Categorized | Opinion

America’s Laws Becoming Nanny State

By David Peel

As an injury lawyer, I keep up with changes in the law that can affect the victims of accidents.

Looking at some of the new laws, one would think we only have two enemies in our country: Fast Food and Guns.

Seriously, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has tried to ban the sale of sugary drinks like Coke that are served in a cup over 16 ounces. It looks like it will not survive a legal challenge but New York taxpayers are being asked to pay for health inspectors to be issued 17 ounce cups.  Yes, you read it right. Inspectors who often do not even get around to all the restaurants to look for real safety issues now have to test the cups to see if they hold more than 16 ounces!

It’s not just that jumbo Dr. Pepper that is a target.  The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has taken on that dreaded blight on public health that we all fear and dread: Toys in Happy Meals! Since 2011, they actually banned toys from the Happy Meals unless they met stringent nutritional standards that they just are unlikely to meet.

But, the schools are also keeping us safe from dangerous threats such as rogue pieces of pastries! A 7-year-old ate his Pop-Tart at school into roughly the shape of a gun, and may have said “bang, bang,” or words or noises to that effect. This young child was suspended for two days.  No word on whether the Pop Tart was loaded.

Tennessee, not be outdone, has a statement on the fashion sense of our young people. Teens seem to like saggy pants that hang so low they show underwear. That is now illegal in a Tennessee school and it must “include in its discipline code a provision prohibiting a student from wearing clothing that exposes underwear or body parts in an indecent manner that disrupts the learning environment.”

So, if later today, you were going to put on baggy pants, eat a happy meal, drink a big gulp and eat a pop tart into the shape of gun at dessert, you may experience the long arm of the law.  I am reminded of the words of the late, great Ronald Reagan, “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”

Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, work place incidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through wherein other articles may be accessed.


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March 2013
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