From the AP:
ONONDAGA, N.Y. (AP) — Police say a motorcyclist participating in a protest ride against helmet laws in upstate New York died after he flipped over the bike’s handlebars and hit his head on the pavement.
The accident happened Saturday afternoon in the town of Onondaga, in central New York near Syracuse.
State troopers tell The Post-Standard of Syracuse that 55-year-old Philip A. Contos of Parish, N.Y., was driving a 1983 Harley Davidson with a group of bikers who were protesting helmet laws by not wearing helmets.
Troopers say Contos hit his brakes and the motorcycle fishtailed. The bike spun out of control, and Contos toppled over the handlebars. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Troopers say Contos would have likely survived if he had been wearing a helmet.
Here’s what drives me nuts about stuff like this: wearing safety gear while operating an open air vehicle going in excess of 60 mph should be so f**king obvious that no law should ever need to be passed. No one should be so stupid and misinformed – or have such a massive self entitlement complex – that they should even THINK of getting on a motorcycle without a helmet.
And this is the crux of this whole “MAH FREEDUMBZ!!!one11!!” ideological morass we find ourselves in. The fact is that people are too selfish and stupid to actually accept freedom with even a modicum of responsibility. We shouldn’t have to ban smoking, no one should ever be dumb enough to smoke. We shouldn’t have to legislate clean water, clean air – who the heck is dumb enough to poison the place they live? Are you stupid enough to set off bug bombs in your house and then sit down to watch TV? Are you stupid enough to go shovel your waste into your well?
But people make these decisions ALL THE TIME. At a certain point, it’s not just some idiots doing dumbass stuff, it’s a LARGE SECTION of the populace. What goofnut owns 30 Golden Eagles and AK47s but no gun safe? 80% of crimes involving guns are committed with stolen guns. You don’t want gun laws to infringe upon your 2nd Amendment rights? Then treat your sh*t responsibly. It’s not an ideological issue. This isn’t partisan rhetoric. This is basic human behavior – if you can’t handle your toys responsibly, your parents took them away. This goes for weed, strippers, Four Loko, and trans fats. It’s really, really simple. Clean your room and get good grades and you get a later curfew than if you flunk gym and set people’s science projects on fire.
People make decisions all day, every day that affect people around them, with no actual thought of the consequences. Take the guy talking on his cell while cutting through traffic in his Bimmer like Rusty Wallace on cold meds. If I said to him “you can get to work 2 minutes faster a day, but every 20 times I’m going to shoot a child in the head”, do you think he’d slow down? Do you think he is thinking about the other people his behavior might hurt? No, of course not. That self important jackass thinks of nothing but his own ego, and how much more important HIS time is than YOUR LIFE. Heck, there was a woman busted for driving while SHAVING HER PRIVATES. WHAT could POSSIBLY be SO IMPORTANT about having hairless genitals that it is worth the risk while piloting 4000 POUNDS of moving missile at 70 mph?
It’s not that bad or drunk driving is suicide that’s the problem. It’s that it’s MURDER.
Here’s the thing. We HAVE to get people to do the right thing at least SOME of the time, especially when it affects others – as almost everything does. If they do it on their own, then we get freedom. If they don’t, then we get laws that restrict everyone because a significant number of people can’t figure out that there is something beyond their own selfish desires.
The idea is to elect people who are smart enough to balance this, who can craft laws that do the least amount of harm while doing the most amount of good. Not people who are as dumb as us, who play up our fears and hatreds, who keep us ginned up against “the other guys” with platitudes and fiery rhetoric, sticking doggedly to strict, unyielding ideologies and rigid, unrealistic dogma – this is how we get this whole “legislating morality” crap, whether it’s abortion or recycling. Hey, separate your glass and wear a f**king condom. PROBLEM SOLVED. But I need my ego pandered to, to make me feel like I’m on the winning side, regardless of how contrary to my actual interests the agenda is!
If you’re constantly screaming about having the freedom to do something, dollars to donuts you’re one of the people f**king that freedom up. I feel that 7 times out of 10, these issues would be better served by people coming to a consensus as to what the stupid thing is, and then working through social pressure to eliminate it. If the NRA spent a tenth as much time and money getting gun owners to properly use and secure their firearms to reduce accidents, and limit the availability of stolen weapons as they do making sure we don’t outlaw teflon bullets, it would make a bigger impact than ANY piece of legislation would. Just sayin, especially as a supporter of gun rights.
We saw this with the financial meltdown. Wall Street has been saying that it can police itself, that the market corrects, that no government intervention was needed, throwing it’s entire weight behind deregulation and it got it. The derivatives that eventually crashed the market were BY LAW completely unregulated. As in, they were deliberately put OUTSIDE the purview of ANY existing regulatory agency. And what happened? Everybody did everything they possibly could to game the system, and it collapsed. Stupid, selfish, greedy people. And Greenspan was shocked – shocked, Jerry! – that people acted against the best interests of their companies. Jeez, Alan, have you MET people? So, there ya go – if Wall Street cannot police itself, as it has CLEARLY shown it cannot, what should we do? We HAVE to get these people to do the right thing. Not doing so is NOT AN OPTION. But if they actually HAD policed themselves, none of this would have happened, and we’d have no need for further legislation.
In the end, we have to accept that as a species, we are a selfish, self-centered animal out for our own immediate needs. This illusion of superiority we have as humans (magnified a million times for us Americans) that we are somehow not slaves to titties, cocaine, fast food and a good shoe sale is killing us.