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Having recently crashed at 35mph and, from the looks of my helmet, spent some time sliding on my head and face - put a f----ing helmet on and quit your whining. Instead of a mild concussion, I probably would have fractured my skull and turned my face into hamburger.



I agree, find something better to make a stand on... like rediculous insurance premiums or taxes. People whine about "losing their constitutional rights and freedoms" - try living in the Middle East! In some cultures it is a criminal offense to cut your hair!



 

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"Helmet laws are not the only example of vehicular oppression in our society. Seat belt laws and unnaturally low speed limits are also oppressive. These laws have one thing in common - the State has a financial incentive to oppress you. As we all know, money is the root of all evil. It can even corrupt the legal system by incenting legislators to outlaw perfectly rational and ethical behaviors. "



What freakin conspiracy theorist wacko rock did you crawl out from under? Sheesh man. The State has gotten tired of paying for your ignorant a** being a vegatable, as have I. Riding without protective gear is NOT perfectly rational, it's purely stupid. Ethical? Grow up child. Some of you morons are the only reason we have laws like these. Some people's itty bitty brain can't quite handle risk vs. reward equations, or choose irrational behaviors for the sake of being a rebel. I can hear it now "man, I aint got to wear no helment, I'm a skilled rider. It's hot. It messes up my hair. I'ts my life I'll do as I please" Well, drink long and hard from that feeding tube my helmetless dumba** buddy.
 

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It's good to wear a helmet!

It's good to not wear a helmet!



God Bless the USA and God Bless Ohio where you can still choose your helmet preference!



I shall enjoy this small freedom while I have it, wearing a helmet and not wearing a helmet as I choose from one ride to the next. Who knows how much longer it will last.

 

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Good point about alcohol, cigarettes, Big Macs and all those other things which cause a lot more medical bills than riding helmetless. If requirement of protective gear to do anything with potential costs for society is justified, why don't mandatory *condom* laws exist? Now I know such a thing would be hard to enforce without invasion of privacy, but since when is that reason not to have a law? (If that were the case most drugs would surely be legal and most gun control laws wouldn't exist, because neither can be enforced very well without invasion of privacy). And SEX without proper protective gear is by FAR the biggest burden on society. Sex without a condom should be ILLEGAL except for people who have been tested HIV-free AND can prove financial ability to support children or proof of sterilization). That is, unprotected sex should certainly be illegal IF helmet laws are a justified restriction of freedom on a social cost basis.
 

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Bravo, Johnny! This entire crap about not needing helmets is stupid. I know. I was hit by a left turning car about 25 years ago. Because of my helmet, I lived. Without it, I would be dead. (I landed on the back of my head, putting a five inch crack in a Snell/Dot helmet.)



Two weeks ago, I had another reminder. One of my neighbors lost it in a curve and banged his head on a tree. It crushed his skull, death was instantaneous. He was an anti-helmet guy, wearing one of those pretend-to-be-DOT fiberglass skull caps. Technically illegal, but you see them all the time here in Georgia. If he had been wearing a full face with decent shock absorbing material, he would be able to write you a letter telling you what a good job it had done.



The only advantage to helmetless riding is it helps remove the sludge at the bottom of the gene pool.



And while I'm on the topic of gene pool sludge (and just to tick off a few more people), loud pipes are a real problem here. They ***** people off and give all motorcyclists a bad name. As for increased safety, the only way loud pipes could do that would be if the pipes were pointed to the front, in the direction of travel. Then they might be of assistance. As it is, they only tick people off and make it more likely that those with a grudge against the world will decide to swerve in front of some hapless biker.



Vlad
 

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Boil it down: If you are counting every Social Security dollar paid to a helmetless accident vicitm as their "cost to society" then you are grossly overestimating that cost for the reasons above.

If you padlocked a helmet onto every motorcycle rider, you would still never recover all of those social security dollars, because riders will continue to maim themselves on and off their bikes.

Stupid people hurt themselves. Always have, always will. No law can stop it.
 

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Back in the 1950s I worked in our family motorcycle shop when safety helmets were first available. I did a display poster, attached to a helmet that was worn through to its lining from a fall and slide number at the local drag strip. The poster said "Helmets are harder than the head, in most cases". I'm not sure that is true for way too many motorbike people these days, especially those connected to a certain low-tech domestic brand. This crowd is the reason the AMA takes such an whimpy stand on the helmet issue. Catering to the no-helmet boys is a surreal twist on "politically correct".

