Helmet Laws and the Pursuit of Happiness
SHOULD WE ALLOW OUR GOVERNMENT TO SUSPEND OR REVOKE OUR RIGHTS IF THEY PAY FOR OUR HEALTH CARE?
In 1966 The National Highway Safety Act made provisions for the federal government to withhold highway funds from states, if they did not enact mandatory helmet laws.
Between 1967 and 1975 nearly every state had passed statutes requiring motor cycle helmets.
In 1972 the constitutionality of these laws was challenged in MA. The Massachusetts courts found that-
“For while we agree with plaintiff that the act’s only realistic purpose is the prevention of head injuries incurred in motorcycle mishaps, we cannot agree that the consequences of such injuries are limited to the individual who sustains the injury. In view of the evidence warranting a finding that motorcyclists are especially prone to serious head injuries . . . the public has an interest in minimizing the resources directly involved. From the moment of the injury, society picks the person up off the highway; delivers him to a municipal hospital and municipal doctors; provides him with unemployment compensation if, after recovery, he cannot replace his lost job, and, if the injury causes permanent disability, may assume the responsibility for his and his family’s continued subsistence. We do not understand a state of mind that permits plaintiff to think that only he himself is concerned.”
Nov 1972 the US Supreme Court Affirmed without opinion
C. A. 1st Cir. Cer-tiorari denied. Reported below: 915 F. 2d 1557
You may ask yourself why is this important to you and me “we would never think of riding a motorcycle without a helmet”. I don’t even ride my bicycle without a helmet.
The question is not are you safer with a helmet, but instead, should our government be allowed to dictate that you must wear one for your own good? If the government has the right to dictate what is good for you and force upon you some popular belief of morality or safety or religion, are we still a free people?
The problem arises in the belief that if the government chooses to pay for something they in affect can suspend or revoke you constitutional rights. At the time this article was written there were more people on government assisted food programs than there were full time working Americans in this country. Does the government ask them to clean the streets to offset the burden to the American people? Does the government require birth control to be used until a parent can pay for the children they already have? The American people pick up the check so what is the difference between paying for one person’s health care and another person’s? Why is one group singled out and the other (many other groups ) not?
Here we are at the point. “If the government pays for your health care they can dictate what is good for you”.
What behaviors or hobbies do you have that other people might disagree with? Do you want all of your activities scrutinized by whoever might have power at the time? This is what the constitution was written for.
A society will eventually prey on its’ self. The strong will dominate the weak, the popular whether they are right or wrong, smart or dangerous will try to pass judgment on the individual. We have the constitution for a reason and we as a society are failing to protect it.
So even something as seemingly reasonable and innocuous as a helmet law can and does affect the freedom of the American citizen. If you agree – GREAT- if you don’t that’s ok too but PAY ATTENTION AMERICA!