PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE: The Deerfield Beach gun debate

Posted on 20 September 2018 by LeslieM

(Oops, did I say guns? I meant straws…)

By Dana Eller

One last thought on the “straw law” that the city passed at its Sept. 17 commission meeting. The argument for banning straws is no different than the argument for banning guns. The argument goes something like this… The problem is not with people, it’s with objects. Get rid of the offensive object and the results will be different.

Of course, we all know the argument for the second amendment, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” From my perspective, isn’t it the same with straws? I don’t know who’s dumping their straws in the ocean, but my guess is those “people” don’t care much about Deerfield’s straw law.

Trying to do something good for our environment and the ocean by working to get the city to agree to a ban on plastic straws at local restaurants makes people “feel good.” The bigger question is what’s next? What other ideas can the city (or a group of passionate citizens) come up with in a futile attempt at changing human behavior by banning or restricting our use of an object, the use of which is already legal, but the abuse of it (litter in this case)… is already illegal (littering)?

It’s the small concessions we make for a good cause that, in the end, lead to easier acceptances of even greater limits and laws regulating our freedoms and choices in the future (or, in this case, flexibility… If you’ve ever tried to bend a paper straw, you’ll know what I mean). [Editor’s note: There are bendable paper straws available, along with many other sizes of straws].

We salute the nine citizens who took the time to speak out at the city commission meeting in favor of the ban. I just wish the other 77,000 residents of our city, and the other 1474 restaurants in Deerfield (according to Yelp), would pay more attention to how easily things we take for granted (maybe carelessly) can be so easily and quickly ripped from our mouths and legislated away.

In the meantime, six months from now, prepare for BSO to be writing tickets to distributors, stores and restaurants in the City of Deerfield Beach with a citation to appear in court if they don’t comply. (Read the law for yourself, it would be laughable if it wasn’t true). Our commission is ok with [Medical] Marijuana being able to be purchased legally about two blocks from Deerfield Beach Elementary school, but not plastic straws. [See story on marijuana next week]. As Commissioner Joe Miller says, “Kids learning that plastic straws are not good is wisdom.”

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