John, I must admit that I am a fan of your delightfully sarcastic, smart-ass style of editorializing. Keep doing it!

Ron Rae
 

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Actually it's proven that no matter what gear you have, it's safer to be in a car. Why don't you just do that? Sounds like riding is way too dangerous for you. It will catch up to you. Sheesh.
 

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If you think about it, your poster should have read "Drag racing motorcycles is an idiotic and unsafe thing to do, and should be banned". Motorcycles in general should be banned, especially those high-tech import ones. Don't you agree?
 

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I suggest you take the argument even further. Why is it a drain on society? What part of the constitution mandated the Social Security system? How is taking my money and giving it to others justified? And, to keep it all in perspective, many people feel that they are doing a social good by paying money into SS, sort of like charity. Charity is when you give what you want to support a specific cause or person. A mugging is when money is taken from you without consent and spent on things you wouldn't spend it on otherwise.
 

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the congress is the Senate + the House. Both can introduce laws which must then be approved by the other. If someone sees fit to challenge these laws on a constitutional basis, the _might_ be heard by the supreme court (if the supremes deam it worth hearing). The rest of the judicial branch does make judgements on the laws, you're correct. The Executive branch is responsible for execution of the laws passed, although the President as head of the executive branch and a leader of his party has some level of influence on what laws get passed, proposed, and stalled out in commitee.

Yes, the senate is supposed to have a longer view, and actually a more patrician view - it's harder to get into the senate. Whether six years is sufficiently longer is another question. Not that I'm in favor of a 'House of Lords' type thing where you're in for life!

One thing to remember is that our fondling fathers had in mind that our senators and representatives would be from the landed intelligencia - folks like themselves - who could be trusted to make long term decisions in view of what would be best for the country, and could be trusted to discuss the issues like gentlement (that'd be by dueling, for fans of Alex Hamilton).

One of our current problems is that instead of that ideal, utopian (remember, that means 'nowhere' translated literally) vision, we've got a bunch of muckraking lawyers. Our own damn fault - we keep voting them in, and we allowed an environment where you've gotta be a power hungry, doubledealing scumbag (lechery is just a bonus that we get with the package) to even want to serve your country in this way (not that they're all bad - it just looks that way sometimes).

Of course, our greatest strength as a country is that I'm free to say this. Which is why I'm more worried about the president of Nike not being allowed to defend his company's labor practices because it's 'commercial speach' than about whether there is a law forcing me to do what an intelligent person will do anyway. Not that I like that law - I think we should let stupid people extinguish themselves in the name of darwin. Maybe make the stunterboys not wear helments.
 

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For once I agree with Lord Burns.

[*]I am a member of the AMA but because of its anti-helmet law stance I will probably will not renew my membership.

[*]The AMA loses all credibility with the non-riding public when it opposes helmet laws

[*]Anti-helmet supporters are usually baby boomers who didn't grow up wearing helmets for everthing. Us Gen Xers have a helmet for everything skate boarding, skates, kayaking, bicycling, skiing, and snow boarding. So its no big deal for us. Maybe common sense skips generations

[*]I would go even farther and mandate full faced helmets, gloves, boots, and jacket see below

In David Houghs book Proficient Motorcyling, he mentions on page 28 a German Study on head injuries. The study by Dietmar Otte and Gunter Fleton was published in the The Proceedings of the 1991 International Motorcyle Conference. If you use a half helment (skull cap) i.e. no ear and face coverage, You only protect yourself from 38.6 % of the impacts to the head. Not very good odds I say.

P.S. I am a conservative Republican but support helmet laws because of the economics of the situation i.e. paying hospital bills for dorks who don't wear full face helmets.
 

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I second that. Very funny and good point. All rhetoric aside, as you fly across the hood of that Lincoln Navigator that has just made a left in front of you, who is going to care how cool your little half helmet looks. Probably not you as the macadam comes flying up at your face at 60mph. Operating any motorcycle is serious business with inherent risks and the guys in t-shirts and gutted beanies are showing up unprepared. There is nothing cool about that.
 

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No, Abe Froman is correct. The point of electing representatives, as opposed to a full vote on every issue, is because those officials are supposed to represent the people, but keep an eye on the big picture (i.e. so that majority doesn't always rule). In theory at least (a theory made in a far different political environment).



The Supreme Court definitely provides checks and balances on this process, but Abe has the representative theory correct.
 
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