Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Of Fireworks and Stupid Laws

Today in the Chicago Tribune (I would link the story but they require registration now, so screw them) it is reported that the city of Chicago is considering outlawing sparklers. It is very easy to obtain not only sparklers, but the really big fireworks in the neighboring states of Indiana and Wisconsin. In the end it is somewhat like having a dry county. People who want to drink just go to the next county and buy their alcohol there.

Most readers understand that the city of Chicago must have better things to do than sit around and make annoying laws about sparklers - what with their super high murder rate. My big gripe is that here we have yet another law that has basically no means of any sort of enforcement mechanism. There will never be "firework cops". Toothless laws like the sparkler ban are just another way for the ever growing state to take just a little bit more of our freedoms away - a way for them to inject themselves into our lives at little risk. The founders or anyone else who truly believes in the inherent right of man to be free would, of course, bristle at the stacks of laws on the books that seem trivial but chip away at our freedoms. When was the last time anyone got a ticket for jaywalking? Then why have that law on the books? Behavior modification - you must obey the law. The state is your parent.

I am tired of it. A smoking ban in all restaurants and bars goes into effect in the city of Madison July 1. This is nothing other than the government going in and telling a business owner how to run his life. Smoking is not illegal. No one is forcing the patrons to stay there; no one is forcing the workers to work there. It is simply another government power grab under the ruse of public safety.

Remember when the mandatory seat belt laws went into effect? Police and politicians said they never would write tickets for just that - well, that may come to an end this year here in Wisconsin. I think it is just another reason for cops to pull you over and violate your privacy by going through your car or asking you questions.

If the populus doesn't start asking politicians to end this disturbing behavior it may never end.

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