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ILLEGAL: Shooting Bunnies From A Motorboat

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
May 8, 2024 3:01 am

ILLEGAL: Shooting Bunnies From A Motorboat

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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May 8, 2024 3:01 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Winter Prosapio dives into some of the strange laws we have....and why we have them.

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I'm Katja Adler, host of The Global Story. Over the last 25 years I've covered conflicts in the Middle East, political and economic crises in Europe, drug cartels in Mexico. Now I'm covering the stories behind the news all over the world in conversation with those who break it. Join me Monday to Friday to find out what's happening, why and what it all means.

Follow The Global Story from the BBC wherever you listen to podcasts. The wait is almost over. Get ready for the 2024 NFL season as the full schedule is announced. Every rivalry, every rematch, every rookie debut, every game revealed. The 2024 NFL schedule release presented by Verizon coming in May. Live on NFL Network, ESPN2 and streaming on NFL Plus. Terms and conditions apply to NFL Plus.

Visit NFL.com slash schedule release to learn more. This is Lee Habib and this is our American stories. And we tell stories about everything here on the show.

And we especially love stories about our own history. And today we have Winter Presapio, an author from Texas. Here she is talking about the time she wrote a book called Weird U.S. Laws. Strange, bizarre, wacky and absurd.

Here's Winter. Ten years ago, I took a sabbatical from working and I decided I really wanted to pursue writing a little bit more seriously. So I started to look for opportunities to write in because I like humor writing and it comes very easily to me. And a long time ago, I had also worked for something called Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. So I had actually worked in tort reform talking about how small businesses were getting killed by these little frivolous lawsuits. I reached out to an editor who was looking for a writer to write about the weird U.S. laws. And they're a Canadian company, so they find us incredibly amusing from that standpoint. And it was a lot of fun.

I got to work with an illustrator and another writer and we took on the book. I know a lot of the weird laws in Texas, some of which still exist, like you cannot carry a pair of fence cutters in your back pocket. And in all of these things, you know, whenever you come across a law like that, you're like, that is just dumb. When you trace its history, that's where I think it's so interesting because everything has a story.

That's what makes it a lot of fun. There's the story because someone used to cut the fences and then when the cows would get out from these areas, they were considered anybody's and then they would take those cows and rebrand them as their own and just say, well, you know, he was wandering loose. So that it was all about stopping that kind of cattle theft. But the law is still on the books. And, you know, it's hard enough to get a lot of pass, let alone try to deal with all the messy laws that are in on the books. I don't think anyone in modern times has been convicted from carrying, you know, one of those wire cutters in their back pocket.

But I don't take any chances. I don't carry them in my back pocket just in case somebody's super serious about it. There were a lot of laws about spitting. You know, there are days where I feel like that law should be more followed against spitting on the sidewalk.

This is back in the day when we had to deal with a lot of spittoons and all that kind of stuff. So that those were laws that were pretty common back in at that time period. There were some a lot of laws around the idea of what was allowed with with women, you know, like what women could do, what they could wear, all those kinds of things. It's all it all reflects back on our long history as a country, right, to where we're all trying to adjust behavior. And that's what happened throughout all of all of the U.S., is that we have all these laws that are all about, you know, managing behavior that one person found incredibly annoying and one person happened to be in a position to pass a law.

And so a lot of these laws are historical remnants. You know, they're they're like your attic. You know, you put something in there, you thought it was worth saving, then you move. Somehow you don't have time to unpack that box to see if you really want it. You move, you carry it with you.

You still haven't unpacked it. You know, it just becomes this thing that follows you from place to place. And that's the way some of these weird U.S. laws are. And some of this speaks back when people were when we were in a more rural kind of community, right? We had chickens everywhere. We had all kinds of different animals. So in Tennessee, they passed law Tennessee Code 70-4-208, which made it illegal to import skunks unless they were headed to bona fide zoological parks and research institutions.

We have a skunk that comes to our house and eats our cat food, and I feel like I don't need to import any. So at one time there were bunnies in New York City. It was a significant problem, and somebody thought that it was a good idea to shoot them from trolley cars.

Just think about that. You're out there, you're waiting to catch the trolley car, and then all of a sudden there's some rabbit hunter on there who just spots a rabbit headed for the tracks and they just decide to shoot it. So they decided to make that illegal, something I think of a law that should continue to exist maybe. And then in Kansas, they made it illegal for hunters to shoot at rabbits from motor boats.

And it is motor boats specifically, so if you're in a kayak or a sailboat, I guess it's okay. That's the kind of law. That's the one where, for example, that makes me think somebody had a serious enough problem with people shooting rabbits from motor boats that they felt like they needed to come up with a law saying that that wasn't okay. That's when you're thinking, that's a law about one person. It's Ted over there who has the 10 acres and he brings his boat out and he's just trying to pop off the rabbits on shore of Roger's place.

And then unfortunately for Ted, Roger is a city council person. I think what it really says about us is that when we want to solve a problem, we want it solved forever. Canadians are notorious for their politeness. They're notorious for their tolerance.

We're not notorious for our politeness. I think that this speaks to that whole thing saying not only am I going to tell you not to do that, but I'm going to pass the law so you never get to do it again, whatever that thing might be. It also speaks to it's illegal to have an elephant in downtown Tulsa. So when you think about that, well sure, of course it should be illegal to have an elephant traipsing around town, but it wasn't enough to just say you can't have an elephant here. Apparently the person who had the elephant there just said, no, I can't. There's no law against it. So you just get into the slippery slope of surely that's just a public disturbance or wild animals in general. Non-domesticated pets can't be loose in downtown Tulsa, but no, they have to be very specific about it.

So what I think it says about us is that we want to say not just no, but heck no, you can't do that. Thanks to Winter Persapio for giving us a little bit of humor. Shooting bunnies from a motorboat and so much more. Stories about strange laws, funny laws, here on Our American Stories. Folks, if you love the stories we tell about this great country and especially the stories of America's rich past, know that all of our stories about American history, from war to innovation, culture, and faith, are brought to us by the great folks at Hillsdale College, a place where students study all the things that are beautiful in life and all the things that are good in life.

And if you can't get to Hillsdale, Hillsdale will come to you with their free and terrific online courses. Go to hillsdale.edu to learn more from BBC Radio 4, Britain's biggest paranormal podcast is going on a road trip. I thought in that moment, oh my god, we've summoned something from this board. This is Uncanny USA.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-08 04:37:34 / 2024-05-08 04:41:42 / 4

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