For Your Own Good
Most of those my age (34) remember fun times riding in the back of a pickup and crowding into the family car for weekend drives. They remember grilling and shooting fireworks. Going to the theaters and getting the biggest tub of popcorn and drink they could. Some had siblings or friends that were overweight but were either put into sports or on diets by concerned parents, eventually lost weight and led a healthier lives. As youths , you explored different styles of dressing only to later, as adult , realize how stupid you used to look. Some of your parents may have been smokers but after later learning of the dangers smoking caused them and those around them, many of you, along with concerned friends and family , encouraged the smokers to stop the bad habit. Those were the days when people still socialized and had no trouble expressing their disagreements about the choices their peers made. Teachers and elders freely discouraged children from bad choices without fear of legal persecution. People talked and encouraged each other , and though sometimes all the efforts didn’t work or sometimes came at the cost of altercations, the fact that the efforts were made is important and the fact that the choices, however much one may have disagreed with them, were made without the interference of the government.
Today. There are laws and restrictions for people riding in the backs of pick-ups in mostly all states , seat belt and occupancy restrictions in all states. Firework laws prohibit the sale and use of fireworks in some states and in other, New EPA regulation now target household backyard grilling.
"We expect to limit the overall air pollution PM [particulate matter] emissions from barbecuing and to alleviate some of the acute health hazards that a barbecue pit master can experience from inhalation. The particulate matter present during cooking with and without the grease diverter and PM2.5 filters will be tested and compared to that of current data using a conventional propane barbecue using a fumehood chamber with detectors at CE-CERT. Personal exposure of PM2.5 will also be monitored throughout the experimentation period to determine the degree of acute exposure of particulates to the cook."
In some cities, there are government bans on the sale of extra large drinks and snacks in theaters. In some cities around the country there are laws prohibiting dressing in certain manners. In many states, there are smoking bans in public places(even outdoors) and proposed bills to ban smoking in cars with minors in them.
Before I continue with this post I want to express to my readers that I agree with some of the reasoning behind some of these laws. I don’t think the reasons for the laws are not necessarily wrong.
Among Among the bag full of problems that we face in today's society is the deterioration of social interactions, along with the media’s constant coverage of news with the sole intention to make us fearful of each other. People have become so dependent on second hand communications like texting and snap chatting and so afraid of the possibility of that which they hear on the news happening to them that they have become afraid to speak to the person next to them. They have become so fearful in fact,that the simple act of saying hello, let alone telling the youth in front of them at the store to pull up their pants, has become an anxiety filled nightmare for some. It is because of this fear I think that the responsibility to govern the everyday choices of society has been pushed in the direction of and accepted by the government. I believe that this is a very dangerous freedom to give to a system whose only real responsibility in the forms of protection was to protect the nation from foreign threats and to protect it’s citizens from each other, NOT to protect us from ourselves by passing these “For your own Good” Laws.
People are in the belief that because they disagree with someone else's life choice or don't believe those choices to be in the best interest of that person, that those choices should be illegal . Personal choices are unique and change from person to person and though you may not agree with them or believe them to not be in their best interest, it does not make It your place to change them, just as , it is not the place of the government to. That's not the way things were intended to work and it's not the way things should work.
Citizens fighting for their freedoms to choose their own paths to happiness has been a battle that goes on for decades with the rights for a woman to choose abortion and the rights to choose one's own sexual preference leading the way. However, I find it ironic that those who fight against the infringements of their own rights to choose have fallen silent against the infringements of others rights to choose, though the reasoning for the governments interference are much of the same.
The Constitution grants us certain inalienable rights. These are rights that can not be taken away by man or government. Along with these rights is our pursuit of happiness. Our freedoms to choose the right path for ourselves and our families. It is not the governments place to make these kinds of choices for us. Though because we have opened the doors to those in power to make the choices that we either decide not to make for ourselves or decide that it is not our places to encourage on others, we have opened the so called “Pandora's Box” to the government.
So here we are. You may now be thinking that my natural writers flair for the dramatic may have just kicked in. Maybe you’re right but lets take a closer look at some laws that have passed recently or are in the works to be passed that has absolutely no support from the constitution, which as much as some people may hate, IS THE LAW OF THIS LAND!
