Legislating away life
March 21, 2002
It is the stated opinion of this paper and a couple of local residents that ski helmets should be mandatory for children, Aspen Skiing Co. employees, and possibly even everyone.
Putting aside all their factual inaccuracies, blatent assumptions, and logical fallacies, the root of the argument seems to be the preciousness of life.
Ever stop and think about what it is that makes life so precious? I assert that life is precious because it is extremely fragile and limited – we are all going to die sooner or later and we all know it.
Just imagine how cheap and meaningless our days would be if we lived forever. Life simply cannot exist without death, they are two sides of the same coin.
In our society death is feared, hidden and spoken about in hushed voices. Some well meaning people in our midst fear death so much that they seek to regulate and legislate away the risk of death. In doing so they are regulating away the very thing which makes life precious.
They are trying to regulate away life itself. They seek to control others rather than heal their own relationship with death.
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In this supposedly free society we already have hundreds (if not thousands) of ridiculous laws which regulate personal behaviors which affect no one other than the individual. The idea of personal freedom/personal responsibility is in the ICU on a respirator – are you ready to pull the plug altogether?
I agree with these concerned citizens that we can set a positive example for children. Let’s teach them about awareness, risk, the preciousness of life, and the burden of personal responsibility that comes with living in a free society.
Let’s teach them to think for themselves and to make the most of life, no matter what hand they are dealt. Let’s teach them that accidents happen even when no one is at fault and no on is to blame. That is, after all, why they are called “accidents.”
Maybe they will grow up without the victim mentality so prevelant in our society. Maybe they will believe in themselves, think for themselves, actually read warning signs, be aware, and not look for someone to sue every time they have an accident.
By the way, I’ve been a professional ski patroller for 10 years, and I love my helmet. I have been wearing it consistantly for six years now because I believe that it is the right thing for me.
Sometimes on beautiful spring days like today I leave it in the shack and ski with just the sun and wind in my hair. Doing so, I blatantly increase the risk of sustaining a head injury or death, and it feels wonderful.
My brain, my life, my choice – what ‘s wrong with that?