It’s now illegal in the state of Illinois to buy Drano or Liquid Plumr without being treated like a criminal. If you insist on buying drain openers, you must have a government-issued photo ID and every purchase will be reported to the state.
No, I’m not kidding.
The genius behind this insanity is a state legislator named Jack D. Franks, who justifies the intrusion for the customer and the expense for the store by citing a couple of attacks on Chicago-area women, who were burned by drain opener.
So let me see if I have the logic of this right. Most households are going to have some form of drain opener in them at one time or another. Does this mean that when there’s some very, very rare instance of an attack with the stuff — everybody who’s bought drain opener is now a suspect? Are they going to search for contraband drain opener at state lines?
In the event of another attack, does Franks expect police to go door to door questioning everyone who’s ever bought drain opener? Is he really this stupid?
I’m going to point out that people sometimes get stabbed with kitchen knives at home, but that doesn’t justify regulating the sale of kitchen knives. Unfortunately, the kind of mental midgets who make the laws might use this reminder as an excuse to require that all kitchen knives be made blunt and non-sharp. It would make just as much sense as Franks’ Drano law.
There’s no such thing as a perfectly safe society. There never will be. Those who try to regulate such things aren’t making us safer. What they’re doing is driving up costs for businesses and invading the privacy of individuals, plus creating unrealistic expectations of safety from the public. And why do they do it? They’ll tell you they’re looking out for us. In reality, the people who do it are either irrational idealists or cynical political manipulators.
And what’s the effect of the law? It makes it harder for normal people to buy what they need. In the story I linked above, you’ll notice that one grocery chain has pulled drain opener from its shelves, presumably to avoid the expense of recording the purchases. This is going to make drain opener harder to find and more expensive when it can be found. When that happens, idiots such as Franks will yell about the greedy businesspeople who are hurting the people.
Sometimes, I feel as though the entire political world is a twisted form of satire. I keep waiting for the punchline, but then I realize that the public is the punchline.