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Kind of low hanging fruit though, wasn’t it? “Freedom, unjust laws, nanny state, unfair taxes.” You seem to have hit all the hot buttons.
But having read your article, I really only have one question for you:
If someone is injured in an automobile accident, while not wearing a seatbelt, should we (the public) use our emergency response units to provide medical assistance to that person?
Based on your article, I’d have to guess that you would say that we should NOT aid that person. After all, following your logic, the freedom not to wear a seatbelt would seem to imply that a person should take responsibility for his/her actions. So if someone is hurt because a seatbelt is not worn, then they deserve no help from us.
Putting aside the question of how emergency response teams would enforce this matter (do they request confirmation of seatbelt usage before answering a call?), is this really how we want to act as a society?
Even if you want to ignore the fact that we are still essentially a Christian society (at least as far as American attitudes towards charity and good deeds are concerned), is it really a smart thing to do? Let’s ignore morality for a moment and look at the economics.
In the article you throw around some numbers in money that is being spent on “Click-it-or-ticket” laws. $2.6 million in California, is quoted. Big sum, no doubt. But how much money does the state of California spend on seatbelt-less accident victims? Police, paramedic, fire department, emergency room personnel. All of that effort adds up to a lot of money. Something quite far in excess of the $2.6 million, I would suspect, year after year after year. Now let’s take that number and multiply it across the country. Again, not having any data, I can only suspect the probable enormity of the amount. Shouldn’t we be worried about those costs?
How much do you and I spend to assist those freedom loving motorists who can’t take the time to use safety products that are standard in every automobile?
Economically, it’s a no-brainer. I’m willing to bet that if an economist is pressed on the issue, he’d have to admit that, if we are not going to cut these people off from aid and assistance, then it would be a good thing to take steps to control our costs.
But I’m not much on the economic argument myself. I don’t want to live in a society where everything is determined solely by cost. As far as I can see, helping people who are injured is the right thing to do. It’s an expense that we bear because the world is full of idiots. But they are our idiots. Our brothers and sisters, our friends and neighbors. People who don’t always make good decisions. That doesn’t mean we let them bleed to death in the middle of the highway.
But just because we are good people doesn’t mean we have to be stupid. If someone is too dense to figure out that seatbelt use is a good thing, then I’m all in favor forcing the issue with them. Spare me the “slippery slope” argument. We’re not talking about regulating stretch pants or any other minor issue. We’re talking about hundred of thousands of people suffering and dying because they can’t make a minuscule effort to perform a necessary action, buckling a seatbelt.
So, let’s get back to my question: do you favor letting people suffer and die because they do not wear seatbelts?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?