Little White Laws

Outdated laws that no longer serve a valid purpose

by Ashkan Ghiassi (Staff Writer) – 2/27/15

Little White Laws
        Example of a ridiculous law “No ketchup allowed”

The legislative process is one that often regulates so many parts of a person’s life that it can become impossible to keep up with every single law. It isn’t uncommon for people to break laws, and it isn’t uncommon for legislators to forget to update laws.

According to thedailymail.com, the average person breaks two laws per day. This occurs for one of two reasons. Either a person knows about a law and chooses to break it or the person is completely unaware of the law.

Two laws that are very commonly broken are the speed limit and jaywalking. Generally when a person breaks one of these laws they know that they are doing something illegal but decide that their reasons for breaking the law outweigh any harm that it could bring.

The other kind of laws that are often broken are the ones that most people don’t know about. For example, in California it is illegal to eat an orange in a bathtub. Although this may not be a common occurrence, so has probably done this. Theoretically, that person should be penalized somehow.

Technically, it is illegal to wear a mask on Halloween. In Los Angeles anyone who wishes to wear any kind of mask or disguise out in public is supposed to get an approved permit first. Of course, no one actually goes around giving little kids in masks tickets because of a concept called “police discretion.”

Jose Cisneros, a police officer who works at Kennedy, stated, “Each officer is different. On certain laws we are given a level of discretion. On those instances, it’s up to us to interpret what the law was really meant for, what its real purpose is.”

It is illegal to play the drums or any percussions instrument on the beach in Santa Monica. This is called the McConaughey ordinance (no relation to Matthew McConaughey).

Wearing a “zoot suit” was at one point illegal in Los Angeles. This law was put into place during the peak of the zoot suit riots of 1943. Zoot suits were described as a public nuisance. Technically this law against zoot suits is still in the books, but it was never fully approved by the Los Angeles City Council. Today a law banning a type of clothing would be seen as an intrusion on the first amendment.

As of 2012, film producers in California are not allowed to film a baby under one month old without the consent of a board-certified pediatrician. The same year it became illegal to allow a dog to chase a bear or bobcat.

Frisbees are only to be thrown on Los Angeles beaches with the permission of an on-duty lifeguard.

Animals in California have been banned from mating within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship. Breaking this law can result in a fine of $500 or six months in jail.

In Carmel, the fashion police may be a real thing, as it is illegal for men to go outside wearing a jacket with pants that do not match, and women are not allowed to wear high heels.  In the same city, it was once illegal to eat ice cream while standing on the sidewalk.

Blythe, California has a rule against hypocritical cowboys. No one who doesn’t own at least two cows is allowed to wear cowboy boots. The only place in Burlingame, California where one is allowed to spit outdoors is on a baseball diamond.

Perhaps because of the famous story of Benjamin Franklin being electrocuted while flying a kite with a key on it, California has made it illegal to fly a kite higher than ten feet above the ground if it has any metal in it.

Despite the severe drought that California is currently experiencing, a specific law states that it is illegal to bathe two babies in the same bathtub together (even if it’s an attempt to conserve water).

There is a rumor that neighbors in Los Angeles are not very friendly. That is completely false; the reality of the situation is that the city of Los Angeles has made it possible to sue any so called “good neighbor.” If a self-righteous homeowner takes it upon himself to wash the car of his neighbor, without his consent, he has just committed an illegal act.

Nearly everyone breaks the law. Joseph Stalin’s chief of police once said, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” It is virtually impossible to find someone who can truly say that they’ve never broken any laws.