Another weapon of oppression is the criminalization of a torrential number of what were once civil violations. A typical example: It is now a federal crime to walk a dog on federal lands with a leash that’s longer than 6 feet. Instead of a fine (putting aside why there’s a need for such a prohibition in the first place), violators can be sentenced to up to six months in prison. While the Founders couldn’t have known the specifics of how a future government would seek to sink its claws into the people, they wouldn’t have been at all surprised that it would do so unless stopped.
No one knows for sure how many federal laws there are these days that can trip up–and imprison–the unwary citizen. In the early 1980s the Department of Justice came up with an estimate of 3,000 crimes. Today experts believe that number is over 5,000.
Worse, there are some 300,000 criminal offenses listed in the 80,000-page Code of Federal Regulations.