It seems that both the US House of Representative and the North Carolina General Assembly are moving us more and more toward a Nanny State where we look to the Government to make decisions for us, hand hold us through the good and bad times, and make sure we have to take responsibility for our actions. All part and parcel with the populace becoming completely beholden to the Government for everything, thus greatly increasing the power of the politicians.
So let’s start with a little bill coming out of the US House. It seems that there are Representatives who believe that someone shouldn’t be allowed to make the decision to use their credit card at an on-line gambling establishment. The quote I heard is that someone shouldn’t be able to “lose their house in a single click.” Sounds like a good idea, right? After all, no one wants to lose their house because of out of control gambling. The problem is that this isn’t the Government’s place. If I want to go to PokerStars one night and play poker online with Wil Wheaton, then I should be able to do so with whatever form of legal payment I have available, up to and including my credit card. If I get into a situation where Wil is beating me every hand with bullets over my cowboys, that’s my problem, not anyone else’s. It’s my money to do with as I will and I don’t need Mommy Government taking that card out of my hand because I might hurt myself.
On top of this, you have the North Carolina General Assembly that has decided they need to make sure we don’t get hurt while riding in the backseat of a car and have pushed through a requirement for everyone in a car to wear a seatbelt. For me, seatbelt laws fall into the same category as helmet laws for motorcycles. For anyone over the age of 18, I do not believe they should be there. I believe it’s government interference in a personal choice. Now, don’t get me wrong. I personally think someone that doesn’t wear a helmet on a motorcycle or a seatbelt in a car is just a Darwin Award waiting to happen, but I don’t feel that the Government should step in and take that decision out of the hands of the person who will reap the rewards of that decision. Personally, I wouldn’t ride a motorcycle without a helmet and given that I’ve had my life saved by seatbelts, I won’t ride in the front seat of a car without wearing it (backseat is a coin toss). Regardless, it’s my decision and my place to suffer the consequences of opting not to wear my seatbelt if I’m just running up to the corner store.
If I’m considered an adult by the Government, they need to back off and actually treat me as such. If I’m running down the street and trip, skinning my knee, I can do one of two things. I can either pick myself up, patch up my knee, and make sure not to do what caused the accident in the future, or I can opt to ignore the cause and expect someone else to take care of it for me, ignoring the reality of the situation. Everytime we allow something like this go through without comment, then we’re giving more and more of our independene and personal control to the Government. Yes, the idea of perfect security and safety is seductive at times. It sounds like a good idea until you realize you’d end up stuck in a padded cell and unable to go anywhere because you might hurt yourself.
Of course, how many people actually think the masses of the country (or state) will actually stand up and make a hue and cry over this? After all, most of them don’t gamble online and they wear their seatbelts for a variety of reasons. However, that’s the same mentality that gets us the line “You’re not doing anything wrong, so why do you care if the government looks into your personal life?”
To that I simply answer, “Because it’s my life, not theirs.”