Politics

It’s still January but state governments are on a roll proposing silly legislation

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Jeff Winkler
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      Jeff Winkler

      Jeff Winkler is a Daily Caller staff writer covering firearms, as well as campaign advertising and fringe culture topics. He worked previously for several Arkansas and New Zealand publications. His byline has appeared in Slate, Reason, Good magazine, the Guardian, Washington City Paper and most notably, Worm Digest.

It’s not yet even February, but lawmakers are already dumping an armload of bad ideas onto their respective state governments. The sheer ridiculousness of a few proposed laws has resulted in some legislators quickly abandoning their efforts with a shrug and an excuse. “Haha! J-K. I didn’t really think it would actually GO anywhere.”

On Tuesday, for instance, Arkansas state legislator Jimmy Jeffress abandoned his proposed bill banning pedestrians from using headphones on the sidewalk or street. Oh well. It was a bad idea while it lasted, which was about 24 hours.

Jeffress said in proposing the legislation he simply wanted to begin a “conversation” about the dangers of listening to Justin Bieber distracted bipedalists. In the days following the immediate backlash, however, Jeffress admitted he caved to pressure from opponents.

In New Jersey, assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker proposed a law requiring every bicyclist 15-and-over to register with the state, pay a bi-yearly fee and attach an actual license plate to their 10-speed. A week after the legislation was proposed and about a day after the story began to make the rounds, Tucker dropped her bill and blamed crotchety old people for causing a stir about degenerate gangs of teenage bikers.

Despite being easy targets for the nation’s collective ridicule,  Arkansas and New Jersey aren’t the only states that have legislators proposing silly laws in the new year.

Vermont legislature needs to put a bag around its head

Earlier this week, legislation was introduced that would ban plastic bags in all Vermont stores. There are only a few problems with this: (1) It’s Vermont (2) It’s a plastic bag ban (3) Even weirdo California bagged similar legislation.

Crazy gunman leads to not so crazy action

Almost a week after the tragic shooting in Arizona, a Virginia state senator decided to drop his proposed bill that would have decreased the restrictions imposed the mentally ill to buy a concealed weapon. Not that the two were related.

It wasn’t the concept that perhaps a firearm in the hands of someone with a history of confusing Jodi Foster with the voice of God may not be the best idea that led W. Roscoe Reynolds to nix his legislation. It was just a “misunderstanding.”

“When I started hearing about the misunderstanding, I contacted [the Commonwealth's Attorney] and indicated to him that there was a great deal of opposition that had been generated to this measure,” said Reynolds, according to Capitol News Service.

Clearly, the mentally well lacked some of Reynolds’ mental acumen.