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Or would you prefer some other regulation that tracks them down after the accident and then forces them to pay up? There’s an unenforceable rule if I ever heard one. I can see it now: “Your honor, John Doe owes the states $250,000 in response costs. The fact that Mr. Doe is now paralyzed, mentally damaged and will never walk or talk again, let alone work another day in his life, is regrettable. But if he doesn’t pay up, we request that the police confiscate his house and put him and his wheelchair out into the street!” Like that will ever happen.p>Forcing people to wear seatbelts is fine with me. The sooner the better. br> — Robert F. Casselberry /p>
Eric Peters’s “Seat Belt Lashes” in this morning’s edition made me think about the people who whine that the Patriot Act is a totalitarian threat to our liberties. In contrast, profit-motivated nanny state safety and health laws affect otherwise law abiding citizens more regularly and more insidiously. While the Patriot Act is a bona fide attempt to promote security from REAL threats of terror, the nanny state rules on kid’s toys, seat belts, school vending machines, fireworks, school bullying, motorcycle helmets, acceptable language, smoking, and, yes, even dodge ball reflect a decidedly unhealthy change in the American personality.
There was a time when Americans were admired for the ability to stand on one’s own two feet. Safety nets (literally and figuratively) were rarer and success required hard work, initiative and risk. That combination of attributes often moved American industry, science and education forward in leaps and bounds.
While not an expert in such matters, I would wager a cold beer that the social upheaval of the '60s and '70s, political correctness, feminism, bigger government at all levels and the emergence of an activist public education system are all at play in our current aversion to personal risk and our acceptance of meddling by bits and pieces.p>Taking dumb risks with our or others’ safety is not wise, but a better balance between personal responsibility and government fiat is necessary to deal with real threats. We shouldn’t be surprised when some starry-eyed government yahoo tries to mandate helmet use 24/7- and we buy it. But, keep in mind what happened to Ned Beatty AFTER he said, “We don’t want any trouble here.” br> — Deane Fish br> Altamont, New York /p>
I am a believer in wearing seat belts, but that is my choice and should not be the government’s. Some of the other things that the government thinks are good for us is no hard bristles on tooth brushes any longer and heating pads that have to turn off after a few hours. I am a wildlife rehabber and used to tell people put the baby in a box and set halfway on a heating pad to keep warm, but it they have a new pad it won’t work for long.p>You could write a book with items “big brother” does not want you to have any longer. I am an adult and should have a choice of what I want, good for me or not.