March 31, 2010 - 9:07am
Today's Poll: Should there be mandatory seat belt laws?
posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
March 31, 2010 - 10:24am#1
95 votes for "yes" and no comments supporting the vote. If you voted "yes", don't just say "because it saves lives." If that reasoning were logical, you'd also have motorcycles, snowmobiles, 4-wheelers and mountain climbing outlawed.
March 31, 2010 - 12:29pm#2
Wasn't this already a poll once? I can't imagine people's minds have changed much.
March 31, 2010 - 12:31pm#3
While I understand the theory that seatbelts save lives...it is a personal choice as to whether or not an individual wants to wear a seatbelt. I know of 3 people who were not wearing their seatbelts and were in an accident...they were told by the police officer that if they had been wearing their seatbelt they would have died. I also have a friend who received a seatbelt ticket and fought it in court stating that it is against our constitutional rights to be required to wear one and his ticket was dismissed, does that tell you anything? Read your constitution...you might be surprised at what they are creating laws for that they aren't supposed to be doing.
March 31, 2010 - 12:56pm#4
People who engage in risky behavior quite often have inadequate insurance. They will sue in a heartbeat to get their uninsured medical expenses covered. People who don't wear seatbelts should not be allowed to sue. I was in an accident a few years ago. If I hadn't been wearing my seatbelt, I'd have died. By the way, I knew someone who died at 92 years old who smoked every day for 70 years. Just because she was an exception, doesn't mean that most people are so lucky.
March 31, 2010 - 1:15pm#5
I voted yes. The reasons why are many. But first off, the irresponsible myth that a seatbelt could kill you is ridiculous and it takes a very unintelligent police officer to make that statement. The impact that it would take for a seatbelt to kill you would have to be so severe that you would've been killed without it too. Anyways. There's various reports on how much car accidents cost each American every year. The AAA report that I recently read, and will be glad to find and link, placed that number at over $1000 per adult citizen per year. That's approximately 160 billion dollars annually. Injuries and deaths simply cost money. Health care reform is inconsequential in this number, with or without, you need to factor in the cost of ambulances, fire departments, police departments, hospitals - all of which will increase for those that aren't wearing a seatbelt as injuries are much more severe than those wearing a seatbelt. Instead of that ambulance, it's a helicopter. Instead of that local hospital, it's a trauma center. Instead of the on-call ER doctor, it's a high priced specialist. Instead of walking out of the hospital after a few stitches or a cast, it's months of rehab after weeks of staying in the hospital. The emotional toll that seeing a car wreck can take on first responders can't go unnoticed. Someone witnessing a horrific car accident may need a lifetime of therapy. The lost man-hours at a place of employment for that injury those involved take - perhaps even the loss of money in your check if you are hourly or simply don't have time off to take - which can spiral into bills being paid late, more credit card debt, etc etc etc. Those are just some of the economic factors of why you should wear a seatbelt. Frankly, we need more enforcement on it. And stiffer penalties.
March 31, 2010 - 1:40pm#6
I agree with Tony.
March 31, 2010 - 2:02pm#7
I agree that people should wear seatbelts. I disagree that the government should enforce it. It is NOT the government's job to force something on us, whether it's seatbelts or healthcare. If car insurance companies offer some sort of incentive to wear seatbelts, that is something entirely different.
March 31, 2010 - 2:25pm#8
So you mean, if the car insurance that you're required to purchase by the federal government offers an incentive, then it's cool - one that can't be verified or enforced so your real rebate would be nil as everyone would simply say they wear their seatbelt... but if the government skips the middle man and enforces it, all the while buffering the real cost of the medical attention non-wearers require through fines against those that are caught, then it isn't? Those voting no seem to be operating under the assumption that one has the right to drive, when one truly does not. That's why you need permission to do so in the form of a license. It's also not against the Constitution for the government to make a law. In fact, it's explicitly what they're there to do, with states having general police power for every day enforcement. If it's not in the Constitution that you explicitly have to wear one, where is it explicitly that you don't? This thing isn't some ultimate legal document which can plug every hole. It's a groundwork for where we are today. Where does it say in the Constitution I have to stop at red lights? The logic behind using that as the constant defense argument is tortured, at best.
March 31, 2010 - 2:46pm#9
The no voters have an attitude of "catch me if you can". They will pour beer or liquor in a coffee mug and merrily drive down the street to get from one bar to the next - "catch me if you can". They will put a shoulder harness over their shoulder but not attach it - "catch me if you can". It is a cavalier attitude that smacks of immaturity.
