Apr 17, 2004, 11:04 PM
Post #8 of 23
Well, you're talking about an ideal situation, and the world just doesn't operate as an ideal situation. The world is very imperfect.
In the ideal world, we would need no such laws because drunks would take responsibility for their actions. All well and good... if they DO take proper responsibility. But they don't. And most of them won't.
If we all took personal responsibility, we would need no police forces or guns in the world because all the potential bandits would take personal responsibility and not rob (or murder) people. No one would ever threaten another person. That would be personally irresponsible. There would be no violence. And we will all join hands and sing "Kumbaya."
But this is the REAL world. A drunk is NOT going to take personal responsibility, even if you were to give him the death penalty for driving drunk. Even if you were to draw and quarter him in the public square before hanging him. If you're talking about allowing him to make his choice based simply on the principles of having a freedom of action which would allow HIM to make the choice of whether to drive drunk or not, explain your freedom of choice to the orphaned kids of the parents he kills with his automobile.
Hell yes, I'm all for sticking a breathalyzer on the car. Stick one on mine, I don't care. I don't drive drunk. But as I recall, what they were doing with the proposed law in New York was to require someone who had already been convicted of DUI to put a breathalyzer on his car or forefeit his license. I don't see that as too much to ask any more than I see it as too much to ask that the freedom of a known child molester be restricted.
Is this proposed law, limited as it is to known offenders, also a major attack on individual liberties? If you think so, what you need to do is find an island and start your own society where there are no such laws, and probably no required taxes (leave it up to each person's personal responsibility to pay), no restrictions on personal freedoms, and no probably no government of any kind. The Libertarian dream world. Good luck.
We once had a time in the USA where restrictions on personal actions were severely limited, almost absent. It was called the Wild West. A lot of people believe those were ideal times. But there was a lot of open land where people could be wild (of course, this was after those people who moved into that open land took personal responsibility to severely limit the freedom of action of the people who had been living there before -- the Indians). And when farmers, tradespeople, merchants, and other exemplars of civilization with their women and children moved in, you began to see real restrictions on personal liberties. Taking personal responsibility just hadn't cut it as a way to build the community. Too many drunks, too many bandits, too many people getting gunned down. The new folk who didn't have all that much faith in personal responsibility brought in the police and judges and the law.
As for the kids sitting in front of the video games these days, do you think appealing to their personal responsibility to get out, play with other kids, socialize, and get some exercise is going to pull them away from the tube? Hell no. Neither is booting them outside and shutting down the tubes. They'll just go to somebody else's tube. The reason the Mexican kids get outside and play is because they can't afford the tubes. If they could, their butts would be smack dab in front of them, too. The only thing that will get them away from video games is the same thing that got us away from pickup baseball games: raging hormones.
To this old fogey, it's too bad so many kids are ruining their eyes and their health with the stupid games. But that's life. As long as the kids are taking the personal responsibility to let me go on being an old fogey, that's fine with me. If they don't, I'll call the law on them.