In N.Y. Mayor Bloomberg banned the sale of extra large soft drinks at store and restaurants because it was unhealthy. Here we have a case of allowing the government to make health decisions for the citizens. If we allow the government into the health business then we should be ready to be fined for eating habits that the government determines is unhealthy. Where does this end? Let’s look at the First Ladies revamping of school lunches which has been met with wide criticism. In this case however, it is a hard case to push because public schools do receive government funds but one can easily see that the frame of mind is already in the heads of those in the government. How drastic could this infringement on our rights to choose get?
“Lawmakers in Puerto Rico are considering a bill that would fine the parents of obese children – an aggressive and controversial approach to a public health dilemma with which states and the federal government alike have struggled.
The bill, introduced Monday, would have teachers identify children who are obese and refer them to a counselor, who would help them come up with a diet and exercise plan. Kids would be monitored every four weeks for improvement. If, after six months, the child does not lose weight, the parents can be fined $500. If a child doesn't show significant weight loss after another six months, fines could increase to $800.”
Better put down that bag of Cheetos and that bottle of Coke, cause you can soon expect health monitors to be patrolling the streets looking for you mad snackers. You can also soon expect big FED to start monitoring your child's diets in school!
Chicago; Though there is already a law prohibiting smoking in bars and restaurants and 15 feet from any public building, a new bill is being proposed that will outlaw the smoking in vehicles with occupants under the age of 13. Also in Chicago there is a law already in place that prohibits the use of cellular phones while driving.
What’s my beef with this? Do I not care about the health of minors? Do I support the actions of ignorant adults? Do I want people to crash for being on their phones?
No. Don’t be a dumb ass.
However, I do not think it’s the governments place to govern us in our private spaces, no matter what harm we may be bringing on ourselves. The case in smokers with children in the car is also a tough sell because it borders on the “protecting us from each other” But again, If we allow the government to come into our private spaces, what is to stop them from going further? How long until they come into your home and ticket you for smoking in you home? How long until they also determine that the content of the music you listen to is dangerous to your child's mind? How long until they decide that the foods you serve your kids is bad for their health? Do you seriously not see it coming?
The ban on phones in the car is ridiculous if you ask me. There are two statistics that I credit for my opinions on this. The first is the obvious statistics on crashes “caused” by cell phone use..
“the National Safety Council (NSC) has estimated at least 1.6 million car crashes occur each year because drivers are using cell phones and texting. One report says that 28% of all traffic accidents are caused by cell phone use. In fact the NSC says that there is about one car accident involving drivers using cell phones or texting every 24 seconds. So far, in 2013 there have been 97,000 car accidents related to cell phone use or texting in the United States. With an estimated 3,000 fatal accidents involving distracted drivers every year, the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA).”
The second statistic I thought of is one that said that close to 85% of all drivers are doing something else in their cars besides paying attention to the road. This is interesting to me because I wonder how long it’s going to be before cities and states outlaw the other things that distracts us on the roads and cause accidents. You may be thinking to yourself right now “Yeah but obviously cell phones are the leading cause of accidents, that why the city targeted them.” Well, that’s true and untrue. The leading cause of car accidents in the country is being distracted while driving, which includes such things as “Talking on the phone, texting, eating, reading, grooming, and talking are just some of the ways drivers get distracted behind the wheel. “
So the question you know is coming is? How long will it take before the ban on eating in your car? playing music in your car? Talking to a passenger in your car? Too dramatic? We’ll see.
While we are on the subject of cars, The biggest “for your own good” law in your car that has plagued the country is seat belts laws.
I CAN FEEL ALL YOUR EYES ROLLING NOW!
Let me go into this briefly cause I still have not made up my mind on this.
"Some people see the choice to wear seat belts as a matter of “personal freedom.” But in our society, personal freedoms stop where others are injured or killed. This is especially true when it comes to children’s safety as passengers in a motor vehicle. A child unrestrained in a 30-mile-per-hour crash is like a child dropped from a third story window. Yet adults who do not buckle up are sending a message to our children it is all right not to use seat belts. Research shows that when a driver is unbuckled, 70 percent of the time children in that vehicle will not be buckled either.”
I agree that safety belts saves lives and yes there are certain cases where wearing the belts have caused deaths but these are the exceptions not the rules. However, Wouldn’t public awareness be better motivators than law? I’ll have to think a bit more on this one.
