The "they" are those who reacted so strongly against New York's new law banning novelty lighters.
For those who haven't seen them, novelty lighters are so cleverly designed they can resemble anything from a hand with the middle finger extended, to a pistol, to a fire extinguisher, to a lady's high-heel shoe. They also pop up in the shape of cartoonish-looking toys.
New York became the 15th state to prohibit novelty lighters; many other states are looking at similar legislation. The European Union banned their sale in 2006.
Yet several states have shot down attempts to halt novelty-lighter sales — 17 according to USFA's count. To figure out why, you need look no further than Facebook comments.
Those who voiced opposition when the New York decision was made were generally against government telling them what they can and cannot do and wanting parents to be more responsible.
I'm a huge fan of freedom of choice, less government intrusion and responsible behavior. And if I were a smoker, I'd probably want a novelty lighter — the sardonic irony of a fire extinguisher lighter is not lost on me.
But the fact is that even the most responsible parents cannot guard against everything. Kids get into stuff they shouldn't: they always have and they always will.
USFA cites that children less than 5 years old are eight times more likely than other age groups to die in fires started with things like matches and lighters. And those who survive are likely looking at extensive, painful treatment.
If banning toy lighters means that one child will not be rushed to the burn unit, then the freedom to own one is something I'll gladly surrender — and I'll happily find my amusement and irony elsewhere.
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