From the files of our intrepid vice police comes this story about Baltimore Ravens fullback Corey Fuller. His house in Tallahassee, Florida was raided by 20 – TWENTY – law enforcement officers on Tuesday night. Was he hiding stolen goods? Peddling crack? Storing bodies in his crawlspace? Nope. What was this obvious threat to society doing? Well, he was playing poker with his friends. And for this horrible crime against humanity, he now faces up to 5 years in prison and a $5000 fine.
Color me pissed, and not just because I participate in weekly poker games of this sort (though presumably for lower limits). Under Florida state law, you are allowed to gamble up to 10 dollars on a hand of cards. Other states have similar laws with varying limits and regulations on what you can and can’t do. I think it’s obviously time for the Florida police to have their budget cut and to lay off a whole lot of officers, if they are so bored that this is what they spend their time doing, preventing friends from getting together and having fun without any harm to anyone else.
It’s time to end this hypocrisy that gambling is illegal. It’s bullshit and everyone knows it. In my state, we have 19 casinos that operate legally. We have numerous horse racing tracks with legal betting. The state government runs a dozen different types of lotteries. Even the churches get into the act, with charity Vegas nights and weekly bingo games. But I can’t get together with my buddies and play a friendly poker game without the threat of a bunch of jackbooted thugs in police uniforms busting into my house.
So what’s the difference between our poker games and the casinos and lotteries and horse racing? The government doesn’t get a cut, that’s the difference. It’s all about the government inserting itself, and shaking us down financially, in every conceivable area of our lives. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Sure, as long as they get their cut of the action. Next we’ll be hearing about them raiding a 9 year old’s lemonade stand to make sure their payroll taxes are up to date, or demanding that we file I-9 documents before we hire the neighbor kid to cut our lawn for $15. And the incredible thing to me is that Americans take it lying down, without a fuss.
It’s time we got the government out of the business of regulating consensual and victimless crimes. All it does is corrupt our law enforcement institutions and cost us untold billions of dollars to imprison those who should not be imprisoned, destroying families in the process. The government’s purpose for existing is to protect us from one another, not to stamp out the possibility of having fun. I’ve had it up to my eyelids with a government that thinks it’s our nanny and not our servant.