Inherent within the idea of a country are the concepts of the individual and the communal. These are currently seen as combative elements which are held in tension by the rule of law to protect the weak from the strong, the few from the many and the individual from the collective, while allowing for ease of commerce of goods, services and thoughts between the individuals. The larger the collective community, the greater the necessity for legal protection of the individual (and subsequent enforcement) and the greater the necessity of the individual to sacrifice their freedoms for the good of the whole. Think of a gear-head working on his small-block chevy engine in the middle of the night – no problem in the middle of an Iowa cornfield, big problem in a cul-de-sac in the suburbs of Anytown, USA.
You can see this clearly reflected in the voting patterns of our country. There are not blue states and red states, there are blue cities and red rural areas. If you were to overlay a map of population densities, you would see a direct corollary with very few exceptions. It is a different world when you have 1 family per square mile as opposed to 250,000 families per square mile, and the need for legal restrictions floats on the same continuum. The divide, according to David Troy at http://www.persquaremile.com, seems to be 88 people per square mile. If an area had more than 88ppl/sq. mi. there was a 66% chance they voted for Obama in 2012, and if the area had less than 88ppl/sq. mi. there was a 66% chance they voted for Romney.
In the Old West where guns were a tool you carried on your person, you had to check your gun at the town limits. There was a reason for this, and there still is. Cities concentrate wealth, opportunity, poverty, disease, charity, culture, crime, waste, arts, museums, ghettos and slums – humanity concentrated, the good and the bad. Laws should reflect this same tendency.
Both Freedom and Equality require the rule of Law in order to thrive. Law therefore cannot afford to be either capricious or homogenous. The Rule of Law tied to a population density continuum. This would have its own set of complexities, but holds some potential. An example could be the previously discussed gun laws: If you live in an area of greater than 88 ppl./sq. mi. you have stricter gun laws and fewer purchasing options, but if you live in an area of less than 88 ppl./sq. mi. you have more relaxed gun laws and greater purchasing options.
What are your thoughts?