March 31, 2010 - 2:57pm#10
Tony, It was the groundwork for where we are today. Every time though the government creates another mandate or tells the populous as a whole that they are required to do something, that document becomes more useless. Listen, I wear my seatbelt, pay my taxes, even have health insurance. I do these things because it is the smart thing to do, but that doesn't mean it has to be the "right" thing to do. The only reason why it is stems from the laws and mandates that have been created. I voted no on this, but again not because I don't think that you should or shouldn't wear your seatbelt. Tony, while I agree with you that driving is not a right, but a priveledge let's be real. Wearing or not wearing a seatbelt will only hurt one person, the idiot not doing it. If you have a problem that they are under insured then fight for more comprehensive insurance reform, my point is, this does not solve a problem, but just a symptom of a larger issue. So what's next? A what point is it enough?
March 31, 2010 - 2:59pm#11
I'm a no voter Bea and that is not how I think. I'd appreciate if you keep your assumptions to yourself. Intelligient people can actually disagree with a sense of purpose.
March 31, 2010 - 2:59pm#12
Since I used that quote in relation to this stepped up enforcement, I can only assume you mean me... I am careful about how much a I drink before I drive. I wear my seatbelt but received many fewer injuries because I wasn't wearing one when I hit a tree at 17 then if I did. Quit calling me immature. Defiance of laws that you disagree with is not immaturity. Its American Tradition. See the Boston Tea Party. See Shay's Rebellion. See the secession of the South over states rights. See the Jim Crow laws and segregation. Tony, car insurance is demanded by state governments, not the fed. The unconstitutionality comes from the fiscal restraints put on by the fed against the states in the form of "no law, no highway money".
March 31, 2010 - 3:07pm#13
Bea, if you are a person who always wears a seat belt, as I do, and a person who voted "no" - how is that a "catch me if you can attitude"? I fail to see the logic in that. Some of us just object to the government trying to run our lives. We object to the idea of the Nanny State. As for the additional cost on insurance: easy free-market solution: Don't wear you're seat belt and your insurance doesn't cover your accident. Driving isn't a right it's a privileged ... it's also a necessity of civil life. We own our own cars. We own our own lives. The idea that the government can intrude on private decisions is just distasteful. As for this being a previous poll. I'm sure it was, but the subject came up again and I needed a poll question this morning. Also, I bet The Batavian's audience size is around double what it was the last time we ran this question (or something like it). Also, you never know, opinions might change.
March 31, 2010 - 3:14pm#14
I think it is a government conspiracy to keep people alive so they can pay taxes !
March 31, 2010 - 3:28pm#15
Peter - don't be so naive to think that the state government is demanding it by their own volition. Federal Highway Funding being given, and withheld, is constitutional in 2 matters, the Federal right to tax, and the Federal right to govern interstate commerce. Same reasons why HCR is legal and the lawsuits are just showboating. The state and federal government builds all the roads. They most certainly have a right to say what you can and can not do if you choose to use them. Also, since you brought it up, please see who won the Civil War over states rights vs federal rights. One hint, the first word of the name of our nation starts with a U, not a C. States are subjected, legally, to the final word of the federal government, and the federal government is the final judge on the limits of its powers. Phil - You can certainly not wear your seatbelt too. There's nothing within the car itself that compels you to do so (aside from newer American cars which never shut up, that I'll give you). There's nothing that forces you to follow the speed limit, there's nothing that forces you to drive on the right. It's a choice, one that comes with consequences in either scenario. But it isn't just the "smart" thing to do, it's definitely the right thing to do. All the services I mentioned that are impacted economically, are taxpayer funded. Even "private" hospitals receive huge federal grants. If nothing else, it's being a bad citizen and taxpayer by not wearing it, compounding the issue for others to bridge the gap for what that individual has cost everyone else, and what they have not been able to contribute. In such an overly conservative I'm-not-paying-for-that area, I'm surprised there aren't 100% of people voting yes.
March 31, 2010 - 3:42pm#16
Easy free market solution? Sorry, but it's not so easy. Cop takes down accident report info and asks, "were you wearing your seat belt?" and you simply answer, "yes." That isn't exactly a solution. Get sent flying through your windshield so you can't take that easy way out? No problem, your insurance won't cover you, but doctors must follow the hippocratic oath and treat you. So you just never pay. Eventually somebody does. That somebody? The taxpayer. So... the only solution..... Wear your seatbelt. Owning a car and driving isn't a necessity, it's a choice - and it comes with responsibilities. Take a bus, a train or walk if you can't be bothered with traffic law. Even bicyclists in this area don't know or follow the traffic laws. They, just like people that don't wear their seatbelts, are a liability to everyone else - either through their insurance premium, or through their tax bill.
