Keep your hands off my PFD

My children, who, to their great fortune, inherited most of the good traits of their mother and few of the undesirable ones of their father, have always gazed longingly at the privileges society grants adults. I suppose in that way, they are quite normal.But over the years, after hearing the latest plaintive cry about desiring to stay home alone or drive or vote or own a cell phone, I’ve always quoted them a line that has become quite axiomatic in our family: “With freedom comes responsibility.”

Indeed, the two go hand in hand, and are entirely inseparable.

Unfortunately, however, fewer and fewer in our country realize this basic truth, and an increasing number of Americans are comfortable with abandoning their responsibilities without realizing they hand over an equal portion of their freedoms.

Politicians recognize the intricate weaving of freedom and responsibility, which is why they’re all too happy to provide us with food, health care, unemployment benefits, retirement income and anything else our hearts could want.

Protecting everyone everywhere from every type of failure has become a national pastime.

But what we lose in the process is our freedom to be self-directed.

Unfortunately, that long reach of the Nanny State may soon impact your time on the water.

Boaters on four Mississippi lakes will this month begin a mandatory life-jacket test that will require them to wear personal flotation devices “when under power by the main propulsion unit.”

Look for this to be heralded as brilliance and emulated across the countryside.

Will the measure save lives? Probably.

But what business is that of the government’s?

I’m actually one of the dweebs who wears his life jacket whenever riding in a boat powered by an outboard. That’s my choice. I understand that in the bays I like to fish, it would be nearly impossible to swim to shore or tread water long enough to be rescued, so I wear my life jacket.

Others opt not to, and that’s fine. The life they risk is theirs alone.

This level of government involvement would have been inconceivable to our founding fathers.

I’d rather the freedom to fail, wholly recognizing I bear full responsibility for the outcome.

About Todd Masson 646 Articles
Todd Masson has covered outdoors in Louisiana for a quarter century, and is host of the Marsh Man Masson channel on YouTube.

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