Ban the burny thing. Lest it burns.

Julia beat me to this one with a good post here.

It seems a young child has been badly burned after some shennanegans with a Chinese Lantern. Now the mother is coming out with the inevitable cries of, "Ban it!, ban it now!"

They bought the lantern. They intended to use it and enjoy it. They had an accident with it and now they want to ban it so no one else can enjoy it. All for the cheeeldren.

You have to admit, this picture of a badly burned young kid will bring out the sympathy in the thickest skinned of us.






However, the libertarian in me will not go as far as to agree with banning anything. Accidents happen with regular monotony. Even bad accidents like this one.
The more things we ban, the more we legislate to protect people, the less people will be able to calculate risk themselves.
Burny things can be dangerous. We should all be well aware of that, yet we keep shouting for the powers that be to protect us because we can no longer figure this stuff out in our own heads. (When I say we, I don't include me, and probably not you)

This story caught my eye because I went to a Halloween party and my dad brought one of these lanterns. At first it was just him and my uncle trying to light it and having no luck. Eventually, all the men were stood round it holding out their lighters and trying to create fire. All the womenfolk were stood back, pissing themselves laughing at this neo-neanderthal spectacle.

Eventually we got it lit and it flew straight into the neighbours bush. We poked it with a long stick until we freed it, and then it went up into the air and landed in a tree. After a few more minutes it dislodged itself and flew up into the heavens. We watched it until it was a tiny dot in the sky like a star. It was good fun while it lasted.

I'm sure there will be some bansturbaters reading this who want to say, "What if it set fire to the bush / the tree / one of you / the man in the moon. If you're thinking that I'll say this to you:

It didn't.

There are many ways to have fun, many of them dangerous. There are many ways to work, travel, exercise etc. Many of them are dangerous too. If you choose an activity, weigh up the risks yourself before you do it. If you chose to continue, accept the consequences of a mishap.

Is that really too hard to understand?

Yes, the consequences of this particular mishap are horrible, but maybe if this mother had thought about the dangers of setting fire to unpredictable flammable things around children, this might not have happened.

Don't try and spoil it for the rest of us.

8 Comments:

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