Legacy Laws

How soon before we outlaw the mere act of being outside?
January 31, 2015

Come on folks. Things are getting out of hand. First the cities started shutting down the tobogganing hills. Now formal complaints are being lodged that threaten to shut down our backyard skating rinks and the outdoor hockey played on them. Actions chocked up to safety concerns and liability costs. Perhaps valid precautions from a legal and actuarial standpoint. But how far will this nonsense go if left unchecked?

How soon before we ban outdoor swimming pools because kids might get injured or drown. Or bike paths because pedestrians and even bicyclists get injured on them all the time. In fact, how soon before bicycling itself is outlawed because of the potential for falls or traffic fatalities? And how about hiking? Hiking can result in twisted ankles and sprains, slips and falls. So let’s shut down the paths and trails. And skate boarding. Sorry, that’s just gotta go. Heck, if you’ve been watching the news lately you’ve seen that getting into a relationship with an NFL player or Rap Star can be risky. So should we outlaw relationships?

All of these activities are associated with multiple injuries or even fatalities every year. Does that set them up for eventually being banned by law-makers responding to “formal complaints” from overly safety-conscious citizens, community watchdog groups, or insurance companies? If that’s the case, then why not take a proactive stance and shut down the roads and ban driving altogether, because it’s clearly a dangerous activity. Or stop people from walking beside roads or on sidewalks, because pedestrians can get hit by cars or bikes. I’ll tell you why not. It’s because the complainers actually participate in those activities, so they don’t want them banned. They just want to ban activities that they don’t care about, or that they find intrusive or annoying.

Life is full of risks. It’s what makes it taste so sweet. Sure, a few people are going to get hurt, even die. It’s sad. It’s tragic. No question. We sympathize, then remind our loved ones to be careful when they do these things. It’s what we’ve always done. It’s a risk we take with practically everything we do.  We all accept risk by the mere act of being alive. It’s our contractual agreement with life itself. We risk our safety every time we leave the house. But let’s not legislate safety and accident prevention to the point that it prevents us from living! That’s unrealistic and inhumane.

These ridiculous and overreaching precautions are threatening our way of life. So I humbly suggest that, before it’s too late, we enact a set of Legacy Laws designed to entrench our Canadian and life-given rights, giving us the freedom to continue with those risky activities that have given generations of survivors great pleasure and fond memories. Playground equipment. Community pools. Tobogganing hills and backyard skating rinks. Skateboard parks. Ball diamonds. Road hockey. Tire swings. Tree climbing and tree houses. Backyard fireworks. Bicycle riding. The dozens of traditional, time-honoured activities that give outdoor life its meaning, thrill, and joy. If all we consider are the risks to life and limb then, based on our present trajectory, these activities will all be outlawed sooner or later. We must defend our right to put ourselves at risk for the fun of it before we end up being confined to our homes indoors when we’re not at work.

And if that’s not possible, then let’s make ourselves, and our children, more keenly aware of the inherent dangers in risky activities, and exercise more caution and care when we participate in them. Maybe if we play safer the complainers will leave us alone.

Think about it people!


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