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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Delusional Lawmakers: "Attractive To Children"

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

Yet another ridiculous law has been passed outlawing the existence of products which are “particularly attractive to children”. The AP reports that the Gov. John Baldacci of Maine signed legislation that outlaws the sale of lighters that are “Particularly Attractive To Children”. Sadly, the Governor seemed delighted to pass this ‘first of its kind’ law.
As I have said before, our legislators can make everything illegal under the guise of protecting children: fire, water, air, wind, etc…. Ultimately, the world is not safe for children, but that is what parents are for.
This legislation was prompted by a child who picked up a lighter and singed their facial hairs and/or face. If I had done this as a child, my parents would have told me, “that’s what you get for playing with fire” and then we would have moved on with our lives. The parents in this case thought otherwise: instead of teaching their child not to play with fire, they lobbied to make the fire illegal – we are living in interesting times!
This notion of “PARTICULARLY ATTRACTIVE TO CHILDREN” seems to be the latest legislative fad in the ‘Post-Smoking-Ban’ era of nanny governance. It is a smokescreen for legislators and politicians to revoke freedoms while pretending to protect the public. But I am arguing that the COST is too high.
“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” – Benjamin Franklin
” I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.” – Thomas Jefferson
While the times we live in call for BIG IDEAS & PRINCIPLED ACTION, we are bombarded with small thoughts, selfish acts, and short-term thinking by our legislators. We are surrounded by functionaries instead of visionaries. I will take personal comfort in the John Adams series on HBO this week and remember what heroic and honorable leadership was actually like.
*My Retail Tobacconist stores do not sell novelty lighters, since we are not novelty stores. But I do believe in that every American has the right to own, sell, or manufacture them if they choose to.
Jorge Armenteros, CMT

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