March 31, 2010 - 3:44pm#17
Understood Tony, but you just illustrated my point even more. All the services I mentioned that are impacted economically, are taxpayer funded. Even "private" hospitals receive huge federal grants. Its' the government's very desire to infuse itself in every single section of our lives that is the real main issue here. Don't get your titles mixed up for all of us Tony, I'm a Libertarian, not a conservative. I don't want the government handling anything that affects me. I have spent too much time watching how poorly things are run to know that it doesn't make things better. As for that Private hospital you were speaking of, how many grants would they need if the government didn't mandate the cost and payments of so many entities within it?
March 31, 2010 - 3:55pm#18
Phil - This hypothetical private hospital would need as many grants as it would take to operate and stay afloat, as well as remain competitive with the hospitals in the advantageous position of having government funding. How many MRI's do you think it'd take to pay off *1* MRI machine before a profit is ever realized? How many x-rays to pay off *1* x-ray machine before a profit is ever realized? What is a hospital without these big-ticket items? A doctors office. There's a reason why government needs to inject itself in such things. Free-markets ignore them, the investment is too steep and the profits are too far away and too small once you get there. Would we have todays highway system without Eisenhower's interstate plan? Would we have the air traffic controlling system or even the airports... hell, even the airlines themselves... without federal intervention? Need any proof to either of these, just look at our rail system. The free-market abandoned it, yet it was once the industry to be in for all the worlds wealthiest people - not only did the free-market abandon it, but they created shadow companies that bought rail and street cars, junked the street cars, tore up the rails, and helped pave the way for government funded roadways... all so they could sell cars and oil. Just like private prisons, they can't operate or turn a profit unless they, themselves, do nothing to rehabilitate inmates and instead foster recitivism and new violence.
March 31, 2010 - 4:42pm#19
If the seat belt law saves on insurance costs why hasn't my rates gone down since this law was enacted...I can't believe those on here who believe every laws the government creates is a good one and should never be disagreed with..If seat belts are alright for people who own cars to wear,way aren't they mandatory for those that ride on the public bus system..Why are those that drive large trucks not forced to wear seat belts.How many excuses do we have to give the police to pull us over..It all about revenue ...I would like to know ,throughout the whole state, how much every year is collected on this bogus law....For a country that was founded on personal freedom of choice,we sure seemed to be headed in the wrong direction..
March 31, 2010 - 4:21pm#20
Buses, depends on the size. Smaller buses are considered passenger vehicles, and they are required. Larger buses operate under the belief that the bigger the vehicle, the safer it is - and no studies replicate the safety improvements that vehicles under 10000 pounds see from their use. Being such a large vehicle with such strong momentum, it is highly unlikely that it will abruptly stop in an accident, which is where seatbelts serve their purpose... instead, its speed and weight will carry it through almost anything that it would hit, and to a safer, measured stop.
March 31, 2010 - 4:19pm#21
How many people who have commented on this have read the entire constitution? Well I know someone who has and he can argue with you until you are exasperated and then he will pull out the Constitution and show you. Believe me I wear my seatbelt because I don't want a ticket...but I believe it's my choice. I make my children wear seatbelts. Also, I do not drink and drive and never will, my aunt and uncle were almost killed by a drunk driver. That's such a ridiculous statement, why anyone would drink and drive is beyond me...they would have to have a death wish and want to take someone out with them.
March 31, 2010 - 4:23pm#22
I've read it - it was a requirement at several levels of schooling, including 5th grade where they gave you a replica copy. What does that have to do with the absurdity of using an almost 225 year old document as the legal basis surrounding an invention that wasn't thought of until 1950?
March 31, 2010 - 4:26pm#23
I don't know Tony, how many would it take to be profitable? So what I am to understand, is that there is no way that any sector of business that can survive without government aid? Really? That's your position? We could pull every industry apart and see how the free left certain things on the table. We could also pull those same sectors apart and view how the more federal mandates and "programs" were created, the less profits were made. We could also show that it was at these times that fed "saved" everyone! What we wouldn't talk about though is how the more political something becomes the worst off it is though would we? Once the political system gets involved it all becomes about votes. Those votes are turned into legislation and that legislation hurts companies which ends up putting people out of work. That in turn creates a "need" for the populous and is turned into another program that gives something away to "help", but they have to pay for it, so they create another law that "protects" people and will reduce the cost for all. I'm not buying Tony, sorry and Mark makes a great point. Where are the savings? The bigger government gets, the less freedom we have.
