Thursday, August 20, 2009


I wear a seat belt when I drive.

I always have, ever since they came out, that is.

At first there were only lap belts, which had a tendency to cut people in half when they were in serious accidents.

Then came the full belt with shoulder restraints, which more or less cured the cut-in-half issue.

Now that they have been "perfected," they work using the principle of inertia by which a certain level of force or motion causes them to lock and hold the wearer in place.

As I said, I wear them.

But I wear seat belts as a choice, quite apart from any law requiring me to do so, as evidenced by the fact that I wore them before the law was enacted (here in Florida, anyway).

Seat belts are a good thing, and there is ample evidence that they save lives in severe accidents.

In airplanes, seat belts have been required for much of the history of commercial aviation, although there is absolutely no evidence that seat belts help much in a fall from 30 thousand feet, or the collision and explosion of two aircraft, whether in the air or on the ground.

Here is a PBS report on the ground crash of a KLM 747 with a Pan American 747.

The issue, though, is one of individual LIBERTY.

People should be free to wear seat belts if they want to.

The government has no business requiring it.

"But...but...they save lives!" I hear you shouting.

No doubt.

So would staying home and not venturing out for any reason.

Why not petition the government to make a law that requires people to stay home and not venture out for any reason?

Of course, there would still be the occasional leaking propane gas tank, like the one across the street from where I lived in Midwest City, Oklahoma. It blew the house right off of its foundation and landed it (in remarkably good shape, considering) in its own front yard.

So the government should step in (being careful about what it steps in) and outlaw propane gas tanks.

The government should control the air we breath, the water we drink, the car we drive, the clothes we wear, the tools we use, the things we make, the food we eat, the farms we till, the health care we get, the electricity we use, the job we are allowed to have, the thoughts we think, the things we say, the way we use the Internet, the books we publish, the church we attend, the tobacco we smoke (yuck), the alcohol we drink, the businesses we can own, the air conditioning we use, the fuel we put in our cars, the people we associate with, the guns we own, the soldiers we let in our houses, the things we have to reveal about ourselves, the lawyers we use, and every other aspect of our lives they can think of.

There are countries where the government does all of those things and more.

They are called dictatorships.

We're not supposed to be living in one.

Not if we really believe in "...liberty and justice for all."


Lone Ranger said...

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It has been found that the more lives seat belt and helmet laws save, the fewer organ donations there are and the fewer other lives can be saved. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people, while more than 50 people can be helped through one tissue donor. You can't second-guess life and death.

Joe said...

LR: Your thought processes are almost as warpped as mine.

I love it!

Lone Ranger said...

Every time the government attempts to save lives, it's time to check the price of burial plots.

BetteJo said...

Here in Illinois (I know, I am so ashamed)we do not have helmet laws. I have a motorcycle license and every time I see somebody riding a bike without a helmet I have to admit I think they're stupid. Still - I'd rather it was their choice. If they want to crack their heads like a melon, so be it. Government shouldn't be part of that decision. Might be natural selection, survival of the fittest - whatever. The stupid people won't survive!

JT Grachek said...

Amen. People have the natural liberty to do what they want, so long as it doesn't harm others.