Should or shouldn’t

“Laws are not equivalent to ethics. They do not effectively answer questions of whether we should or shouldn’t do things. Laws address whether we can do things…” (Shadow World, Kevin Guilfoile, p. 179)
This quote brings up for me images of the battles fought between the different sides of the Culture Wars – of the argument that we can’t “legislate morality.” Of course, all law is an attempt to “legislate morality,” or at least the end result is that our laws point to a system of ethics. Of course we legislate morality, but does the legislation change the heart of man to the point that the law is made moot? No. What are the ethical arguments for the laws?
Where should the first focus be – legislation or persuasion that results in a change of heart? I believe the latter is a better first focus. Those who cannot effectively make their case in the court of public concern/opinion and who cannot persuade the majority of the correctness of their ethic to the point of personal change-of-heart and behavior often turn to the attempt to force their moral/ethical point-of-view through legislation. They may win the battle, but in they end I think the lose the war.
The problem I think the above quote gets at is that to pass a law doesn’t not mean that we have dealt with the ethical questions of “should or shouldn’t.” To pass a law doesn’t declare us moral or ethical if we haven’t identified and worked through the “why” of it all.