March 31, 2010 - 5:01pm#24
its the insurance company's that want the seat belt laws. and for the most part its a good idea it does save lives lot of the time but not all depends what type of crash. the insurance company's run this country and don't forget it
March 31, 2010 - 5:05pm#25
Please don't read any further into what I said than I did. Government needs to inject itself into areas where the free-market is non-existant or not enough. Free markets are driven by profits, either real or potential. Do you think that there would be phone lines coast-to-coast if there wasn't a tax on your phone bill specifically to fund the expansion of copper lines to rural areas of the country? Somehow, I just don't think AT&T would've justified the expenditure to reach 1 family in the middle of Kansas, with nothing around them for miles. Does the extension of phone lines to rural areas at the governments intervention mean AT&T had less jobs? More likely, they had more jobs, because not only does a line need to be built, it needs to be serviced at all parts in between, including installation at the end-users place of residence. How's cable tv and internet service out in those very same areas? You can't even get cable TV in some areas just outside of Batavia, so you don't need to travel very far for research. Even moreso, post-AT&T, the baby Bells all grown up and in 3 massive telecoms, they are now spinning off rural phone markets to companies like Frontier because they simply aren't making money. And correct, once the government gets involved, it becomes about the votes. A luxury you don't get with a private company. You can say you'll take your business elsewhere, vote with your dollar. But do you think that really matters? AT&T was broken up because long-distance rates were crazy. So people voted with their dollars after and shopped for long-distance rates. So the Baby Bells just jacked up local service costs to compensate for the loss. And we all paid more for the same level of service as before. Did the taxation of phone services to fund expansion to rural areas somehow equate to less freedom? Or does the ability to move essentially anywhere in the country, remote or dense, yet still not be cut off from the world not equate to more freedom? Does government building roads not equate to more freedom? Does government building the railways currently and airports previously not give you the freedom of choice in travel? Does government funding all medical residencies for the past 40 years through Medicare so going to a small hospital for surgery wasn't akin to a death sentence not equate to more freedom? Does the government protecting human rights through Civil Rights not equate to more freedom? Does the government granting the right to vote to women not equate to more freedom? I'm sorry, but "less government = more freedom" is a great sound bite and good theory. But the reality of that practice hasn't worked out so well thus far. Lest we forget what happened to banks and investment firms once regulations were relaxed on them..... I hope that despite our disagreements here, we can at least agree there IS a happy medium out there somewhere, and despite the flaws in the system, it is still to this day the best in the world. And the savings... my car insurance goes down every year. I don't want to advertise or anything, as I'm not a paid representative nor do I work in marketing, but you too can save 15% or more by switching to Geico. :-)
March 31, 2010 - 5:10pm#26
"What does that have to do with the absurdity of using an almost 225 year old document as the legal basis surrounding an invention that wasn't thought of until 1950?" The principles of the Constitution are timeless. That's why it has survived 225 years. It's when we start making arguments that those principles are no longer relevant, or not relevant in this or that case, that we start eroding those basic principles. The United States was founded to free people of the shackles of government control. It's led to the greatest prosperity and the least oppression in human history. You could argue that at the time the Constitution was written, blacks were still enslaved and women couldn't vote, etc. But it was the very underlying principles -- which I believe the founders had the wisdom to foresee -- that created the conditions for greater equality for all. You could argue we have yet to achieve perfect equality. That's fine. But the fact is, if we continue to erode in small and large measure the foundations of freedom, then there will never be equality and we will assuredly lose our prosperity, a process that may already be in place. Phil is 100 percent correct, "The bigger government gets, the less freedom we have." It's scary to me how many people are willing to sacrifice a little freedom here or there in the name of "greater good." The greater good is freedom, not more and more government intrusion into people's lives. You want greater equality? Promote freedom? You want to end poverty and feed the hungry? Promote freedom.
March 31, 2010 - 5:15pm#27
I don't understand how this is a Constitutional issue. By the 10th Ammendment "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." This is a States issue and a New York State law. If there is a Constitutional issue it is with the New York State Constitution.
