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RESPONSIBILITY, FREEDOM AND SECURITY
By Lynn Stuter
August 28, 2003
It was recently announced that a campaign is now under way to enlist the help of the government to force car manufacturers to place sensors on electric vehicle windows such that the window will stop if an object is placed in its path as it closes.
This, the advocates say, is necessary because too many children have been killed or injured when electric windows have been engaged and closed on the child's head, arm, hand or other extremity.
Time out! How long have electric car windows been around? Forty or fifty years? All this time and people are just now deciding that electric windows on vehicles present a threat to the well-being of children? It would seem that were electric vehicle windows a threat to children now, they would also have been a threat to children from their inception.
So why the campaign now? Because more children are being injured by electric vehicle windows than ever before? Why is that? When electric windows on vehicles came out, all those years ago, parents undoubtedly looked at those windows and thought to themselves, "little hands, little feet and little heads could be injured when those windows close so, if we are going to have a vehicle with electric windows, it is imperative that we safeguard our children around those windows?" Which is why so few children of yester year were injured by electric windows rolling skyward. So what is wrong with parents today that they look at those nifty windows that roll up and down at the touch of a button and not realize the same thing?
Is the problem the windows or is the problem the parents? From where I stand, it seems to me that history makes it apparent that the window isn't the problem, but parents who don't pay attention to what their children are doing; don't teach their children that the window activation buttons are to be left alone, are not to be played with; don't teach their children that vehicles are to ride in, not play in; don't think about the risk to their child created by the electric windows in the vehicle they own; are the problem. Whatever happened to common sense?
So why the campaign now? Because people need something to campaign about? That being the case, people would do far better to expend their time and energy addressing important issues, not electric vehicle windows rolling up on children's extremities, injuring or amputating the same, which can be cured with some common sense and forethought on the part of parents and vehicle owners.
So why the campaign now? Why are these people looking to the government to cure this problem? Why do these people think it is the role of the government to keep them safe? Do these people really believe that this is a proper role, under the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, for government? Why do these people want to give their rights, and everyone else's, too, over to the government to do with as the government sees fit? What is wrong with these people that they refuse to accept the responsibility of keeping themselves safe?
Just because cigarettes are out there, does that mean we have to smoke them, knowing that cigarette smoking can cause cancer? Just because drugs are out there, does that mean we have to take them, knowing that drugs can fry our brains? Just because fast food is out there, does that mean we have to partake of it, knowing that it is loaded with unhealthy cholesterol and fat? The obvious answer is "no." But, if by our own choice, we choose to partake of those things, is that anyone's fault but our own? The obvious answer, again, is "no." So, if a parent chooses to buy a vehicle with electric windows, who is responsible if that parent's child is killed or injured by that electric window rolling up on that child's extremities? Obviously, it's the fault of the parent.
In many states now, children under a certain weight must be secured in a child safety seat. All these years of vehicles, seat belts and children and suddenly this comes along. Why? Because an irresponsible mother caused an accident in which her child, in a seat belt, was killed. Instead of accepting that she was responsible for the death of her child, she set out on a campaign to relieve herself of the responsibility of her child's death, contending that if her child had been required to be in a child safety seat, her child wouldn't have been killed in the accident.
Her emotional plea to the legislature ensured their emotional response resulting in the passage of the bill that now affects all parents, forcing them to buy child safety seats, not because they need them necessarily, but because of the irresponsibility of one parent.
Anyone could walk across a street and be hit by a vehicle and killed, be struck by lightning and killed, be struck by a falling object from the heavens above and killed, be struck by any number of flying objects and killed. How do people propose that the government should keep them safe from these possibilities? Most would scoff and say, "it's ridiculous to even assume the government should try." Not when people believe that it is the responsibility of the government to keep them safe.
The truth is that no where in the U.S. Constitution or Bill of Rights does it say it is the responsibility or the role of the government to keep people safe. But because the role of any government is to justify its existence, to increase its power and position, the government has been quite willing to take on the role of nanny to its citizens. Unfortunately, the unwillingness of some to take responsibility for their own, ends up affecting all.
Under the concept of being responsible for self, if people choose to:
• smoke and, as a consequence, die of cancer
or other smoking related disease;
... that's their fault. Our nation was established as a free market economy based on supply and demand. If cigarettes, guns, fast food and junk food, and electric vehicle windows ... were not in demand, they would not be supplied. Under the free market economy, it is the responsibility of the people to look out for themselves, of parents to safeguard their children from possible health hazards; it is not the role of the limited government.
In the words of Cicero in 42 BC — (sic) more than the people wanted freedom, they wanted security, and in giving up freedom for security, they lost both. If people want to be free, they must accept the responsibility of their own security and that of their children.
© 2003 Lynn M. Stuter - All Rights Reserved
Mother and wife, Stuter has spent the past ten years researching systems theory with a particular emphasis on education. She home schooled two daughters, now grown and on their own. She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance and education reform. She networks nationwide with other researchers and citizens concerned with the transformation of our nation. She has traveled the United States and lived overseas. Web site: www.learn-usa.com E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"In the words of Cicero in 42 BC — (sic) more than the people wanted freedom, they wanted security, and in giving up freedom for security, they lost both. If people want to be free, they must accept the responsibility of their own security and that of their children."