Laws are generally good for society, like the ones that prevent looting, killing sprees, and general anarchy. But in many states, including here in Arkansas, there are laws still in effect that are simply outrageous and outdated. The fact they’re still on the books just goes to show how far stupidity can rise in our legal system.
Janine Parry, Political Science Professor, University of Arkansas, “I would say probably everyone in every state has violated some kind of law because they simply didn’t have knowledge of it.”
These are just a few of the archaic laws in Arkansas, including the fact it’s illegal to kill any living creature in Fayetteville. You can’t yell at your children in a drive-thru and you can’t honk your car horn at a sandwich shop after 9 pm. People say there are a few reasons these types of laws were passed.
“Sometimes they are just errors because in a republic like ours the laws are the product of people. Most of those are caught usually within a few weeks if not a few months but then sometimes they stay on the books because nobody notices and nobody complains,” said Parry.
Rep. Greg Leding, (D) Fayetteville, “Elected officials are not shy about pursuing their own interests when they get into office. There was a resolution introduced this last session by a Senator after Arkansas lost to UNC in the March Madness that urged more training for NCAA refs.”
Arkansas State Rep, Charlie Collins said a lot of these laws are still on the books because of the amendment process.
Rep. Charlie Collins, (R) Fayetteville, “It’s not an easy thing to do to change existing laws and so someone has to really get motivated to do it.”
Even though these laws still exist, it’s up to the police to enforce them.
“I think it’s really up to the discretion of whose job it is to enforce them,” said Leding.
Sgt. Craig Stout, Fayetteville Police Department, “If it is still a law that is on the books and is still enforcable, we could issue a citation for this if it became an issue.”
Years ago, a resolution was passed that said people can not mispronounce Arkansas.
“What would that say about your knowledge of the state if you went around mispronouncing the name,” said Leding.
“Maybe when i was in Cincinnati and hadn’t had any practice i might have made a mistake but i don’t remember it,” said Collins.
“Maybe throw a little southern twang onto it but i don’t think i will be writing myself a citation for it,” said Stout.
No matter how silly some of the laws may seem, our representatives say it’s important to remember that our republic and law, is run by the people.
“What you learn in an exercise like this is how influential individuals can be in affecting the laws that are made. You as an individual have a lot of opportunity to influence the outcome of what happens in your state,” said Collins.
“If you have a serious idea don’t hesitate to take it to a lawmaker and just assume she’s gonna say no,” said Leding.
Leding said if you have a concern, speak up. If these laws got passed, then so can yours.