By Ray Dunaway

In most law offices, you’ll notice a massive bookcase, covering an entire wall.  It is the U.S.Code- which contains every law enacted since the signing of the Constitution. That’s a lot of law, and it’s likely you’ve violated several just today.

I’m not talking about the mattress label that cannot be removed under penalty of law.

But quite a few are equally obscure.

Phillip K. Howard, a lawyer and author has contended that it’s almost impossible to live a crime-free life. And you and I have no idea what the rules are.

John Gladwin is a fine example.

Gladwin, a resident of Southern California’s Simi Valley took his Australian cattle dog for a walk in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a massive tract of land stretching 50 miles from Malibu to Point Mugu. Gladwin’s property adjoins the park. As is often the case, the federal government has written regulations for the area.

Gladwin decided to let the dog, Molly off her leash and enjoy a bit a freedom- to go free-range so to speak. And that’s where the trouble started.

Gladwin was spotted, detained and charge with violating Title 36,Volume 1, Section 2.15, Part 2 of National Park Service regulations.( I’m confused already).

The law defines a violation as follows:

“failing to crate, cage, restrain on a leash, which shall not exceed 6 feet in length, or otherwise physically confine a pet at all times.”

In other words, have fun!

As the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is immense, it would seem to me that letting a pet roam loose for awhile is no big deal. It’s unlikely he or she is going to encounter anyone.

Maybe so, but apparently the Feds see it differently.

Gladwin has been sentenced to a year’s federal probation. During that time, he is not to leave Southern California, and should he set foot in the recreation area, he will go to jail.

The federal government has over the years taken over thousands of square miles of land, theoretically to allow the little people to enjoy nature’s beauty and take in the wonders of the great outdoors.

Unless you want to let your dog off leash.