Thursday, January 20, 2005

Live Free or Die. Or Something.

This is one of those news items that's just too bizarre to make up. It's from the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal:

In September the Daily Nebraskan, the student newspaper at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, published a column by Derek Kieper that argued against mandatory seat-belt laws:

As laws become increasingly strict for seat belts, fewer people will respond positively by buckling up in response to the laws. There seems to be a die-hard group of non-wearers out there who simply do not wish to buckle up no matter what the government does. I belong to this group. . . .

Telling me to wear my seat belt is the same as making sure I have some sort of proper education before diving into a swimming pool. If I want to dive in without knowing how to swim, that is my right. And if I want to be the jerk that flirts with death and rides around with my seat belt off, I should be able to do that, too.

Today's Lincoln Journal Star reports the sad ending of the Kieper story:

Kieper, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, died early Tuesday morning when the Ford Explorer he was a passenger in travelled off an icy section of Interstate 80 and rolled several times in a ditch. . . . Derek, who was thrown from the vehicle, was not wearing a seat belt.

And his two friends, who were both wearing seat belts, lived.

I like all of you, and I'd like for you to be around for a long time, so please let me add this: Don't flirt with death, because you might get laid.

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