Gas Cans and Liberty

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Thank goodness
our political betters in Washington are assiduous in their duty
to protect us and our children!

The perfect
case in point: H.R. 814, Children’s Gasoline Burn Prevention Act,
introduced by Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kansas) and Rep. Spencer Bachus
(R-Alabama) that will force manufacturers of portable gasoline containers
to provide government-approved "child-resistant" gas caps.
The bill flew through Congress, passing the Senate by "unanimous
consent," meaning the bill was not controversial enough to
debate. Bush II signed it on July 17.

In its appearance,
the act seems noble. At least that's what the bill's title tells
us. How could it not be noble with the name "Children's
Gasoline Burn Prevention"? The bill will "require
the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue regulations mandating
child-resistant closures on all portable gasoline containers."

Moore said
on his website: "These standards would protect young children
from tragic, yet avoidable, accidents." He became involved
in this emotional crusade "after an incident in Leavenworth,
Kansas, in which a four-year-old boy lost his life and his three-year-old
brother was permanently scarred after they opened and spilled a
gas can. The gasoline vapors were ignited by a hot water heater.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident."

Unfortunately,
stupidity is not isolated either. What parent, with a functioning
brain, would leave a gas can near a water heater? The gas can, probably
in most cases, is less the villain than the stupidity of parents
that too often leads to the death or injury of their children. Curing
stupidity, though, is not a governmental function.

The Congressional
Budget Office
said that "implementing the bill would cost
$1 million, assuming appropriation of amounts necessary to issue
the required report." What a pittance! Who but a miser or a
paleo-reactionary would deny the nation of this protection?

The CBO said
it "expects that the direct cost to comply with the mandates
in the bill would fall below the annual threshold established by
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) for private-sector mandates
($131 million in 2007, adjusted annually for inflation)." Again,
a pittance for protection. What cur would say no, especially given
the epidemic that must be facing our nation of nearly 300 million
where 6.8% are children under 5!

That's 19.5
million children, waiting like kindling, to explode in flame because
the perfidious businessman wanted to produce a product that would
fill a consumer's need for a profit. Not now, though. Now, because
our masters in Washington have removed this grave risk, no child
shall ever be burned again by gas containers manufactured by uncaring
businessmen. As we all know, one of the main purposes of government
is to reduce all risk to zero, so no one will be injured and no
one will fail. Our political betters will give us a stale existence
in a gray land. But there won't be any flaming children!!

And how many
children have been maimed or killed by the nefarious gas can cap
conspiracy? House Report 110-367, Children's Gasoline Burn
Prevention Act, states that, "Gasoline in cans not secured
with child-resistant caps can pose a serious danger if small children
gain access to them. CPSC data estimate that in a single year (2001),
over 1,200 children under the age of 5 were treated in emergency
rooms for injuries related to gasoline [Nota bene: not all were
associated with the malevolent cans or their diabolical caps],
either through fire, ingestion, or inhalation of fumes."

Note, too,
"cans not secured." Even with "child-resistant"
' caps, mandated by government, children can, and will, be burned,
as our experience with "cap resistant" medicine caps has
shown. (See, "Tots Often Foil Child-Resistant Drug Packaging,"
The Journal for Nurse Practitioners , Volume 1, Issue 2.)

Other CPSC
data confirm that, "over an 11-year period, there were 33 cases
which involved a child under the age of 5 gaining access to a gas
can. Nineteen of these resulted in deaths. " There's no mention
whether the gasoline was in appropriate cans or in inappropriate
containers, a common practice of those too cheap to ensure their
safety and the safety of loved ones. Nor was there any mention of
the number of children who were dissuaded by the child resistant
caps already on cans. (Yes, cans come with caps that require
more than a simple twist.) Or, again, how many cans with safe lids
were left loose because of parental carelessness or laziness?

No bill forcing
manufacturers to spend more to give us a government approved cap
will trump the laxity of unconcerned parents. Of course, we have
other federalized agencies such as state "protective"
services to hound these miscreants.

So, in 11 years
there were 33 cases with 19 deaths. That comes out to be 3 children
a year "gaining access to a gas can," whatever that means.
The fatalities break down to .5789 children over the 11 years. And,
yes, that's .5789 children too many. However, it's NOT the fault
of the manufacturer.

Nobody doubts
that all deaths of children are tragedies. Whether we speak of the
criminal murder of four million (4,000,000) American babies slaughtered
in abortuaries or the .58 dying from a parental negligence and the
villainous gas can, each death is a tragedy.

Perhaps more
politicians should read the dispassionate speech of David Crockett,
commonly called "Not
Yours to Give
." Crockett rose to speak before the US House
of Representatives when a bill was taken up appropriating money
for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. All
expected him to support the charitable offering of the taxpayers'
money to the grieving widow. He spoke against it.

