Mandatory life jackets: What's next, compulsory sun screen?

May 20, 2011

L. Alan Keene, you're all wet on your article "Save boaters from themselves" (May 18). Your comparison to cell phones while driving and helmets for motorcycles is overstated. Using cell phones while driving, like drunk-driving, directly endangers the lives of others. The chances of critical injury or death from falling into the water are vastly lower than head injury in a motorcycle crash. People like you would legislate every personal freedom we have away. What's next — you have to wear a PFD ( personal flotation device) at the beach? Just as many drown there. And how about a law that you have to wear sun screen? Millions die of skin cancer — let's just police everything. There will always be stupid people who get injured or die doing stupid things — you can't, and shouldn't even try, to legislate that away. That's life.

And no, I have no issue with my masculinity. I simply see no reason why a cautious boater who is strong swimmer on a beautiful day should be encumbered wearing a bulky, hot PFD. I'll bet if you did your research, you would not find that those are not the ones who drown. But you would impose on millions of people to save someone who didn't have enough sense to wear a PFD in a circumstance where they should have. If you want to help/save people then go work for a good cause and leave the rest of us alone.

Todd Bailey, Crofton

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