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Crash Helmets or SWAT Helmets: A Dialogue

Written by Gary North on June 10, 2013

I bought a crash helmet in 1962, the year I bought a used Honda Dream 150. I drove in my parents’ car to Bell, California, and bought a Bell helmet at the factory. Honda and Bell helmets have done very well since 1962.

I did not ride my motorcycle without wearing my helmet. It even had a plastic face shield. I knew what a head injury could do.

At least 20 years later, I heard a radio talk show host discussing a proposed state law mandating helmets for motorcycle users. He was opposed to this law. He was challenged by a caller who told him that crash victims would be taken to public hospitals, where they would receive treatment for head injuries. The taxpayers would have to pay for this treatment. So, to reduce this expense, the state should pass a crash helmet law. The talk show host switched sides. He saw the logic of the case.

So did I.

Here is the logic of the case, as debated by the Crash Helmet Guy (CHG) and the laissez faire guy (LFG).

CHG: The state ought to have a law mandating that all motorcycle riders should wear a state-approved crash helmet when riding their motorcycles.

LFG: Why is that?

CHG: Because, if he crashes, he might suffer a head injury.

LFG: Or he might not. Probably, he won’t.

CHG: But he might.

LFG: That is true. So what?

CHG: What do you mean “so what?” We are talking about brain injuries here. We don’t want people to be brain dead.

LFG: No, we don’t. But why is it our responsibility as voters to keep people from becoming brain dead?

CHG: Because we pay taxes.

LFG: I don’t follow.

CHG: We pay taxes to run hospitals.

LFG: That is true.

CHG: Voters have an obligation to reduce waste in tax-funded hospitals.

LFG: Yes, they do.

CHG: So, to hold down head injury costs, voters should pass a crash helmet law.

LFG: You mean like seat belt laws.

CHG: Exactly.

LFG: There is an easier way to cut costs in tax-funded hospitals.

CHG: What is that?

LFG: Stop funding them with taxes.

CHG: You mean close them?

LFG: Not necessarily. Just stop all payments.

CHG: But that would mean that taxpayers have no responsibility for sick people.

LFG: As taxpayers. As individuals, that is a matter of conscience. As taxpayers, they have no responsibility.

CHG: But that would mean the state could not use this argument for mandating seat belts: “This will save the state money.”

LFG: Correct.

CHG: But if the state cannot justify mandatory seat belts, then it could not justify mandatory crash helmets.

LFG: Correct.

CHG: But we need a mandatory crash helmet law.

LFG: Why is that?

CHG: To protect people.

LFG: From whom?

CHG: From themselves.

LFG: You say that politicians must pass laws, enforced by bureaucrats, to force people to be responsible.

CHG: Of course.

LFG: Who defines responsibility?

CHG: Politicians and bureaucrats.

LFG: So, they know what’s good for us.

CHG: Correct.

LFG: So, citizens must do what the state says.

CHG: If they know what’s good for them, they do.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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22 thoughts on “Crash Helmets or SWAT Helmets: A Dialogue

  1. Great piece.

    It does explain the logic of those whom would presume to know what is best for all of us: Idiotic.

    Why don't colleges teach the subject of logic anymore – and make it a mandatory undergraduate course?

  2. No one in the academic system QUALIFIED to teach LOGIC!

  3. not qualified to teach Logic or ETHICS…

  4. Fabulous piece, Gary. Good one here: CFG: I like to call it "alpha and omega." LFG: I'll bet you do.

    I wonder how many of your readers got that one.

  5. Disgusted says:

    Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows. It's all crazymaking.

  6. Burt Fisher says:

    They do teach some new kind of debating "skill" which renders a polite opponent impotent. The conversation as listed here would never happen these days because of the rudeness of people today. All you get is a harsh sound bite and then "moving on". Nobody makes a point, certainly not a logical one, then there is name calling, maybe a shot at a religious ridicule, and then conversation is over. So sad.

  7. Some people need to leave this nation founded on liberty and freedom and find haven in a big brother nannystate like North Korea… I bet he would be happy there!

