAN’T do, but what the law says you CAN do…
Every single American can legally own a flame thrower.
Every single American can own a tank, assuming you can afford one.
In South Carolina, with the permission from the Department of Commerce, you can fire a missile. Not sure what the Department of Commerce has to do with missiles, but that’s who you have to ask…
In nine states, you can have a brown bear for a pet if you want to.
In Georgia, it’s completely legal to send a stranger a picture of your penis.
Salvia, a drug that gives the user a hallucinogenic high on par with LSD and DMT, is totally legal in all 50 states.
In 19 different states you can legally marry your first cousin.
Florida residents can legally shoot “small arms” in their backyards. This includes rifles, pistols, assault rifles, sub machine guns, and light machine guns.
19 different state allow corporal punishment in schools.
Technically in the US, cannibalism isn’t illegal. Of course, cannibals get charged with other things like murder, desecrating a body, and necrophilia.
In Mississippi there are absolutely no laws regulating the consumption of alcohol while operating a vehicle. “Hey officer, hold my beer while I get you my insurance card”
In 29 states companies can legal fire an employee for being gay. 34 states allow the firing of employees strictly based on being transgendered.
In Massachusetts, parents are not liable for giving their children alcohol while at home.
It is legal to drive barefooted in every state.
And finally, ELEVEN states in the US allow people to have sexual relations with animals. Kentucky apparently encourages it.