From the Heartland

This is my soap box, on these pages I publish my opinions on firearms and any other subject I feel like writing about.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Newly introduced legislation

Already on the docket for this session of the Unicameral are bills that would make breast feeding in public legal, do away with the helmet requirement for motorcycle riders, mandate seat belts for all passengers in a motor vehicle, Make voting easier and waiver tuition for members of the National Guard.

Breast Feeding
Personally I think this one ought to be a no brainer. Babies need to eat too and there is nothing more natural than a mother feeding an infant. There is nothing sexual about it and the many times that I have noticed it the mother in question was being as descreet as was humanly possible given the circumstances. Any one that thinks breast feeding should be relegated to the restroom ought to be made to take their meals there as well.

Helmet Law
I have heard all the arguements both for and against a mandatory brain bucket law. What it boils down to is that it should be a personal choice for anyone over the age of consent. If we should make bikers wear helmets, why should we allow people to jump out of pefectly good airplanes, jump from bridges with a rubber band tied to their ankles, slide down steep mountain slopes on toothpicks or jump off from cragy peaks with a kite on their backs.

I have jumped out of airplanes, skiied any number of the slopes in Vermont and occassionally rode without a helmet. The two things I have never done, and have no desire to, is hang glide and bunji jump.

As a side note I had met Berkeley Breathed, the creator of Opus, and was living in Albuquerque in 1986 when he crashed an ultra-light and broke his back. I still maintain and I think he does as well that to live life large and on the edge is a personal choice and not something that should be legislated in an effort to protect us from ourselves.

To do these things is and should remain a personal choice. In all honesty I do believe that helmets work and I wear one; because I choose to, even in states where I have the option. But I want the choice. It is a matter of personal freedom.

Seat Belts
Having been in a couple of serious motor vehicle crashes, One an off-road racing accident and the other a roll-over accident that involved a fatality, I recognize the value of seat belts. I was wearing them both times (ed.. and a helmet during the off-road wreck) and still do everytime I get in a vehicle. But again I have emphasize that I believe it is a personal choice. If a person is of an adult age and intellegence then it should be a matter of personal choice. It is not the job of the government or the public at large to protect me from me.

Easier Voting
Since Schimek didn't get the public votes she wanted for her "Bring gambling to Nebraska Scheme" she is at it again. This time she wants to enact a law that allows the same day registration to vote and change the ballot termenolgy from "Absentee Voting" to "Early Voting".

Now I don't have a problem with early voting, in fact I think it is a good idea. My problem with Schimeks proposal is the same day registration idea. There are just too many problems with this concept.

First and foremost I believe it takes reverence from the act of voting. It reduces it to an after thought. Voting is a sacred and solemn duty of all Americans, to allow same day registration cheapens it. An individual should know whether they are going to vote or not long before election day. In fact I thought the "Motor-Voter Laws" were suppose to solve that problem. Not that someone should know who they are going to vote for before they register, but they should be cognizant that there is an election and prepare themselves in advance for the responsible casting of their ballot.

Prior to any election Voter registration is available not only when a drivers license is renewed, but you can't swing a dead cat by the tail and not hit a registration booth set up at the mall or any other store in town. Voting is a serious responsibility and it must be held as such.

Tuition Waiver
To my mind another no-brainer. Give the Guard the free tuition, not only do they deserve it, these are men and women that have already made a home here and probably have every intention of staying in Nebraska. Since they already get a 75 percent reduction knocking off the last 25 percent is not going to hurt the budget that much and the extra money these people earn, through job promotions and better employment because of that education will result in more money, especially tax dollars staying right here in the Cornhusker State.

There you have it. Some of the newly introduced legislation and my take on it.

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