GUEST VIEW: Let us decide our own vices

The following editorial was published in the April 11 edition of the Grand Haven Tribune:

 

If Michigan lawmakers have their way, those under the age of 18 will have one less option to upgrade their looks, as the state is considering putting a stop to youngsters using tanning beds.

The state already has regulations in place that require parental consent before a minor can use a tanning bed, but now lawmakers want to take it a step further and strip moms and dads of their power to parent their children.

While the intent of the law might be good in its effort to curb people from damaging their bodies, this is yet another example of “big brother” reaching in and trying to micromanage our lives.

Take another recent example in New York, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to ban the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. The move was part of an effort to combat America’s obesity epidemic. Good intentions aside, a New York court ruling has put a lid on the ban for the time being.

However, the fact remains that government is trying to do our jobs for us.

Let us decide if our children are able to go to a tanning salon. And let us decide if we can have the jumbo-size soft drink.

While these actions may be questionable health decisions, at what point do we begin to live in a world found in a page torn from a George Orwell novel?

Bottom line: If we don’t have the freedom to make our own lifestyle choices or the choices for our own children, then how free are we?

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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