May 21, 2009

Click it or Ticket

It's summer again and why not usher in one of the summer traditions - busting those seat belt abusers! After all, seat belts save lives; why not have it a law?! When one studies the philosophies of John Locke and John Stewart Mill and Thomas Jefferson, we see a difference as it relates to "Positive Claim Rights" and "Negative Claim Rights". Positive Claim Rights focus on the idea of a person's right to be protected from themselves. Where as Negative Claim Rights focus on the idea that it is a person's right to chose what they wish, regardless of the consequences, but knowing they are responsible for their actions.

Positive Claim Rights are propagated by Liberals alike; and as you guessed, seat belt laws fall into this category. Should something be made a law just because it feels good or is a good idea? Brushing your teeth is a good idea, should it be a law? Showering is a good idea, should it be a law?? Seat belts are a good idea, but should they be a law? No. For one, it cannot be consistently applied - what about motorcycles? Secondly, if safety was the issue, why is the penalty monetary? Just as similarly to speeding, the fine is money. The police will spend more time looking and ticketing serial seat belt violators while my wife is broken down a half a mile away and is getting mugged because there is no police to help her. Well done thin blue line.

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