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From the Midway:Feel good legislation

Monday, February 18, 2008

A disturbing trend has been emerging in our government over the last decade or so. Laws are being made on the State and Federal level, heck even on county level, to protect us citizens against the greatest threat of all time, ourselves.

I'm referring to laws that I like to call common sense law. For example, the seat-belt law. It a good idea to wear your seatbelt but there should not be a law to tell you that you have to wear one. Another example is auto insurance. Sure it's a good idea to have insurance on your vehicle.

If you don't have insurance you would be liable for any damage that you might cause and it may cost you tens of thousands of dollar if you are in an accident. But should the government make a law to force you to buy insurance? They have and you do. Oh and I'm sure that the insurance company benefited most from this type of law.

Legislators need to do something and I think sometime they make up common sense laws just to prove that they did do something. They like to pick a topic that they know that no one can disagree with, like outlawing hair transplants for babies. A baby should not go under a dangerous operation just to feed their egos. But nevertheless, if they try to have this operation there is not a law to prevent it. So to prevent this travesty lets pass a law that prevents these little egomaniacs from undergoing this type of procedure. It's for their own good.

The problem in passing feel good legislation is that it erodes what a law is meant to do. If you start to trivialize laws people won't follow the ones that they don't think apply to them. Soon people will start to think that all the laws are as asinine as the common sense laws are and start to ignore all laws.

Before too long, laws will be forcing fat people to be turned away at a restaurant, sunscreen to be forcefully applied, and forks and knives to be banned.

Instead of making up new laws all the time, lets actually enforce the laws that are already on the books.

Maybe every law should come with a time of renewal. If a law has to be renewed every ten to fifteen years, it would give us time to reflect to see if the law is still needed or if the imminent threat of the day has gone. And maybe, just maybe, it would keep the legislators busy enough each year that they would feel like they had done something

Mike Leckband
From the Midway