…and every leash has a master.
A young man in Arizona was playing baseball in a little league game and was unfortunately beamed in the chest. He took two steps, collapsed and later died from commotion cordis which causes cardiac arrest. Now there is an outcry for full chest protectors to be mandated for all little league baseball players.
Football games have had a large number of fights and vulgarities lashed out amongst the “fans” in recent years. Europe was dealing with this same type of problem at their soccer matches years ago. In the end, they stopped selling alcohol at the futball matches and the level of violence dropped significantly. Now there are calls for these mandates to be passed here, disallowing alcoholic beverages at football stadiums.
I recently had an embarrassing wreck on my bicycle. In spite of my experience, I couldn’t get my clips onto my cleats (or vice-versa) when I jumped on my bike. This resulted in my catching the edge of the sidewalk with my front wheel and falling to the ground in front of a large audience on campus. (True story) The emotional scarring is devastating which is why I’m calling for a mandate that requires facemasks for all bikers… so as to keep us from being humiliated if we fall like an idiot amongst a crowd.
I hope my mocking point is plain – people shouldn’t need the government or some kind of authority to protect them from the cracks that they might slip into. In the case of the poor kid who died due to an injury in the game, there was nothing keeping his parents from putting a chest protector on him nor is there anything keeping you from putting one on your child. Barry Bonds got used to pitches inside so he wore what amounted to a Robocop arm protector for the last few years of his career to protect his bovine-enhanced arm. Nobody told him to, he made a personal choice to do so. (Smart guy… perhaps that’s why his head is so large.)
Now a few people have died in America in recent years due to idiots getting in fights at or after ball games. Nothing makes fans bolder than a few adult beverages and 60,000 people wearing the same color at your back. Still, we all make choices on whether or not to go to games. I, for one, would never take my children to an Oakland Raiders game wearing a red and gold Marcus Allen jersey. I’m not saying they deserve to get beat up…but neither does the prostitute wearing nearly nothing deserve to get raped. Still, there is a bit of risk involved with both decisions.
That is what this comes down to, shirking personal responsibility. No parent wants to admit that they willingly put their child in harm’s way which led to their child’s death. (I’m definitely not blaming the parents) Still, that is the harsh reality from the moment you take the training wheels off to the moment you give away their hand in marriage. There is a risk that you may have just nudged them into the worst and most damning scenario of their life. The same principle is true for these parents as well as the guy who finds his face in a puddle after calling Jeter gay at a Yankees game. In spite of society’s best efforts to make blameless victims out of risk takers, we cannot ignore personal responsibility and punish everyone else (mandates for all!) for our negative outcome.
The best intended restraints still repress; the shiniest of shackles still make scars – a truth that escapes those who willingly trade their self-control for government control. If you think that the ills of society and chance can be easily escaped by handing the reigns of life over to authoritative masters, then you miss the understanding of escape. I hope, for your sake, that your cage has padded walls and throw pillows… We wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself.
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