Be Careful What You Wish For…
By Sandy Long
We are hearing more and more that laws are being considered that enter into how one lives one’s private life. Starting with helmet and seatbelt laws, these commonly called ‘nanny laws’ have gone on to including smoking, guns, obesity and sugar containing foods among others.
Everyone has their own reasons for supporting or not supporting nanny laws. Perhaps someone has quit smoking or lost a loved one to lung cancer, so they firmly support non smoking laws. On the other hand, perhaps someone else doesn’t support non smoking bans because they are a smoker, which is after all still legal to do, and feel that it infringes on their rights to participate in a legal activity.
Many of these types of laws are supported by scientific data that is skewed to support what ever agency or focus group that pays for the data. People who are against ownership of guns have studies that say that guns kill X amount of people a day. In the studies supporting their claims they do not show how many are killed due to suicide, police actions or other types of shooting deaths; they put them all together.
Anti smoking groups took scientific studies about second hand smoke that were based on mice kept in a totally enclosed space with constant tobacco smoke 24/7 and extrapolated that out to show that second hand smoke affects people adversely. Smoking supporters have shown that, through their own studies, that people who inhale second hand smoke say for as long as it takes for them to eat a meal in a café then go outside are not affected by second hand smoke.
Many people are supporting laws governing obesity such as BMI and mandatory sleep apnea testing for commercial drivers. One person states, “I was tired all of the time. I spoke to my doctor and was sleep tested. Now that I use a C-PAP machine, I feel great. Therefore everyone should be sleep tested and the government should make them do so.”
Another person states that, “My taxes shouldn’t go to pay for people who are obese and have disabilities so cannot work due to being obese. I wish the government would set standards for people’s sizes.”
California’s actions show how supporting one cause can come back and bite the supporter. In California where pollution is high due to overpopulation in most of the state’s larger cities and due to topographic ways the land lays, the California CARB has instituted harsh laws enforcing clean air acts. While many supported these laws initially, it has since been found that the scientist who worked with CARB was not properly educated and cannot back up his so called studies with any data.
Yet, the people who initially supported CARB now are being required to go as far as having three way controlled thermostats put into their new buildings both private and public so that CARB can control how hot or cold one keeps one’s building along with many other prohibitive laws to the enjoyment of life by the people.
While it is normal to support causes or laws about one thing, where does one draw the line? Everyone has something they like or enjoy doing that someone else might object to. Gambling at casinos throughout the country is one example. Many enjoy going to the casino near them to play the games; some thinking that they are going to make their fortune. Many are on fixed incomes and cannot really afford to spend money foolishly to some and end up broke sooner in the month thereby perhaps needing more financial assistance from the taxpayers.
Yet little is heard about these folks from supporters of obesity laws perhaps because the supporter of obesity laws likes to go to the casino while both tap into the taxpayer’s money. If one supports the giving up of a freedom for one group of people, does it not follow that at some point it will affect another group of people as more and more nanny laws are put in place?
If one supports laws governing how fat one person is, how long before laws are passed that govern how warm you keep your house or how often you can go to the casino and then whether you can drive your car to the store or have to walk? When one discriminates against any person for their lifestyle, health, spending habits, mental capacity or whatever for any reason, it will eventually backfire in their faces at some point in the future when someone else takes issue with what the original person is doing and supports laws against it.
It is a viscous cycle of governmental control of the citizens of this country so be careful of what you wish for; you just might get it.