Legal or Illegal?
As for children, the world expects them to follow various rules. The older the child, the more that is expected. Parents, while guardians are generally not liable for a child’s actions. There are exceptions when parents are aware of a child’s propensity to engage in certain behavior, such as harming others, etc. The norms and standards (and even laws) require a lot of maturity from young ones. Expectations are high, which may or may not always be realistic.
Once people become adults, they must adhere to even stricter rules/laws. This is interesting as there are no courses given in this area on a widespread/mandatory basis. To become a driver, for example, one must study and pass a driver’s test. But unless one takes a driver’s education course, there is no formal education process given.
Almost every one of average or even below average intellect knows certain things are crimes-violence, stealing, drinking while driving, etc. But other things fall into ‘grey areas. Is a crime date rape-how do you determine consent etc? These things almost require a specialist and an analysis (after the fact) to determine what is acceptable-or or legal. If people were formally taught these things-perhaps by the schools or government-or even an individualized online program-they would have a better idea of whether their actions could get them in trouble.
What about teaching about consequences? In our state, there is some fallacy that crimes under a certain level won’t be prosecuted. That’s not really true. They just might not result in lengthy jail time. Do people really want a misdemeanor on their record because they thought they could steal a knick-knack or a pack of gum or a shirt? Values do come into play in some areas.
What about entertainment? Gambling is often illegal, but it’s also legal in many areas. Same for drinking or cannabis-depending on where you are or your age it may be legal. But drinking and driving aren’t. If you are someone who enjoys explicit or self-defense items, you have to make sure whatever products you purchase are legal in your jurisdiction, or are purchased from a ‘reputable’ source. Are they lewd or are they legal? And just because you enjoy them in your own home or used them properly doesn’t mean you haven’t broken a law or harmed someone. You’re traceable based on your IP address and what’s legal in one jurisdiction may not be in another. And on and on.
There are a lot of rules/laws citizens need to know. And unfortunately, perhaps, there are no second chances sometimes. There are no warnings given for more ‘serious’ crimes. Perhaps we can do a better job of teaching people civics, law, or values in order to take a strain off the legal system and keep people from getting in trouble unless they truly are a menace and haven’t learned from their past mistakes.