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This is why we can't have nice things
ClashDaily.com sent out their "Liberal Chick" parody to get students to sign a petition to ban pressure cookers. In the state of Florida, a 16-year-old girl is facing felony charges for an unauthorized science experiment on school grounds that caused a reaction that was not much more severe than mixing vinegar and baking soda.
This is literally insane. We live in a nation of paranoid, hysterical wimps.
Regarding the pressure cookers, a friend of mine mentioned recently that the improper use of a tool does not invalidate it's proper use. I thought at first he was overreacting with the example he used, that no one would be that stupid. It turns out that many people - including university students who are supposed to be the future leaders of America - actually are that stupid. There is no reason to ban product (pressure cookers) that presents no inherent danger because some people have criminally misused the product. But given the hysteria surrounding over-the-counter cold remedies, I never should have doubted him.
So do I really need to comment further on this nonsense? How far are we going to go to eliminate common household items that could be used criminally? Are we going to have to invent heat-resistant Nerf skillets so that we can ban the use of metal skillets? After all, a heavy metal skillet can cause quite a bit of damage - and may even be lethal - if you bash someone over the head with it.
As to the other case, if this were 25 years ago Kiera Wilmot would have been dressed down by the principal and (hopefully) her parents for making a foolish decision, and may have been suspended from school. Perhaps she might have even faced a citation from the civil magistrate to drive the point home. The punishment would have been reasonable and proportional to the offense. In today's insane world, she is charged with a felony and could have this mistake haunt her for the rest of her life, including future employment opportunities.
If I was the governor of Florida, I would announce that if she is convicted I will immediately pardon her. I would also do whatever I could to end the employment of the law enforcement and school officials responsible for this nonsense and cut off every penny of state funding to the school and law enforcement agencies - including salaries for anyone paid by the state. Cutting off the money is the most effective way to terrorize government officials into not abusing their authority.
The best solution, though, is for everyone to grow up and not react hysterically to every little thing.