Archive for February, 2007

Dems Want Helmet Law in Colorado

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

OK, I guess I spoke too quickly last time. Turns out there is an attempt in the Colorado Legislature to pass a helmet bill. As usual, it is the nanny-government Democrats at work again.

Let me restate this: I’m not a Republican. I am anti-government-sticking-its-nose-in-where-it-doesn’t-belong. I’m a Libertarian.

The proposed legislation would require all riders under age 18 to wear helmets. Simple enough, and maybe not a bad idea. Lord knows kids don’t have the sense to watch out for themselves. I know what I was like when I was a kid, and even more, I know what our kids were like just a few years ago.

If I could trust that this was all it was and that would be the end of it I might go along with this bill. But history shows me that that is not the case.

About 15-20 years ago the legislature passed a bill requiring seat belts to be worn, but they made the offense such that you could not be stopped for it, they could only cite you if they stopped you for something else. Then recently, guess what? They want to change the law so the police can stop you just for failure to wear a seatbelt. There is no doubt in mind that once they get this helmet law passed for kids they’ll be back later to extend that requirement to adults.

The legislators fighting this bill are Republicans. Now, I have no more use for Republicans than I do for Democrats. One wants to tell you how to think and the other wants to control everything you do. That’s why I changed my party affiliation from Democrat to Libertarian awhile back.

That’s also why I believe in divided government. As long as one party controls the executive branch, the other the legislative, they checkmate each other. They govern down the middle. I guess I’ll be working for the Republicans to take back some power in the next election.

Nanny Officials Have Us In Their Sights Again

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

I’ve mentioned here before the danger inherent in the push to make failure to wear a seat-belt an offense the cops can stop you for. Right now in Colorado they can’t do that, but if they stop you for another reason and you’re not wearing one you can get a ticket. The Legislatue is now working to change that.

What concerns me is that any group of legislators that would make that change is likely to want to mandate wearing motorcycle helmets at all times.

Let’s get this clear right now: I understand that helmets and seat belts frequently save lives. I also know that in less frequent situations they do more hard than good. I just don’t think it’s government’s business to tell me which odds to play. Don’t make that old argument about being a burden on society. I have insurance. Not only that, I often wear a helmet. But sometimes I don’t, and that’s my decision to make. As for seat-belts, I was out one night with a bunch of legislators just after they passed the original seat-belt law and I told them then that they could shove it, that I would continue not to wear one. That was almost 20 years ago. I finally got ticketed for not wearing my seat-belt just two weeks ago. I was speeding, but so was everyone else. And the patrolman only cited me for the belt, not speeding. While I appreciated not getting a speeding ticket I have to suspect he really stopped me for the belt, and speed was just his excuse.

Anyway, none of that matters now because just last week I got a new car and it’s one of these that has a system to totally annoy you if you don’t wear a belt so I’ve finally been beaten. I now wear my seat-belt every time I drive.

But let’s get back to helmets. I hadn’t heard anything about helmets in connection to this proposed seat-belt law, but I know the connection. Well, in this morning’s Rocky Mountain News, Mark Wolf ran five quotes from the forum they run. All five of them said the same thing I”m saying, that it’s no one’s business but mine. One person did say not wearing a belt gives kids the idea of not wearing a belt, but other than that he said it’s nobody’s business. And three of them said the same about helmets.

I was afraid of this when the Democrats took the Legislature and governorship. I firmly believe divided government is best; it provides the best checks and balances. I used to be a Democrat but I changed my affiliation to Libertarian a number of years ago for exactly this sort of reason. I may have to vote Republican two years from now to help break this imbalance.