Friday, September 26, 2008

Personal Responsibility

These comments do not refer to defective consumer items, but items that are willfully or fatuously misused. I have watched the current furor over OxyContinfirst with amazement, then astonishment, then great sadness because it is a prime indicator of the lack of personal responsibility and accountability that has become rampant in America in the last 50 years. The fact that OxyContin, or any other drug, device, implement, tool, or human contrivance can be misused by incredibly dense members of our society is a given. This is also true of natural things like rocks, sticks, dirt clods, and snowballs I might add. To hold companies responsible for the irresponsibility of consumers is ludicrous and shows that a great weakness, a cancer, is firmly ensconced in our society.

We have public education that teaches, or should teach, every citizen to read and we have minds with which to absorb directions, warning labels, and the like as well as reason the relationship between cause and effect. Parents are also obligated to teach little Johnny not to stick his tongue in a light socket and little Susie not to pour boiling beans on her head. Why then is it the drug manufacturer's fault when a drug is willfully misused by some fool? Why is it the hair dryer manufacturer's fault when some dolt decides to dry their hair in the bathtub? Why is it the gun manufacturer's fault when some criminal or citizen with the IQ of a turnip shoots someone or themselves? I wonder when personal responsibility vanished from the American character and when the concept of having to suffer the consequences of ill-conceived and willful actions went out of vogue in this country. What next? Will carpenters begin suing Stanley because they smacked their thumb with a Stanley hammer, or a mechanic sue the jack company when he lowers the car onto his own foot?

To think that the government can isolate and insulate us from our own stupidity or willful disregard for directions, safety precautions, and warnings plainly stated on labels or even plain common sense is the height of irresponsibility at best and the nadir of imbecility at worst. I think those concerned with juris prudence in our society need to concern themselves more with prudence than juris in these cases of misuse, misapplication, and willful disregard. Trying to find loopholes in warnings provided by manufacturers has become a legal blood sport.

God gave us free will and with it came the responsibility for actions takenbecause of that free will. It would appear that most of us adamantly demand theright, but cravenly shirk the responsibility that goes with it. For those of youthat do not believe in God, then the foregoing also flies in the face of Darwin's theory of evolution and the survival of the fittest. We have apparently interfered with natural selection in this country far too long and have raised several generations of dull-witted twits unfit to survive without governmental intervention and a perpetual nanny.

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