Government regulations, whether local, state or national, often arise from a cozy relationship between lobbyists, special interests, and the legislators. I have long suspected that the “good idea” of bear-proof containers was, sooner or later, going to mean cash windfalls for the manufacturers and vendors. To do that, however, they need the force of government — a gun, really — to line their pockets. And of course, a municipality can recognize a new source of revenue when it sees one.
I don’t live in Kenai, but regulations in that city have everything to do with the rest of us on the Peninsula. Few will need to be convinced that local governments often imitate their neighbors.
We can’t do very much about this on the federal level, but we jolly-well can on the state and local, and it is here where libertarians and conservatives ought to wake up and knock these petty tyrannies down before they grow into something really big and ugly.
I am not impressed by assurances that these bear problems are not going to be an excuse for writing tickets. If I was younger, I might be more trusting, and if you want to believe their promises, fine. But look at the evidence given in the very article: today it’s a neighborhood; tomorrow, a city-wide ordinance. Then comes the borough. Still unconvinced? Sorry, but if so, I believe that you are now part of the problem.
How long before fines are applied for failing to properly protect or clean our garbage cans/picnic tables/backyard grills, birdfeeders ... or a cooler in the backseat of the car parked in our driveway? Or for leaving our garage door open? How long before not owning an expensive $400 bear proof container warrants a fine? When can we no longer shoot a bear in defense of life or property?
Hopefully by this time, most people realize that small, seemingly “reasonable” regulations can move only in one direction: towards more and more control, and more and more extortion of our rapidly dwindling wealth and livelihood.
Life anywhere is a risk. In Chicago, they worry about thugs, and in Alaska, we have to deal with bears. If my neighbor has to blast one, the problem has just been solved. It’s one of the nice things about concealed carry. I’ll risk it for a safer neighborhood. And I don’t want either the Green Police or a city cop telling us we’re responsible because we left the barbecue grill out on the back deck overnight, and busting us for it.
You want a sprinkling system installed in your house? Go for it. Just don’t tell me I’ve got to spend my money to make me safer ... or to line the pockets of lobbyists, vendors or municipalities.