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Children Flying Airplanes and More Government Red Tape

I was watching the news a few months ago, and I found another story that I couldn’t help but question. If you watched the news in the beginning of April I’m sure you caught the story.

The story was about a little girl, a very smart little girl, a seven-year-old girl named Jessica.

She was a darling little girl; she was taught by her mother and was very head-strong and intelligent. She went to a farm to learn how to ride horses and instead learned every aspect of taking care of the farm. A driven girl indeed.

Then she decided that at seven she wanted to learn how to fly. It was her own decision; she wasn’t pressured by the parents (this is at least what we assume). The parents concented to giving her lessons.

She could become a pilot after taking lessons and getting 70 or so hours of in-air flight training.

During her training there would be an instructor in the cockpit with her, and she/he would have an identical set of controls so they could take over if there was ever a problem.

Well, Jessica thought that if she was going to learn how to fly at such an early age, she may as well break a world record by doing so, so she decided that she would like to travel around the country on her plane during her training. She received approval from the city council, from her family, from her instructor. And off they went.

The first leg of their trip was a success. From the west coast they landed in Cheynne, Wyoming. It was raining, and conditions got worse. They decided to take off again, but within two minutes of taking off, Jessica and her instructor crashed and died.

Now, some of the details of this story cannot be verified. The parents say this was her decision, that they didn’t pressure her. For our augument, let’s say they didn’t, and this was all her own desire. In fact, the mother on the news said she asked Jessica what would happen if she crashed in the plane and died, and Jessica responded that her spirit would be in the plane.

We can’t be sure if the instructor took over the controls, or when he did so, and we don’t know why they took off in hazardous conditions.

It’s a very sad story, and it seems as if something should have been done so that this tragedy and loss of life was avoided.

But the next day I was watching the news, and one of the things they said was that there is now a plan to introduce into legislation a bill that would make it illegal for children to learn how to fly a plane. We got to hear activists that believed that the child must have been put under great emotional pressure to learn how to fly. We got to hear other children, some as young as eight, that know how to fly. Those children didn’t believe that should be legislation passed, but most everyone else did.

So this is my question: do we need to enact a law everytime a tragedy happens in our country?

After the Oklahoma bombing, anti-terrorist bills were all the rage. We’ve heard about a law to notify a community about a sex-offender who served their sentence moving into their neighborhood. We see more laws to restrict airplane pilots.

Some people argue that the law to restrict child pilots os not for the safety of the pilot, but for the safety of the people the child pilot could possibly injure. But laws in a capitalistic society are designed to protect us from the force of others, not from the accidents that we may run into in going about our day-to-day business. When we decide to be a part of this society, we agree to take on the risks of interacting with public - we understand that there is a chance we may get hit by a car when crossing the street, we understand that accidents happen.

Have we finally relinquished the responsibility to governing ourselves to the whims of a select group? This country needs less laws, not more. The government was set up to provide basic protection from other, not ourselves. Let’s keep it that way.



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