Not taking sides here, either way, okay? Just having fun turning this into an extended metaphor, for Baloo’s amusement]
On Mars, there is gold. The people who live on Mars like gold. They keep it under the bed. You get gold on Mars by digging it out of the rock. Some people don’t want to work for their gold, they would rather steal it. The Martians who dig their own gold are called the Good Guys, the ones who steal it are called Bad Guys.
There is a way for the Good Guys to defend themselves. They can use some of their gold to buy a Rottweiler, which lives under the bed, next to the gold, and leaps out and kills any Bad Guy who tries to steal the Good Guy’s gold. Up till now, the Bad Guys have not generally bothered trying to rob Good Guys whom they knew to be harboring Rottweilers under the bed. There were always easier pickings elsewhere, and it’s easy to find out who has Rottweilers and who doesn’t–the large economy-sized dog turds in the back yard are usually a dead giveaway. (There’s also a thriving market in fake Rottweiler turds, which private security firms will come to your house and install.) Not all the Good Guys are comfortable having a large slavering beast living under the bed. It is usually these Good Guys who have their gold stolen.
The Bad Guys don’t use Rottweilers themselves, because it’s a pain in the butt having to look after a big dog like that, and besides, all they do is wait under the bed and jump out at people, right? So how would you use it, anyway?
Now the Martian government passes a law making it illegal for anyone to own a Rottweiler. Why? Because the Martian government has decided that from now on, duly authorized representatives of the Martian government will make themselves available to prevent the Bad Guys from stealing gold from the Good Guys, and if they fail at that, then at least they will try to get the gold back that the Bad Guys stole, and punish the Bad Guys who stole it.
So, from now on, if a Good Guy wakes up in the middle of the night and sees a Bad Guy standing next to his bed, stealing his gold, he’s not supposed to do anything except reach over to his bedside table and push the red button that summons the duly authorized representatives of the Martian government, who will then presumably deal with the situation.
Provided, of course, that the Bad Guy’s Rottweiler hasn’t torn the Good Guy’s throat out before he can press the red button. See, the Bad Guys, being Bad Guys, decide they don’t care how many laws the Martian government passes, saying nobody can own a Rottweiler, so they go ahead and equip themselves with Rottweilers–it’s the principle of the thing. And some enterprising Bad Guy figures out how to use them as Offense, not Defense, and tells all his friends, and the next thing you know, there are Rottweiler puppy mills all over the place. And Mars being a big place, and the duly authorized representatives of the Martian government being few and far between, the Bad Guys have no trouble at all in keeping their Rottweilers hidden, out in the Outback.
The Good Guys, being Good Guys, have virtuously divested themselves of all their Rottweilers, with the result that more and more Good Guys are having their gold stolen every week. The red button turns out to be practically useless, as the duly authorized representatives of the Martian government take a long time to get there, by which time the Bad Guy is long gone. They don’t have much luck getting the gold back, either, because all gold looks pretty much alike, and even if the Good Guy kept it in a monogrammed bag, the Bad Guy usually just drops the bag into the trash, so that’s no help.
Some of the Good Guys protest to the Martian government, saying, “Give us back our Rottweilers!” The Martian government says, “No, sorry, we can’t do that, because Rottweilers kill people.” The Good Guys say, “Rottweilers don’t kill people without instructions. Take the Rottweilers away from all the Bad Guys.” The Martian government says, “We’re working on that.” The Good Guys say, “Well, how long is it gonna take? We’re dyin’ here…” The Martian government has no reply.
So, Baloo, what’s the solution? To have the Martian government crack down on the illegal possession of Rottweilers? Appoint more duly authorized representatives to go into the Martian Outback and track down every single illegal Rottweiler? And after they’ve done that, shut down the puppy mills that produce them, so no one can ever have a Rottweiler again? Or should they repeal the law and allow the Good Guys to have their Rottweilers under the bed?
And now that the Bad Guys have discovered how useful a Rottweiler can be, if the Martian government does repeal the law, I predict there will be fearsome dogfights in bedrooms all over Mars.
And what it all boils down to is, where does the Martian government ultimately get its authority from? Why do the Good Guys sit there and let the government pass anti-Rottweiler legislation? Is the Martian government run by Ming the Merciless, against whose word there can be no appeal? Or is it something more sinister, something called–“democracy”…
[okay, Baloo, how was that? Are you still bored?]