March 31, 2010 - 5:30pm#28
It's not intrusion when you build the roads and then dictate what the laws of their use are. They own the roads. It's as simple as that. When I was a kid, if I did something wrong, I got punished. My parents just didn't understand for some reason that it was a free country, I don't understand why. They kept saying "It's my house, you follow my rules." It was much more colorful and lengthy than that, but that sentence was definitely in there somewhere. If you truly want "freedom" with smaller government, we can achieve that. Except it's called anarchy, and a prime example of that in practice is in Haiti. The freedoms we enjoy are afforded to us by our very government. They're a product of a strong government, not in spite of it.
March 31, 2010 - 5:46pm#29
The money to build the roads are taken from us by force. They are necessary to promote the well being and welfare of the populace, primarily by serving the needs of commerce. As infrastructure for the common welfare, it does not follow that we abandon all liberty merely because we need to use them for their intended purpose. Laws are supposed to be instruments to promote the common welfare by ensuring that we do not take a liberty so far as to impinge on the liberty of another individual. Seat belt laws serve no useful purpose in that regard. I'm certainly not arguing against enforcing the law, as you seem to imply. I'm arguing against the propriety of the law. It's a complete diversion to try to say that the defenders of freedom are arguing against following the law. How would you like it if I tried to portray your position as totalitarian? I've made no such statements against your position, yet you seem to want to mischaracterizatize my position in a similar, but opposite, extreme. The anarchy argument is a straw man. It's a comfortable way of dealing with and excusing an ever more intrusive government. Nobody is arguing for anarchy (though I have friends who would). I'm arguing against the slippery slope of greater government intrusion, which seems to me -- and I say this with respect -- you seem to not mind at all.
March 31, 2010 - 7:12pm#30
The seat belt law is not intrusion. I've clearly highlighted the way that it benefits the common good of all specifically targeting economics. It in no way hinders me from driving, it doesn't slow me down, it doesn't make me question my safety. Everything about this law is quite literally out in the open. It's easy to see what is done and how the information is gathered, and how its enforced. Intrusion would be something along the lines of the USA PATRIOT Act. One could very easily wonder exactly what "they" know about your deepest, darkest secrets. It takes one of a very highly developed knowledge base in technology and electronics to fully understand that. And most of the information is gathered via subterfuge. It isn't gathered by looking through a window that can have no more 30% tint to it. It's gathered by breaking the very passwords and security measures you have chosen to use to protect it. That... is intrusion. And the money "taken" from you is certainly not taken by force by any stretch of the imagination. Article 1, Section 8, quite clearly states: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States. The 16th Amendment of the Constitution says: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. And call it totalitarian if you desire, for I did open the door on that by my own analogy. But stop and think for a moment. Abraham Lincoln proposed a "more government" approach in regards to the former slave Southern black population. 40 Acres and a Mule is the term we know it by now... Reconstruction. Sherman's Special Orders. He was assassinated, obviously. And a less government approach was taken, Andrew Johnson reversed the order and gave all the land back to previous owners. This led to share-cropping, a "free" form of slavery. It did nothing to stop the impression on blacks by a famous white supremacist group to prevent them from voting. Then finally, Redemption, which saw Jim Crow laws adopted across the South. It literaly took 100 years for Southern black men and women to realize the freedoms they were Constitutionally given in 1865. I'm sorry, but this is still a world of Might Makes Right. And the only tool we, as in all of us voters, actually have against groups like they saw, and corporations that try to control us... is the only entity big enough and strong enough to control them... our government. Some people have turned to Unions, but even they are too small to make any dents in corporations these days... they're pretty ineffective and useless, actually. In American history, more government has almost always equalled more freedoms, and less has almost always equalled less.
