What in the heck is going on in Bismarck? Seriously. Stricter regulations regarding embalming licensure, the gun bill version of bake the cake, outlawing flavored e-cigs, and the outrageously awful Red Flag Gun Legislation have all made headlines early on in this legislative session. And these aren’t all of the authoritarian proposals that are floating around our state’s Capitol.
Let’s not forget that all of these aforementioned examples are largely backed by legislators who call themselves Republicans. It’s astonishingly awful. As if these things aren’t enough, we also have the one I learned about late last week— banning minors from riding in the back of pickup trucks. No, seriously. It’s true. It’s Senate Bill 2129.
I literally cannot keep up with all of the craziness. Is it any wonder that we often hear people comment that we’re safest when the legislature is not in session. It’s true! But I digress.
I’m wondering— Have we had a string of fatalities lately as a result of pickup bed riding? Or is it just authoritarian do-gooders who are once again attempting to wield their political influence in the name of “the children”?
Look, I get it. Riding in the back of a truck can be dangerous. But banning it? I don’t know how you grew up, but this was one of my favorite things to do. And I wasn’t alone. In fact, I can’t think of a single kid in the neighborhood that didn’t hop on for a ride in a truck bed. I guess I’m supposed to be shocked that we’re all still alive. I mean, after all, the state surely wasn’t protecting us from our horribly irresponsible parents at the time.
I guess I never realized how ignorant or irresponsible my parents were. I don’t know how yours handled situations like these, but in retrospect our rules were actually quite simple:
Rule #1– Don’t do anything that will get you hurt or killed.
Rule #2– If you have any doubts or questions, please refer to Rule #1.
Somehow I survived those dangerous years of truck bed riding. I suppose the fear of dying an agonizing and painful death along the road was enough to convince me to use some degree of common sense in our joyriding. It’s amazing how that works for most of us.
There’s a list of exceptions in the bill:
a. In the course of farming or ranching;
b. In a parade authorized by a local authority;
c. In a military or civil defense drill or exercise; or
d. In the course of a medical emergency.
But exceptions— seriously? The exception should be everyone. Thankfully, the Senate Transportation Committee gave this a 5-1 Do Not Pass and is on the calendar for a vote today. This bill should die a wonderfully quick death. And rightfully so. It needs to be sent to the realms of political shame with so many others. I mean, if we’re going to ban minors riding in the back of truck beds, because it might be dangerous, then what else can we ban? Motorbikes? Four-wheelers? Snowmobiles? How about swimming? Oh, and guns will surely be in the category? The list is endless.
Protect the children? Yes. Let’s protect them from government instead. The power they wield is far more dangerous than any ride I ever took in the back of a pickup.
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Here’s a list of the bill’s sponsors:
Senator Diane Larson (R – District 30)
Senator Nicole Poolman (R – District 7)
Rep. Pat Heinert (R – District 32)
Rep. Mike Lefor (R – District 37)