Protect me from myself

Another topic on a web forum that I got to thinking about had to do with regulation of pleasure boats to protect people. This conversation ranged rather far abroad into topics of gun control and personal responsibility. I defiantly have opinions on these subjects and ended up writing a little mini response. It is not complete or comprehensive but I wanted to keep it around. One day maybe I will come back and expand on it some.

The attitude that we should protect people from themselves by creating
laws is becoming a huge problem in just about every 1st world country
I’ve heard about. It is slowly taking away our right to participate in
activity’s that have any risk at all.

The flip side of this is if you take away people responsibility to
make their own decisions.. even decisions that can hurt them, then you
basically tell them that they are not responsible and that attitude
falls over on everything. The US is starting to get buried in people
that expect the government to be responsible for them and just decide
to sit down and do nothing. The problem with that is that it isn’t
really the government that is then responsible it is every productive
person and business in society who foots the bill, the next problem
is that the percentage of those being taken care of is getting larger.
It’s not a self sustaining model.

Personally government should enact no laws to protect a person from
himself. Only to protect one person from another person taking their
rights away. Even there you need to be careful that you make sure the
law is appropriate.

The aforementioned gun laws are a case in point. Much less than 1
percent of all guns have been used to commit crimes with. The guns
don’t commit the crime the person holding the gun did. We have had
laws for hundreds of years to punish people that commit crimes with or
without a gun. What more needs to be done than to actually enforce
those laws? yet when a crime happens with a gun do you hear huge
public outcry about punish that man/woman for hurting or killing
someone. no.. what you hear is we need new laws to ban guns.

One case here in america comes to mind.. A woman loses her 9 year old
son to a drive by shooting. The 9 year old was in the wrong place at
the wrong time when some gang members shot at another gang in front of
the kids house. It was tragic.. She spent the next many years talking
about the evil of guns. I don’t remember her talking about how bad
gangs are and how bad the people who actually pulled the trigger are.
I don’t remember the politicians talking about how the gang members in
that gang were so bad and should be punished. But they surely made a
lot of noise about how guns are evil and we should have more laws so
the gang members couldn’t get guns. Huh… the guns were illegal that
they used. They hadn’t gotten them legally in the first place. We
already have laws about that!!

When I was in the military 20 years ago I purchased a pistol. I paid
$370 dollars back then for it. If I had been willing to buy it
illegally I could have bought the same gun still in its stolen box for
$75 dollars with much less hassle than purchasing the legal one.
Making an object illegal doesn’t solve the problem only enforcing the
laws about illegally hurting/robbing or killing someone will. Illegal
guns and knives are commonly available in every country on earth
regardless of the law. These are laws that have even been around more
than a 100 years in someplace’s. If it hasn’t worked in that long why
do we keep trying it. Maybe enforcing responsibility with
appropriately stiff penalty’s on the criminals would help.

Having a police force is all well and fine but when it comes time to
get mugged, raped or killed most likely the cops aren’t there at just
that moment. Cops are mostly good for trying to find the person that
committed the crime not for stopping it in the first place. Percentage
wise how many times have you heard of a cop intervening in a in
progress crime in time to stop it. In most nations the attitude is
that the cops will protect me, I’m not responsible for protecting
myself. I shouldn’t even be allowed the capability to protect myself
because then I would have the capability to hurt someone else. So now
we have laws where capability to commit a crime = intent to commit
that crime. And where we are told that people that want to protect
their family’s and themselves are criminals.

Someone was talking about the UK.. statistically in 2006 there were 4
times as many incidents reported that involved knives than with guns
with the official position being that violent could be up to 60000 per
year for knives. With guns involving 9600 reported incidents. since
1998 there has been 84% rise in gun incidents and more than 400% rise
in knife incidents. Since 1998 there are drastically more draconian
laws against the ownership of knives and guns. Doesn’t look as if it
is working. Just looks as if the government has cut the horns off the
sheep! Even easier to sheer now 🙂

I could give you similar stats for the US..

And this attitude is falling over many of the area’s of our lives.
Sailing being one of them. New Zealand comes to mind as having
draconian laws about the safety equipment required for a boat to
depart their waters. The US over the next 5 years will most likely
have a 4 fold increase in regulation for small craft if we are not
careful. some of the proposals being looked at by government agencies
ranging from the coast guard, homeland security and DEHC are truly scary.

The capability of tracking and getting to boats that are in trouble on
the ocean has increased drastically. There have been many widely
reported rescues of many boats in coastal and mid ocean trips over the
last few years. Also widely reported are the costs of those rescues in
dollars and sometimes lives which has prompted discussion of
regulating boats going offshore. The other alarming trend is people
blaming the government for not getting there in time when people die
which is driving the aforementioned discussions on regulation. This
attitude of putting responsibility on the government is going to bring
us all to our knees in the end. If you are the one that put yourself
at risk then you are the one that should bear the responsibility. If
your husband/wife/child puts themselves at risk with their actions and
something happens don’t blame everyone else. If people aren’t
responsible for their own actions then we live in world with no true
adults. At least in my world the concept of passing from being a child
to an adult was the measure of being able to take responsibility for
myself and no longer being dependent on my parents or anyone else. If
we are willingly dependent then we are not adults. If our government
or neighbors/society make us dependent then they are taking away our
ability to be an adult and making you a child again. In many ways we
are already there as there are many areas of our lives we are no
longer legally allowed to be responsible for ourselves.

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