March 31, 2010 - 7:34pm#31
I can see a mass exodus from Batavia to Paulville Ron Paul supporters to establish 'Paulville' libertarian community Paulville, Texas, is the name of an American cooperative organization as well as the site and planned community under its development in the badlands of north Hudspeth County, intended to consist exclusively of "freedom and liberty lovers". Paulville was named after U.S. Congressman and 2008 presidential candidate Ron Paul, and the cooperative is modeled on his often libertarian ideas. The Paulville site consists of 500 acres of undeveloped salt flats outside of city limits, located south-southwest of rural Dell City, Texas (population 413 in 2000), north of U.S. Route 180, and an hour east of El Paso. It is also 770 miles from Paul's East Texas office of Lake Jackson. The organizers say 50 acres have been purchased to date. Photos reveal the range of the Guadalupe Mountains 15 miles east, and the local area has occasional deer and tumbleweeds. The mountain area is also noted for elk, coyotes, jack rabbits, desert cottontails, ring-tailed ground squirrels, and gray foxes. Another mountain range looms just west. Planners have raised the Paulville town sign and are establishing septic and electrical systems on a unique opt-out basis reflective of principles of individualism: citizens are not required to use the cooperative's water and energy supplies and may choose to live off-grid. Members say they chose the West Texas plot for its high amount of sunshine, favoring off-grid solar panels. About the West Texas location: The West Texas Community was selected for it's warm climate and great solar and wind generation capabilities, along with low cost of establishment. Close to the small agricultural community of Dell City, Texas in Hudspeth county. Hudspeth county has no building codes, this is important to people who want to experiment with alternative building technologies such as straw bale, rammed earth, papercrete an other non traditional building styles for these off grid homes. Many investors of this property are seeking off grid technologies such as solar and wind power, realizing true freedom is when you have no obligations to pay and or rely on the grid for services like electricity. However most investors are very technology orientated and will have needed convenience items such as cell phones and internet connections. The climate in this location is arid, meaning low humidity and low rainfall. However their is a large aquifer under this property, the very same one that Dell City uses to grow all it's crops. Average temps range mid 90's in the summer and low 30's in the winter due to it's 4,000 foot elevation, making for not too hot of summers and not too cold of winters. The great solar exposure makes for easy passive solar heating and long growing seasons. SOURCES: http://paulville.org/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulville,_Texas Less..
March 31, 2010 - 8:41pm#32
Cool Bea, I didn't know that you were interested in going! :-)
March 31, 2010 - 8:53pm#33
Tony, you're looking at this in a very black-and-white perspective. Yes, wearing your seatbelt is a good idea. Everything you've said relating to seatbelts and safety is correct. But it is NOT the governments job to enforce it upon us, even if it is a good thing. There are certain aspects of life that we (should) enjoy in this country. Freedom, to a degree, is one of them. Freedom of choice, freedom of speech, etc. Generally, the line is drawn, or there's conflict, where one person's freedom intrudes on another person's freedom or quality of life. The choice to wear or not wear a seatbelt affects only the one making the choice -- no one else. This being said, the government should NOT be enforcing something like this. Regardless if it's a good thing or not. Also, to clarify. The government -- specifically, the DMV -- licenses people to drive because a vehicle can be dangerous and deadly. This is the same principal as to why guns are also licensed to people. Remember what I just said about freedom and intruding on other people's quality of life? This is how the conflict/line that would exist if guns and cars weren't licensed is resolved. Just because driving a car legally requires that you're licensed by the state you reside in doesn't mean it should be law to wear a seatbelt, just as if you own and are licensed to own a firearm, you aren't required to use only your right hand or only your left eye when firing it. Those are choices whoever firing the firearm gets to make.
March 31, 2010 - 9:46pm#34
The choice of wearing a seatbelt affects every single person in this country with a job. It costs each of us more money. That's an undeniable fact. That being said, the government absolutely should be enforcing the law. As auto injuries w/o seatbelts cost society 25-50% more money as a whole, then non-seatbelt wearers, in your terms, intrudes on my economic freedom and directly impacts my quality of life as finance plays a large role in that - directly impacting my work-life balance. And also, I don't need a license to buy a gun. I can walk into K Mart right now, and walk out with a 12 gauge shotgun or a 30-06 rifle, amongst many other shotgun gauges and rifle measurements, in 30 minutes time. No license required. Fully armed. I wouldn't even need to register them. I would need a license to acquire a handgun, sure... but paradoxically, I could get an assault rifle at a gun show free and clear so long as the weapon was manufactured before 1994. If it was made before 1994, I could buy anything. Oh, and that expired in 2004 anyway. Seems pretty lax right? New York is considered the most strict state in the nation for acquiring a firearm. Despite the many flaws in your argument, I'll entertain it. To start, the progression from being forced to wear a seatbelt to being required to shoot a gun right-handed is not demonstrated in any aspect of life - there's simply no rule on the books that states you need to shoot right-handed, nor one ever been proposed to even begin to compare the two, so the analogy died before it could started. ...Trying to interpret it anyway, just because it's legal to acquire a handgun with proper license, doesn't mean you are free to do with the gun whatever you want. You can't discharge it within city limits, even though nobody was hurt. You can't transport it across state lines with it loaded, despite conceal carry laws allowing you to carry it loaded. Despite no licenses or registration being required for shotguns and rifles, you can't keep it in your car loaded. All these additional laws are done to protect society at large. Just because you and I may be perfectly sane, law-abiding citizens today, doesn't mean something can't cause us to have a mental breakdown tomorrow. Just because neither of us have never been within 50 feet of getting in a car accident, doesn't mean we are immune to accidents in the future. In both those senses, whether it be a change in mental state or an unexpected accident not of our fault... we suddenly become dangers to society - whether it be physically in the gun scenario, or economically in the car accident scenario. The laws exist to protect everyone else, not to punish law-abiding citizens. A law-abiding citizen has nothing to lose by following the law.
