If we outlaw dangerous stuff, it'll stop ... right?


We should outlaw pools.

There. I said it. It feels good to finally get that off my chest.

We should also make it illegal to be outside during a rainstorm.

And hot dogs. Hot dogs should be illegal unless they’re ground up and squished and renamed bologna. Otherwise, heavy fines.

Fireworks, too. They’re already illegal here in Clark County, but we should make them superillegal or something. Like, a felony.

These things are dangerous. They can be deadly.

Here are the facts: The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that 66 to 77 children die from choking on food every year. The most commonly choked-on food? Hot dogs.

Drowning is a huge killer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drowning kills more children ages 1 through 4 than anything else except birth defects. The Consumer Products Safety Commission says almost 400 children drown in a pool or spa every year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration keeps track of how many people die every year in lightning strikes. In the last three years, a whopping 83 people have died via lightning strikes in the United States. None of them were in Nevada, but it could happen.

And fireworks. Good lord, fireworks. The CPSC has noted several fireworks-related deaths in the last few years. We’re talking several, people.

Let’s not even to talk about shark attacks. It’s so obvious that those should be illegal already there’s no point. If we had beaches here in Nevada you can rest assured that state Sen. Joe Hardy and Assemblyman Harvey Munford would probably already have proposed laws making shark attacks punishable by fines or tickets or something. That’s what reasonable lawmakers do.

Public education, you say? Personal responsibility?

Puh-lease. That’s what we elected these guys for.

Hardy, R-Boulder City, has pitched a law that would require those younger than 18 who ride extra-long skateboards to wear helmets. It would also require shops to provide helmets to people who rent them.

Those kids should obviously wear helmets. Longboards, as the extra-large skateboards are called, can be as long as surfboards. They’re wider and have bigger wheels, too. They can go much faster than regular skateboards.

Hardy’s proposal would fine parents whose kids aren’t wearing helmets $10.

So, as soon as this law passes, that problem will be fixed. No one will ride a longboard without a helmet again. Thank goodness all those future injuries will be prevented.

But what about the danger of texting while walking?

That’s where Munford, D-Las Vegas, is going to take care of danger. He’s proposed a new law to make it illegal to text while crossing the street.

Is this a problem? You bet it is.

One study out of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Washington in Seattle found that nearly 7 percent of the pedestrians researchers observed were texting while crossing the street. They took an average of 2 seconds longer to make it all the way across than someone who wasn’t texting or listening to music or engaged in some other distracting activity.

Another study, out of the school of Health Technology and Management at Stony Brook University, found people who texted while walking were much more likely to veer off course and walked more slowly than people who weren’t texting.

Yet another study, from an Ohio State University professor, found pedestrians talking or texting were much more likely to walk in front of a moving car.

The conclusions the researchers drew amounted to this: Human brains have a hard time focusing on doing two things at once.

So that’s an easy one, folks. Make texting while crossing the street illegal and it’ll stop.

No one uses phones while driving anymore, now that it’s illegal.

If only our lawmakers would tackle hot dogs, sharks, pools and lightning. Then all our problems would be solved.

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