Wow, folks. This just in. The very, very brave and hard to spell town of Niskayuna, New York is finally allowing ice cream trucks to cruise the streets again (for a month-long trial) after a 34-year hiatus. The trucks were banned for a year back in 1975 after a girl was struck and killed while running to a truck. The next year the town allowed the trucks back IF they played no music and didn’t try to attract kids by driving up and down the street. (Putting good ol’ ice cream telepathy to work, I guess.) They were allowed to park in private driveways, when invited.
Once again, a single, devastating incident — the girl’s death — demanded a “shut the barn door after the cows are out” solution: Ban something that’s normally safe, but, had it been banned earlier, it would have prevented that one, unusual fatality. It’s the kind of thing that will eventually have us banning chairs, after someone dies falling off of one, and already seems to be happening to hotdogs. Anytime anything bad happens in conjunction with X — be X a merry-go-round, or hug, or recess — we assume that we were foolish to allow X to happen at all. (Lawyers it “negligence.”)
AGREED — it makes sense to think about safety and take reasonable precautions. BUT — it does not make sense to slash away at that lovely thing called “life” every time something sad happens. — Lenore