Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fantasty versus reality...

One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation. – Thomas B. Reed (1886)

It shouldn't surprise anyone that something said that long ago is still true today, what is surprising at times is that the number of people who believe that legislating something can really get rid of evil has grown.

Many believe that by making things a law, it will automatically create common sense or protect people from facing harm. Take one small example, motorcycle helmet laws. Anyone who rides a motorcycle should be aware of the fact that they are not protected by any type of metal frame or airbags or any of the other safety requirements laws have created for cars to have. It also doesn't take a great deal of common sense to figure out that if something happens as far as an accident and you don't wear protective clothing and/or a helmet, you will face the possibility of more injury than with a helmet/protective clothing.

The rider makes a choice, though in many states, that rider is now required by law to wear a helmet. Which means the rider still does have a choice, but now the choice is to violate the law or not...

There are lots of other examples that could be used, but the bottom line is we can't legislate common sense, and we can't legislate morality...

1 comment:

Tim Higgins said...

LisaRenee,

I think that we have all seen enough examples to understand that common sense cannot be legislated. In fact I believe that we could say that we have seen that common sense is checked at the door of most legislatures. The funniest part about this exercise in futility however, is that most legislators think that the way to fix a previously passed bad law is with another law.