March 31, 2010 - 11:58pm#35
Posted by Phil Ricci on March 31, 2010 - 8:41pm Cool Bea, I didn't know that you were interested in going! :-) lol, Phil. Actually, I was thinking of those of you who embrace the Libertarian philosophy. You all can go to Paulville and live happily ever after. Just think, you wouldn't have to worry about any political party except your own (you did say you were now a Libertarian, didn't you?). I am curious, which of the three definitions of Libertarian are you? http://www.libertariannation.org/a/f72h3.html
April 1, 2010 - 2:23am#36
Tony, I don't make my analogies iron-clad nor do I take the time to word my arguments so they can't be twisted. I make them simply to make a point. If you want to twist them into something else, by all means, go ahead. It's human nature to attack what we don't like, whether it's opinions or people. If anything, you're acknowledging I have a point whether you like it or not. I've dealt with more than enough bullshit in the four months than any other time in my life. I've become rather apathetic and bitter because of it. Being hostile isn't going to bother me, nor is it going to make me want to continue debating. I'm simply trying to change your mind. So there's no question, the hand/eye analogy illustrates the choice you have when firing a gun just as one has the choice of wearing or not wearing a seatbelt when in a moving vehicle. They're both personal preferences. Yet, one is a crime. And where are you pulling your facts from? If my neighbor gets into a car accident, is injured, and isn't wearing her seatbelt, my pay check is going to be the same if she hadn't.
April 1, 2010 - 6:43am#37
Chris, if you want to make a point, don't base an argument in pure fantasy. No conclusions can be drawn if you want your argument to be fantasy unless the other individual(s) understand that fantasy - or the argument is about some fantasy. It gives the feeling that you don't have grips on reality or understand the argument, and in many cases, your point would have been dismissed. The hand/eye analogy does not demonstrate any correlation between driving/seatbelts. Hand/eye correlation is fantasy, as is the requirement to walk backwards on sidewalks. Both of these do not exist, both would hinder the way both actions are completed, both exist in the realm of fantasy and do not have the implications that seat belts do... which is a reality. If I were to be hostile, I wouldn't be offering assistance to make you better at debate - which is fine if you do not want or feel you need. Frankly, I've no qualms, obviously, with entertaining the notion. If you were to bring this to another individual, or group... they, however, may not be so kind... and you may be totally dismissed and ignored. Anyways, links.... http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/05/news/economy/AAA_study/ I'd like to point out that this study ignores the indirect costs as well. Not just the whole "pain and suffering" of an accident, but the lost productive time getting the car fixed, and so on and so forth that I listed in my first post. http://www.mcw.edu/FileLibrary/Groups/InjuryResearchCenter/Primary_Enfor... That's just focused on Wisconsin. http://www.afdw.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123051958 Here's a little story one of our Airmen wrote. I'd like to point out these 2 sentences one of those guys that defends our freedom wrote, "Seat belt use saves an estimated $50 billion annually in medical care, lost productivity, and other injury related bills. The cost of unbuckled drivers and passengers goes far beyond those killed and the loss to their families." http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/airbags/Seatbelt%20Broch%20Web/no... This I included only for the rate accidents occur. One every 15 seconds is the average. http://www.prlog.org/10408450-seat-belts-dont-just-save-lives-they-save-... InsuranceAgents.com?? Hmm....
April 1, 2010 - 7:59am#38
Driving to work during the winter several years ago, I got off the thruway at the Henrietta exit, pulled away from the the toll booth, came around the first curve and oh s**t cars were spinning, smashing, sliding and flying everywhere. I was in the middle lane, pumped the breaks several times thought I had it when a lady bumped the passenger side of the car pushing me diagonally into the left lane. All I saw was the cab of a tractor trailer. Because I'm a genius my split second reaction was to release the seat belt and curl up in a ball on the passenger side floor. My car slid under the middle of the trailer smashing the driver side door into the middle of the car and smashing the roof down to the steering wheel. I wallked away with a small cut on my pinky from brushing all the glass off. If I left the seatbelt on I would have been road goo. I don't like seat belts and I don't like being told by the government I have where one.
