There’s a kerfuffle in Wisconsin over threatened application of The Law to the Amish.
Up to now, they’ve successfully dodged Uncle – been exempted on religious grounds from a great many busybody-isms, including laws requiring the presence and use of seat belts and child safety seats in all motor vehicles.
Their horse-drawn buggies lack motors, of course – as well as seatbelts and child seats.
They don’t have airbags or backup cameras or tire pressure monitors, either. The Amish don’t believe such things are necessary and therefore do without.
They also believe it’s their decision, their business – and just want to go about their business, leave others alone and be left alone in turn. After all, they’re not harming anyone else. And if they harm themselves, the Amish take care of themselves.
It seems reasonable enough.
That doesn’t wash for the rest of us, though.
Why should it work for the Amish?
Such is the entirely logical argument of a busybody with a gun – i.e., a government worker – by the name of Bill Winch. He is a member of the Wisconsin Rapids Board of Supervisors and doesn’t think the Amish ought to be exempted from anything – including other laws requiring driver’s licenses and mandatory insurance.
He has proposed a new law precisely to that effect.
Winch goes further. The buggies of the Amish should also be fitted with automotive safety glass, windshield and side glass – no matter what it costs the Amish and how impractical it is to install such things in a horse-drawn buggy. Amazon.com $25 Gift Ca... Buy New $25.00 (as of 08:00 EDT - Details)
For their saaaaaaaaaaaaafety, of course.
Their horse-drawn buggies should also be required to have headlights and turn signals – just like everyone else’s car. If this requires expense, so be it. And new buggies manufactured after a certain date surely ought to be required to have at least driver and front seat passenger airbags and comply with some sort of government crash test regime.
Amish teenagers must not be allowed to “operate” a buggy until they have attained a certain Uncle-prescribed age – and then only when accompanied by an adult – and never accompanied by other teens, unsupervised.
It might cause some eyes to open.
Logically – as a matter of principle – either all of us and not just the Amish should be left in peace to go about our business or no one should be left in peace.
Why should the claim of the Amish that seatbelts and insurance and all the rest are meddling twaddle contrary to their beliefs carry any more weight than the belief – just as ardent and probably better-articulated – of the Libertarian who also believes that it’s no one else’s proper business whether he has or wears a seatbelt?
Winch is absolutely correct.
Or at least, he is a consistent authoritarian control freak.