The next case I wanted to get to quickly is the spreading ban on sagging pants. In States like Florida and New Jersey, there is new bans and fines for anybody caught sagging their pants more than 3 inches from the waistline. Though I find this habit so very annoying and stupid looking…..Seriously, they look like fucking morons, How is this any of the governments concerns to outlaw how a person dresses ? Where does this law end? Somewhere out in politically correct America, There people who are going to find almost anything offensive so if you want to use the “Obscenity Laws” You are Shit out of luck on this one. Most the people who may be reading this post were either a child of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Do we really want to talk about clothing that made us look stupid or may have been a bit on the provocative side? What would your younger self say to a law on the way you dressed?
Before I get into the next one I want to point out that had we not accepted these smaller laws that have infringed on our personal freedoms and our rights to make any and all choices that affect our own lives, we may have never came to this biggest infringements of our personal freedoms. The mother of all “For your own good law” The Affordable Care Act. Yes, you heard right, the ACA, also known as Obamacare. What makes this a “for your own good” law? This law requires all Americans to have some sort of health insurance or face fines. OR FACE FINES! So the government is forcing the public to enter into a private market. We are being forced to buy something that we may not want or need. We are forced into the guidelines approved by the federal government, some as ridiculous as forcing male participants to be insured for pregnancy, forcing religious institutions to buy policies that cover procedures that are against their beliefs. How is this not an infringement on our personal freedoms?
Some people try to use the defense that everybody has a right to insurance and this law is to spare the expense of the uninsured who will eventually need medical attention. THIS IS BULLSHIT. Those who can not afford insurance are qualified to receive government assistance already. They do not need the ACA. The second excuse is a tiresome excuse to always have to rectify. So you are telling me that the uninsured who only receives medical attention when they absolutely need it , is going to cost the taxpayers more money than insuring millions of people, year round who now have the freedoms to go to the doctor whenever they get a runny nose? Let that sink in for a bit.
The one thing that really grinds my gears about all these laws is that they are being passed in the name of safety and concern for the public's health. Don’t be fooled by this lie America. The government does not give two shits about your safety and your health. The government only cares about one thing. POWER. Every little law that they pass. Every little step they take to get into your cars, into your homes , into your lives is a little more freedoms they take away from the citizens. A little more power they take for themselves until they have all the power that we, the people were intended to have and rest assured , those in power will continue to take until there is no more to take. Think about what that would look like.
So in closing. Yes, I think health and safety are important. I don’t think people should smoke in front of their kids. I do think people should wear their safety belts. I do think Americans should pay more attention to their health and I do think people should present themselves in the manner they want to be treated. I believe there should be more of a public push to make the changes that our own laziness has allowed our government to make for us. This includes, lecturing the youths and sometimes adults. Educate the public. There really is so much that we can do to help each other without the interference of Big Brother. We need to get off our phones and speak to each other. Converse about new sciences and discoveries and technologies. Encourage children to join sports. Be a parent and feed your child the foods they should be eating, getting the education they should be getting. Get them away from gaming and outside exploring and using their imaginations and speaking to their peers. We need to stop being lazy and stop allowing those who are not in our homes make decisions for us in “our best interest”. Most importantly, we need to show the government that we do not need them to make these choices for us. They are not or ever should be allowed to make these choices for us. Though we may feel that these kinds of laws may necessarily be a good idea, we should first explore every other option before we accept them as law punishable by the government.
We are responsible for our own choices and our own health and any other choice that we may consider to be our personal path to happiness, even if others may not agree with them or find it in our best interests. The most important part of personal freedoms is that IT IS YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE regardless of what others may think, so long as you are not endangering anybody else. That means if I want to smoke weed and follow it with a glass of whiskey, It’s my fucking choice. If I want to eat a double Whopper with cheese with extra bacon and a side onion rings and wash it down with extra large cup of Coca Cola then smoke a pack of Camels, IT’S MY RIGHT and once we allow the government to make laws based on choices they feel is good for us then we have lost all rights given to us by our founding fathers and the personal freedoms once belonging to every citizen in the United States will be forever lost.
Don't be afraid.
That ringing you hear in your ears
is just a bit of ...