April 1, 2010 - 8:59am#39
These Precious Faces, are a good enough reason for me, to Buckle Up. Very simply, its the Responsible thing to do, to ensure the safety of all of us. Its not always about the "Politics" of the subject, its so much more. So, "Click it or Ticket" (#:
April 1, 2010 - 9:14am#40
Tony, if my argument is pure fantasy and mindless babble, why have several people reading this thread privately contacted me, telling me the complete opposite? Perhaps I should have been more specific when I said "intrudes on another person's freedom or quality of life" and said "directly intruding". If you want to make your argument based on the estimated costs to Medicare, lost time, pain and suffering, etc from not wearing a seatbelt, it does fall within "intruding on another person's quality of life". However, if we want to consider all things that affect freedom and quality of life, I find some of the people in this town downright stupid and ignorant. Their ignorance causes me immeasurable amounts stress and I'm sure others feel the same way. Should a law be passed to keep people from being stupid and ignorant?
April 1, 2010 - 9:36am#41
Tony, let's grant that your societal cost line of thinking is true, then logically you must also support banning alcohol and tobacco consumption, and maybe even sugar, and perhaps requiring all people to go to the gym at least three or four times week -- maybe even mandatory fitness check ups and fines if your body fat is too high? I mean, where does the government intrusion into private lives stop?
April 1, 2010 - 12:49pm#42
Chris - No offense, but since you're asking me to explain, I will - and perhaps with a little bit of the passive-aggressiveness you've tried to employ to call me stupid and ignorant. But if people are privately contacting you telling you that's a good analogy that makes sense, then please do me a favor and direct them to the high school. Evidently they didn't pass English class in 9th grade, nor score well on the SAT. There are rules to using analogies. None of which your analogy follows. Here's a quick list of actual analogies in the English language: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/sampletests/verbalanalogies/ Please identify which set of rules yours fits in. To save time, I'll tell you which rule... none. There needs to be a relationship between Part 1-A and Part 1-B, as well as 2-A and Part 2-B. Then, there needs to be a parallel between 1-A and 2-A, and 1-B and 2-B as well. In this analogy, 1-A and 2-A have the shared relationship of licensure, a 1:1 positive relationship... what is the relationship between 1-B and 2-B? One is an actual law, the other is a fantasy. Is it still a 1:1 positive relationship? Licensure = Licensure as Real-World Law = Fictitious Fantasy Law? In what world does that work? Please explain how your analogy leads us to ANY conclusion at all - any conclusion other than the pre-determined conclusion you wanted by bringing in your inductive reasoning. What you used is called a broken analogy or a false analogy, and it creates false arguments. If you want to introduce a rhetorical, you need to introduce a rhetorical on both ends of the analogy. The point of creating an analog-y is to create analogs between 2 things. You, effectively, drew 0.
April 1, 2010 - 12:35pm#43
The purpose of a seat-belt is to protect the passenger/driver from uncontrolled forward motion. The purpose of a seat-belt law is to minimize insurance payouts by minimizing accident trauma. Obviously a seat-belt will not protect a passenger when a jumbo jet lands on the roof of his/her car. Lawmakers do not pass laws to protect citizens. They pass laws when a special interest group donates enough money to their re-election campaigns to warrant action. In the case of seat-belt law, the special interests were insurance companies. The saccharin PSAs are produced later by the ad council.
April 1, 2010 - 1:06pm#44
Posted by Bea McManis on March 31, 2010 - 11:58pm lol, Phil. Actually, I was thinking of those of you who embrace the Libertarian philosophy. You all can go to Paulville and live happily ever after. Just think, you wouldn't have to worry about any political party except your own (you did say you were now a Libertarian, didn't you?). I am curious, which of the three definitions of Libertarian are you? http://www.libertariannation.org/a/f72h3.html I would totally go, but my wife wouldn't come with. She'll come around! :-) By those counts, I am an Outer Utopia Libertarian, to answer your question.
April 1, 2010 - 2:05pm#45
Posted by Phil Ricci on April 1, 2010 - 1:06pm By those counts, I am an Outer Utopia Libertarian, to answer your question The devil made me write this. This gives an entire new perspective on the question of inney or outey. :)
April 1, 2010 - 3:35pm#46
I guess it world at that. ;-)
April 1, 2010 - 5:34pm#47
See you there!!!!!!!!! I think I'd like the inner Utopia best