Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Defend Right to Be Stupid

December 18, 1988

I would like to take issue with Roger Simon who seems to equate freedom and cost with stupidity. His line of argument seems to run as follows: If someone wants to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, he is stupid. If he has an accident, it will cost me money. Therefore, his stupidity will cost me money and laws must be passed against this. The real issue, Mr. Simon, is not stupidity and how much it will cost you, but freedom and what it costs all of us.

If a law was passed to eliminate everything that could cost us money (or maybe only those things that you or I thought were stupid), we might be left with such a sterile and antiseptic society that life would be a good deal less worth living. Let us think of the possibilities.

Parachutists and mountain climbers have accidents, bicyclists have accidents, skateboarders have accidents, pedestrians have accidents. Many times the costs of these accidents exceed the medical insurance people have and their injuries cost the rest of us money. Would you limit their freedom to climb or ride or walk? Would you encase them in "armor," so that their accidents wouldn't cost so much? Do you wear a helmet when you ride a bicycle or walk across a street? Should we pass a law requiring that you do so?

Freedom costs money. Freedom entails risks, both personal and social.

JOE AUBUCHON

Huntington Beach

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|