First, a primer: Breaking the Law covers laws so bad, they’re criminal.
It’s authoritative, funny and irreverent. Think Stossel meets How the States Got their Shapes meets Penn & Teller’s Bullshit!
So, why should Breaking the Law be on TV?
The size and scope of local, state and federal governments’ roles in our lives is increasing exponentially. Congress introduces 55 new crimes each year — and 50 states and 40,000 cities are following suit daily.
We highlight a portion of this expansion: The flux of victimless crimes being created.
Due to endless content opportunities, the passion people have for the subject, and the lack of similar programming, a well-executed concept centered on victimless crime is in high demand.
According to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, 53 percent feel the federal government is a threat to freedom. That’s up six percentage points from 2010…and up 21 points from 2002.
And while the United States is called the “Land of the Free,” recent data indicates otherwise. In various international freedom indexes, the United States as a whole has been slipping for more than a decade, with states such as New York, New Jersey and California (the Golden State has 151,000-plus safety laws) leading the way.
- In New York City, kids aren’t allowed to play baseball with aluminum bats, schools can’t hold bake sales, and you can’t feed homeless people. The mayor is even trying to ban stores from selling large sodas and hospitals from giving baby formula to new moms.
- In San Francisco, “public” sitting, Happy Meal toys, plastic bags, gun ads, Segways, and soda machines on public property are all banned. Goldfish and even circumcisions could soon be banned if some lawmakers get their way.
- In Santa Monica, it’s illegal to smoke in your own apartment.
- In Cranston RI, daddy-daughter dances are against the law.
- In Fort Lee NJ, “textwalking” is a fineable offense.
- And King County WA? That county forbids swimming in any river without a life vest.
Further, there is no shortage of people being prosecuted for victimless crimes:
- A Maryland motorcyclist’s house was searched, his computer equipment was seized, and he faces criminal charges after posting a video of an off-duty police officer drawing a weapon on him for a traffic violation.
- In Rushville, IN, a teen-ager is facing eight years in prison for placing a sex doll in a high school bathroom as a prank.
- The father of a kid who set up a lemonade stand in Bethesda, MD, was recently fined $500.
- The Arkansas mother of a boy who made her son walk a few miles to school for punishment is facing punishment herself: A year in jail for childhood cruelty.
- Two people in Nixa, MO, are facing a $4 million fine for raising bunnies … because they lacked a particular permit.
- At least two tourists — with no criminal background and carry permits from out of the city — are facing three-plus years in prison after checking their weapons in with security guards in front of New York City buildings with “No Guns” signs.
- A woman in Oak Park, MI, meanwhile, faces 90 days in jail for growing a vegetable garden in her front yard — a violation of the city’s zoning restrictions.
You can check out our demo here and learn more about our host and co-host here. My name is Justin Rubner, and I’m the creator and executive producer of this project. If you’d like to help us go to market — and see host Dalton Lilley break a few crazy laws — you know where to find me!