The Dangers of Legislating Behavior

Jay over at MArooned sums up why it’s dangerous to allow our politicians to legislate any behavior:

That’s the whole thing. It never ends. Once we let them dictate one behavior, there’s no stopping those who would use the power of the state, the men with guns, to force the people to bend to their whims and wants. Today cell phones, tomorrow iPods, next week it’s passengers and heating choices.

It’s a slippery slope. Once you’re sliding down the slope it’s practically impossible to stop until you hit the bottom. In this case Jay was talking about calls to ban all cellular phone use while driving because it’s said to distract drivers. As he pointed out the logical conclusion is to ban passengers since they provide distractions as well.

This logic can be applied to anything. For instance when our government regulated the ownership of machines gun and other such “scary” guns via the National Firearms Act is started us down a slippery slop. Now thanks for the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act the transfer of machine guns produced after an arbitrary date to civilian hands is completely illegal.

This should be kept in mind whenever legislation regulating what can be posted on the Internet comes up. Sure first they will say they need to protect the children but it will not stop until everything that isn’t government approved is banned (think China).

Once you allow the state to be your nanny there is no escaping the nanny state.