To The Editor:

We hear a lot today about the overreach of power and tyrannical legislation coming out of Washington, D.C. I’m writing this letter with the hope of bringing attention to neighbors and friends that the threat to liberty is not reserved to only the politicians on the national level, but in fact there’s equal abuse of power and authority coming out of their very own smalltown city councils and county offices.

I’m speaking in particular about the debate over a primary seat belt law proposed at a recent Washington City Council meeting. A primary law would allow an officer to pull you over on “suspicion” of you not being buckled in. The fact that an ordinance such as this would even be discussed is quite frightening to me. It only goes to show once again politicians’ utter and complete lack of respect for individual liberty and personal property rights.

Although I rarely wear mine, I do not argue the fact that wearing a seat belt does improve one’s chances of avoiding serious injury in an accident. What I ask is, where in the U.S. Constitution does it say the state has a duty or the power to protect me from injury to myself? Other than the possibility of myself, who am I harming by driving unbuckled? A primary seat belt law without a doubt is a complete violation of personal property rights because what property is more personal than one’s own body? State and local police in the state of Missouri already have the power to set up checkpoints and stop vehicles whether there’s been any suspicion of wrongdoing or not. Is that not enough to convince us of what’s happening to our liberties? Do we really want to grant police the power to stop us because they believe we might only be a danger to ourselves?

I’m sick to death of politicians and bureaucrats selling us busybody legislation in the name of public safety. What they brand with the public safety label is nothing more than communism and fascism. Safety that comes at the barrel of a gun is nothing I wish to be a part of. No, I’d rather live in a free society. I’d be much happier in a society like Thomas Jefferson spoke of when he said: “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”

What has happened to our country when even in what is generally thought of as a conservative limited government town, we have leaders within it failing to grasp what our country and Constitution is all about? Washington’s leadership has already taken away people’s right to allow smoking in their private businesses. Now they want to go after the dangerous and menacing unbuckled car occupants. It would appear they want to live in a place where the state has complete and total control over the general public’s well-being. That’s not the America that our founders intended.

While the issue was debated, the council has tabled anymore discussion on a primary law for another year. In that time I’d advise the council members to go back and read the Fourth Amendment as well as the entire Bill of Rights.

Kevin Meyer