A Slippery Slope

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Eric Sterling has another good rant on his Justice and Drugs blog. Sterling notes, among other things, that the rationale used to prohibit certain drugs could just as easily be applied to other recreational activities like skiing.

Just think of how many persons are killed and injured skiing and snow boarding each year nationwide – an average of more than 38 persons per year, according to National Ski Areas Association. One could ask, what does skiing accomplish? What good is skiing? Well, it is fun, it is exciting. Isn’t it exciting because the speed creates a sense of risk? If we focused our attention just on hospital emergency rooms, we might think that skiing ought to be outlawed.

It might be an interesting exercise to imagine what the world of skiing would look like if it were outlawed. Imagine who would make skis, how it would be taught, where it would be done. Does anyone doubt that while there would be much less skiing, it would be much more dangerous to those who do ski, than it is now?

I agree that the analogy is appropriate, and I therefore urge you Eric to shut up about the dangers of skiing, lest that too should be taken from us. Because you see, those who seek to save us from ourselves will not recognize the threat of black-market skiing. They will accept casualties as a necessary and temporary inevitability on the road to a world without skiing.

And when that doesn't work, they'll try to flatten out the mountains.

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Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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