Sunday, June 14, 2009

Breaking the Law

My husband and I were driving home from downtown Minneapolis the other night when I realized I was breaking the law.

I was sitting in the back seat of our sedan and didn't have my seat belt buckled. Minnesota just passed another stupid nanny state law which requires every passenger in a car to be buckled up or they can be pulled over and fined $25.

Sometimes I buckle my seat belt when seated in the back seat, sometimes I don't. It's usually just a matter of not remembering to do it. I also have a habit of not buckling my seat belt when I'm driving until I'm pulling out of my neighborhood.

As I watched a guy on a motorcycle careening by our large 4-door sedan- I thought about the absurdity that he could do so without a helmet on and it would be completely legal. I, on the other hand, could be pulled over and ticketed.

I don't care if somebody doesn't want to wear their motorcycle helmet, that's their stupidity. So, why do people care if I'm wearing my seat belt in the back seat of my own car?


Cool Gal said...

How about this one...They'll ticket you if you're not wearing your seatbelt, but if you make pipebombs, terrorize your neighbors, cost taxpayers thousands of dollars as EVERY emergency vehicle (Bomb Squad, Ambulance, Fire Trucks, Police Car, Rescue)"locked down"
your neighborhood, and blow your cousins hand off, you get your hand slapped. BTW...this 21 year old who was making pipe bombs in my neighborhood had a record before this incident. Plus, the authorities found a loaded shotgun in his bedroom when they were in looking for "bomb" making materials.

Something not right with that one.

Jim said...

You should wear it, but it should also be your choice to not wear it. It's nanny-state policies used to justify more nanny-state laws. I'm sure somewhere in the legislative debate someone said, "well, it will save money in state healthcare costs if everyone wears a seatbelt." Guess what, Bubba, the state shouldn't be paying your healthcare OR requiring you to wear a seatbelt.

Yes, there's always some tragic story of some 16 year old girl who would be alive today if only she had been wearing a seatbelt. Yep, that's probably true, but a law probably isn't going to make her do something that is a good idea if she doesn't already do it. Tell your kids to wear seat belts but explain to them why. Don't just say, "because I said so" or "because it's the law." Use logic and it should happen on its own if it's logical to do it.

It's the same with smoking laws. If a bar owner, the patrons, the staff, and everyone involved wants to have a smoking area indoors, who cares? Sure, it might save the state some healthcare costs, but again, paying for some guy's lung cancer isn't the role of government. I don't smoke and think it's a silly idea, but if I was so bothered by some guy's smoking area, I wouldn't eat in his establishment. If enough people wanted smoke-free places, you'd have them. If people wanted smokey areas, you'd have them too. It's not for me to use the heavy hand of government to force everyone else to have to smoke outdoors.

Another example is that MN couldn't have any fireworks for a while, and now they only allow lame ones. Be careful with them, or stay away entirely, but don't limit my freedom to light a Roman Candle just because you are such a paranoid moron you don't think they can be used safely or you think there are so many "uninsured Americans" flooding to the ERs on the 4th of July and driving up the cost of healthcare.

They don't call it creeping socialism because it happens over night. It's an intentional incremental chipping away at freedoms and liberty under the guise of "helping people." Since we're doing this (stupid thing they shouldn't be doing but was passed quickly under some "emergency" war powers or economic "crisis" they didn't let go to waste), we have to also do that to help with this, and tell the people to do something else because it makes this better, and make another thing illegal to make this is less costly. Then, even after the laws pass, this continues to be more and more expensive and used to justify even more funky rules and regulations, often only selectively enforced.

I personally don't think driving 65 in a 55 zone is a horrible crime or that much more dangerous, but it's there to selectively enforce if they choose. If you're nice to the cop and go along with his unreasonable searches, he'll probably just let you go. If you start to try to exercise your 4th Amendment Rights regarding search and seisure, or even ask about it, the cop will consider you hostile and then choose to selectively enforce the speed limit, the seatbelt law, and various other things that most people don't care about until they get a crazy expensive ticket for it. If you're a good sheep and never speed, never use fun fireworks, never do anything that "breaks" some obscure law that probably shouldn't exist, then you're a good citizen, I guess. Just pay your taxes don't complain.

And that $25 ticket for seatbelts is said to be over $100 once they include all kinds of fees. Not that the government loves all these silly laws as a revenue source.

And our wonderful Republican governor is the one who signed the stupid seatbelt law instead of vetoing it. Good for the unallotment, but a big BOOoo for the seatbelt law.

Hehe... 4096 character limit means I need two posts... so much rambling!

Jim said...

The vote results are interesting. We'll have to tease Jen when we see her. Just because law enforcement supports something doesn't mean it should be a law. Of course, they support a lot of good anti-crime things, but they sometimes have "support" (from their more political higher-ups) for things that are just revenue-raisers or are some kind of power-grab. That said, the police usually do an excellent job and the courts (or wimpy sentencing laws or something) are the problem when they keep letting people go over and over again. People with 30+ arrests (for real crimes, not fireworks "smuggling") before they finally murder someone to end up on the news with a "long criminal history."

All of that said, I always wear my seatbelt. Just because I will probably never get a ticket for this law doesn't mean I don't think it's a silly law.

Sheila said...

Ugh! Definite teasing.

I wear my seat belt too-- my sister was one of those 16-year-olds who would have died w/o it- but I don't typically sit in the back seat, so it's not as much of a habit.

Agree with all of your logic

Todd just broke the law again today by taking one of our kids around the block w/o a booster seat as a reward for helping wash the car.

Mary said...

I am like Chia--a Danger Ranger. I am surprised that you don't habitually buckle up in the backseat. You need to buckle up in the backseat...but it is not the place of the government to impose that on you...but it is my job, as your sister, to insist that you buckle up in the backseat. I'd hate to see your skinny ass wrapped around a tree (or a motorcycle, for that matter)

Did you ever read the Weekly Standard article on children's car seats (came out last year). Quite fascinating.

Sheila said...

My ass is not so skinny these days-- yes, I need to remember to buckle up when in the back seat. See the government has changed my behavior!! It does work! Sign me up on the nanny-state express!

I missed that article...excellent reading- here it is