  8. Rabelrouser says:

    Personal responsibility is taken out of the equasion as a means to "convince" the people that they do not have to be responsible of their own actions. It becomes the axiom for conjuring up a thought process that someone knows what is best, IE is smarter than you.
    When you include the concept of a taxing authority being that more "intelligent" source for knowledge on any subject, you open a door to enpowering the taxing authority to grow its "responsibility" for the individual and by extention, the general public. This, as we now see is the means to acheive a control over the general public; by convincing them they are not responsible or intellegent enoug to decide for themselves. And as a means to grow the levels of "supposed"responsibility over them by equating the cost as being paid by taxes.
    It makes perfect sense, if you want to grow your ability to control people through incremental steps.

  9. Margaret jacobson says:

    We need less laws "protecting " ourselves. From ourselves !! We need to promote common sense approach to being a responsible person !! If we support every kind of common sense "good for you " way of thinking it destroys the ability to reason and think for oneself

  10. slickzip says:

    Ware the damn helmet !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. A motorcycle rider who is in an accident without a helmet has the letters DNR; do not resuscitate, do not render first aid on his forehead!!!

  12. Two of my friends died in motorcycle accidents, both with helmets. The first was killed instantly when the helmet and all it's contents separated from his body. The second laid in ICU for 4 days, then passed away.

  13. jimbo999 says:

    Colleges don't teach that anymore for the same reason they don't teach ethics…it annoys the liberals.

  14. jimbo999 says:

    Well, We do have the messiah sitting in the White House.

  15. jimbo999 says:

    Or you could "WEAR" the helmet, or you could ask "Where is my helmet."

  16. jimbo999 says:

    A bicycle helmet or Motorcycle helmet is only good if you are stopped, sitting on your bike, and it tips over, causing you to hit the pavement. Anything more than that is "iffy" at best. Wearing a helmet gives a false sense that you are safe, so motorcyclists can pass around corners, can ride 100 MPH, and take off their muffler "so people can hear me coming", and presumable "Get out of my way". They are inherently unstable vehicles that should be ridden with extreme care,but it's just the opposite. To ride with reckless abandon on roads populated by Tractor Trailers, Garbage trucks, and old ladies in 1982 Cadillacs is DANGEROUS.

    A news report just yesterday was that a New Hampshire (no helmets required) motorcyclist was killed in an accident. The newsman made it a point to say "He was not wearing a helmet". However he neglected to say that it was a head-on collision with a car at a combined speed of 100 MPH (each of them going 50). A helmet would not have made much difference. The reporter could have just as well noted that the motorcyclist was not wearing socks.

  17. Greyghost says:

    Logic and Ethics should be mandatory courses taught throughout the first 12 years of education. Then you can go to college and learn how to become a slimey but upward moving coporate weasel.

    As for helmet laws, just make it simple, No Helmet No Life Support.

    And not to worry, Nobama Care will fix this by making it mandatory that everyone buys insurance, even bikers on Harley's and organ donor's on crotch rockets. It will save the tax payers untold amounts. Right ?

  18. You people wanted big government you got it! Now you have to stare at his big FAT FACE in front of you all the time. Watching everything you do, because you PAID HIM to do that.

    Take for instance the illegal racist negro president…..

  19. Darius Medea says:

    AMEN to that. All College grads ought to have at least one course in logic.

  20. Nemesis of Empire says:

    There’s an even better solution: Stop all taxes and all government. No money for hospitals, for schools, for banks or factories or stoplights and above all else, NO MONEY FOR ROADS! That’ll stop the accidents. That will also stop the sinful movement of peoples from the places GOD put them, and the dreadful din of “community.” There is no community. There is only GOD, and your utter obedience to HIM. Facedown is how you should be, and how you should stay, now and forever amen amen Amen Amen AMEN AMEN!!!!!!!!!

  21. Nemesis you are extremely GOOFY!

  22. The government does not need taxes, idiot. It PRINTS what it needs! That is why the Federal Reserve MUST BE ELIMINATED. It was the way politicians can stay in power by printing money on DEMAND.

    That is why today a loaf of bread is $4.00 instead of 4¢ 80 years ago! They have flooded mankind with phony money to stay in power. Taxes real purpose was for income slavery so that you do not see what the rats are doing in the White House.

    That is why taxes are illegal since 1913! Instead of voting your leaders in you should be ARRESTING THEM. Like the illegal negro for instance!

    Remember that scene in Star Warts, where Luke and Obie looked down on a city and he said something like in that city was every imaginable kind of dirt and mud crap that anyone could think of going on or something like that.

    Well that is what Washington has become. A nest of vipers and serpents!