“The Heritage Foundation recently launched an informational campaign to raise awareness of overprosecution and regulatory overreach, appropriately called “USA vs. You” (www.heritage.org/usavsyou). Heritage reports there are now more than 4,500 federal criminal laws on the books, and a whopping 300,000 federal criminal regulations. Throw in state statutes and local ordinances, and our governments have criminalized everyday life to the point that everyone is breakin’ the law — and subject to egregious abuses of authority.
Take the 2011 case of 11-year-old Virginia resident Skylar Capo. She rescued a baby woodpecker from a cat and brought the bird inside a home improvement store, so it wouldn’t suffer in the heat of her mother’s car. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent also was at the store, Heritage reported, and read the riot act to Ms. Capo and her mother for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Capos released the bird upon returning home and notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Yet that same agent, with a Virginia state trooper as backup, showed up at their house two weeks later to serve notice of a $535 federal fine and possible jail time. Public backlash led to all charges being rescinded.