(Doc Dandem, IBMSC) Yesterday, July 4th, my motorcycle brothers and I participated in the annual California Helmet Law Protest Ride held in San Diego. With the weather cool and cloudy as it has been for months here in southern California, crowds were down a bit everywhere. The weather aside, many of the dark clouds hanging over our heads are from government oppression at all levels, but especially at the state and federal levels. Yet, we took to the streets and freeways with a spirit of defiance that would have made our forefathers proud.
California’s helmet law that requires motorcycle operators and their passengers to wear approved helmets has been in effect since 1992. Motorcyclists are not much of a voting block and never demanded such forced “protection;” so, why all the concern from the government to force motorcyclists to wear helmets?
Ask that question and the answer will undoubtedly be “safety.” No one can reasonably argue that a motorcycle rider isn’t safer with a helmet. Sure, there are stories of how the doctor said so-and-so would have broken his neck, if he had been wearing a helmet. We’ve heard the same argument about seat belts: “so-and-so would have been killed, if he had been wearing his seat belt and hadn’t been thrown clear…”
However, the true reason for the helmet law is control. The American motorcyclist is today’s outlaw. His crime: pursuit of freedom. If anything you see in public symbolizes freedom, it’s the motorcyclist. Trust me, if the government had its way, motorcycles would be banned and cars not far behind that.
Motorcycles threaten a government attempting to enslave its people. They don’t use much gas; therefore the government loses tax revenue. They can park and fit just about anywhere which allows them to slip through more of the government’s traffic controls. However, the biggest fear that government has are the people who ride them. The fact is, most bikers oppose of this big liberal government and is not afraid to confront it either.
The pointy-headed liberals will argue that medical costs are higher due to head injuries sustained while not wearing a helmet. At the same time, they point to scientific studies that show a far higher death rate for riders without helmets. Well, which is it; higher death rates or higher medical costs? You can’t have both. That’s typical of the hypocrisy of liberals.
Next, the liberal crowd and their lemming-like followers will try to equate seat belt laws with helmet laws. While both may save lives, seat belts in a car allow the driver to stay behind the wheel and hopefully regain control as well as restrain passengers from being thrown about the cabin knocking the driver out of control. A motorcycle rider without a helmet is a threat to no one but himself.
The truth is that helmet laws are nothing more than a “cap” (both literally and figuratively) on our freedom. Allowing this type of intrusion and infringement, how long before these same nanny-state governments decide that motorcycles need at least three wheels to be safe?
Well, at least for a short time on Independence Day, we rode without a helmet. We outnumbered local law enforcement who didn’t want to make an issue of this. The powers that be don’t want to make this a rallying point. They cruised by our staging point at Fiesta Island and wisely saw discretion as the better part of valor. They were obviously relegated from enforcement to merely observing and reporting.
What were they able observe and report? That there were no accidents, no injuries, the world didn’t stop revolving and that not wearing a helmet does not automatically condemn one to death or serious injury. It’s time for the government to get off our backs. We can make our own personal safety decisions, but it isn’t about safety, is it?