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Helmet Nannies Head for the Slopes!

On the day-before-the-eve of an Assembly Transportation Committee hearing on Assemblyman Don Gustavson’s (R-Reno) proposal to repeal Nevada’s mandatory motorcycle helmet law comes new calls for a mandatory ski helmet law following the death of actress Natasha Richardson in a skiing accident up in Canada.

A Reno Gazette-Journal story this morning dredges up two other fatal celebrity ski accidents from over a ten years ago which took the lives of former Congressman Sonny Bono and the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy.

In the Bono incident, Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini said at the time that if the congressman had been wearing a helmet it “could” have made a difference.

In the Richardson tragedy, Dr. Jay Morgan of Reno says a helmet “may” have saved her life and “could” have made a difference.

And in a skiing accident on Thursday at the Mt. Rose ski resort near Lake Tahoe, ski patrollers said the helmet a 12-year-old girl was wearing when she skied into a tree “might” be why her injuries weren’t serious.

Could…may…might. No one knows for sure.

But that won’t stop the nanny-staters from using these incidents to extend more government control over the personal decisions of Americans. And don’t think this will end with mandatory ski helmets…on top of mandatory motorcycle helmets, mandatory bicycle helmets, mandatory roller skating helmets and mandatory skateboard helmets. Mandatory sledding helmets are right around the corner, and mandatory wagon and mandatory jogging helmets may not be too far off in the distance.

But perhaps rather than requiring helmets on ski slopes, we should just ban trees. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

By the way, with regard to Ms. Richardson, officials are saying it is far more likely that she died because there was no medivac helicopter available to whisk her from the slopes to a trauma center. The distance from the site of the accident to the nearest trauma center in Montreal was a 2-1/2 hour drive.

But don’t expect that fact to deter the “helmet nannies.” They won’t be satisfied until every beer-luvin’ American is required to wear a safety helmet while sitting at the bar of their favorite watering hole lest they fall off their barstool.

Oh, shoot! I just gave Sen. Nolan another idea.


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