“The five dumbest product bans”

Eli Lehrer of Competitive Enterprise Institute has some nominees, including Virginia’s ban on most versions of sangria, discussed by Ted earlier, and Louisiana’s prohibition on arranging flowers for sale without a license (Feb. 25).


  • In the list he includes:

    “Feathers in provocative packaging (Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia). Ridiculously broad laws banning sexual toys in these states could serve to ban the sale of simple feathers if packaged with suggestions that they might be used for sexual purposes.”

    Frankly, I’d add vibrators to the list of things the government has no business banning–it’s not like people are using these on the streets. Banning them strictly appeals to people’s sense of Puritanism an desire to prevent other people from having sexual pleasure in private–something I don’t think the state has a legitimate interest in policing.

  • Nevada’s law banning unlicensed folk from moving their own furniture didn’t make the list? Count the chads again!

  • Why does everyone cite personal ownership of atomic weapons as a bad thing? I personally have never read any exceptions in the second ammendment. If you have to defend your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, would you rather have a bb gun or a m1a1 tank? People always forget that personal defense also includes defense from the tyranny of government. If the other side has them why limit yourself?
    …. the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infrindged. What exactly are arms? My response is anything you can buy from an arms dealer. Would that include MIRV warheads from former soviet republics? In short, yes. The government more and more is infrindging the right to keep and bear. And if you think i’m crazy and one of those gun nuts, you may be right but not because I own any firearms, which I do not.
    End of kneejerk reaction. It just bothers me that even staunch second ammendment advocates want to place limits where no limits exist. If you have a right to own a .22 rifle you have a right to own a cruise missile complete with 10kt warhead. You also have a responsibility to shield and maintain it properly as to not endanger your neighbors, but that’s a different issue.

  • cecil,

    While I can go as far as tanks, artillery, even combat aircraft with missiles and bombs (after all, the founding fathers supported personal ownership of cannons, the strongest weapons of their day), I can easily draw the line at nuclear weapons without much difficulty. Speech is protected at least as strongly as weapons, and there are still exceptions to free speech. Nuclear weapons (and chemical and biological fit this even better) fall into this category – there is no use of them that will not indiscriminately damage wide swaths of innocent bystanders.

    While that does happen in war (and resistance to tyranny can fall into that category), these weapons are far beyond any normal amounts of “collateral damage” (again, biological and chemical weapons fall into this category even more firmly).