Life jackets should remain a choice

May 18, 2011

Op-ed contributor L. Alan Keene ("Save boaters from themselves," May 18) is certainly correct that the use of life jackets by boaters is a sensible precaution in many situations, but the notion that life jackets should be mandated under penalty of law is appalling. Unlike driving while using a cell phone, the choice to operate a boat without a life jacket endangers no one but the boater who made the decision and should be left to him or her without government intrusion.

Mr. Keene asserts that the life jacket represents weakness and timidity for many male boaters. I wonder if one campaigning to impose his ideas through regulations on others "for their own good" isn't asserting aggression and dominance, at least vicariously?

Christian Wilson, Bel Air

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