Not wanting to incite panic or anything to fear-crazed moms and unhinged legislators, Reuters reporter Nancy Lapid’s first sentence reads like a soothing commercial for Jaws VI, “If you think an all-terrain vehicle, or ATV, is safer than a motorcycle, think again.” Just to make sure you get the message, death-by-ATV is mentioned no less than 5 times throughout the article. And if you think it couldn’t get any… Ugh, yeah, it totally gets worse.
It turns out the reporter’s choice of words is mild compared to the implications made by Dr. Stephen Bowman, from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. Speaking against not just ATVs but the entire industry, he is quoted openly accusing dealers of purposefully up-selling ATVs that are too big and powerful for the children the ATVs are being purchased for. The good doctor may as well have just called them a bunch of shifty-eyed baby killers.
Not bothering with annoying issues like America’s dreadfully low rider safety awareness and virtually non-existent rider education programs, the Reuters sleuth cheerily informs us that ATV-related visits to the emergency in Canada fell by 50% last year thanks to banning children 16 and under from having any fun whatsoever. Clearly banning was the answer all along. Way to go, Canada.
And now there’s Massachusetts, haven to liberalism in the classical sense, which has just passed a similar ban against kids under 14 on October 1st. Pat yourself on the back, Massachusetts. Frankly, we’re awestruck by this terrible news, made even more frustrating by the fact that the passing of the Massachusetts bill has yet to cause any kind of a stir.
Which means nobody cares about banning the sale of a bunch of clearly unsafe death machines to adults with children. And that’s the scariest news of all, because banning has clearly become the acceptable solution to the dangers of a kind of adventure all of us are here for.