He said, "We
must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part
of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance
of the living.

"We have
the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money
as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right
so to appropriate a dollar of the public money."

While Crockett
spoke of direct charity payments to an individual, we can see the
same element of theft and redistribution today. It doesn't matter
if it is the recently approved $50 BILLION for PEPFAR, the redistribution
of tax payers' wealth to "conquer" AIDS and other nastiness
in the world outside of America (we're always trying to conquer
something or someone!) or the small, seemingly insignificant enforcement
of unnecessary cap standards on gas-can manufacturing businesses.
At heart the extorted wealth is NOT THEIRS TO GIVE!

The current
confiscators of wealth justify their theft and redistribution as
offering some direct or indirect benefit to the commonweal and national
interest. They do good deeds; and that is the role of today's Modern
Total State, isn't it. The gas can apparently is one serious offender
of the commonweal that the collective powers of the State have to
rise against it and use taxpayers' fiat money to defeat it.

In fact, a
major US manufacturer of these offensive objects is in the throes
of three lawsuits. The usual ambulance chasers from the disreputable
side of the legal profession collared three sad sacks who were injured
when their cans ignited. Of course, there is no cute appeal to the
cuddly feelings of The Mob for an Adults' Gasoline Burn Prevention
Act.

Anyway, who
cares about adults? Adults, especially men, aren't cuddly. Politicians
can't manipulate The Mob with endearing photos of apish men who
stupidly set themselves on fire.

Nevertheless,
Blitz USA, the can manufacturer,
now faces the three suits because the company allegedly refused
to protect the public by failing to install metal flame arresters
in their products. That's what the lawyers for the morons claim.
Go to the Blitz website and
follow the link that says "Safety
Awareness
." There the company informs its customers on
the proper safe use of their products.

To ambulance
chasers and other socialists, both in and out of our government,
businessmen are a collectivity of evil trying to confound and rob
or harm an unsuspecting public. To sensible people, a man or woman
opens shop in order to fill a need by providing goods or services
that will fill that need and ensure a profit. The former is the
maniacal fantasy of paranoids. The latter is the world in which
the rest of us live. Sadly the paranoids have access to the courts.

Let's look
at the cases, though. Three men were seriously injured. Their lawyers
say it was the fault of the company. The company tells us that gasoline
is dangerous and extremely flammable. Most of us have heard the
warning, "Don't pour gas on the fire!"

The plaintiffs
in these spurious suits actually poured gas on various fires. One
used gasoline poured from the can to start a campfire. Another attempted
to start a debris fire by dumping gasoline on the debris. The third
tried to start a fire in a barbeque pit. All, it seems, are contestants
for future Darwin Awards.

Blitz USA issued
a statement that says, "Several people have been burned in
separate instances by misusing gasoline to start or rekindle campfires,
trash fires, brush pile fires, or even fires in their indoor fireplace."
It seems a portion of The Mob has never heard "Don't pour gas
on a fire," or, "It's like pouring gasoline on a fire."
Sadly, businesses are made to account for stupid people who misuse
things. Thieving lawyers will make sure they pay.

David Crockett,
barely literate, puts to shame the political detritus that passes
as our elected representatives. Crockett was no PhD, thank God.
He merely was a man of common sense who knew how humans worked and
how their actions translated into economic sense or nonsense. It's
sad that the current ejaculation by our politicians for universal
mediocrity through the curse of "democracy" has diminished
us and our institutions. Outside of Dr. Paul, we have no David Crocketts
in Washington.

Though "unanimous
consent" of the masters may have overwhelmed common sense in
this small, seemingly meaningless law, we still need to object to
it on the principle of Iota unam. And what's that?

"Iota
unum, aut unus apex, non praeteribit…" ("Not one jot,
nor one tittle, shall pass away…") Matthew 5:18

That's part
of the battle-cry in the spiritual, economic, and political realms
of life, though too often unspoken. We will not give one modicum
of our economic liberty to the gluttony of the beast. We live in
monstrous times and whether it's the seemingly insignificant laws
doing battle against malevolent gas cans, or the poison of FISA
and the Patriot Act, or the countless socialist economic bills plaguing
our economic liberty, "Iota unum, aut unus apex, non praeteribit…"!!

We do not defend
the honor of the lowly gas can. We defend greater things, namely
liberty and property.

July
19, 2008

Dario
McDarby [send him mail]
is an old man who lives in an old farmhouse with his old wife and
old dogs in Maine and, as he awaits the end of his days, tries to
appreciate the greatness of God, and His gifts of Faith, Freedom,
and Private Property.

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