Do Missouri Legislators Hate Snooki?
As a sunburn-prone person who rarely watches MTV, I am not exactly a big fan of Jersey Shore. But, I am a big fan of personal liberty, and if Snooki and her friends choose to tan themselves to an unnaturally orange hue, I will not try to stop them. After all, they are not trying to prevent me from slathering on sunscreen.
But, concerns about personal liberty do not appear to be stopping the Missouri Legislature from taking a stand against fake tans.
Missouri House Bill 1283, sponsored by Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Dist. 114), would make it a crime for anyone under the age of 15 to use a tanning bed. This legislation is not just about commercial tanning beds: The way the bill currently reads, it would be a Class C misdemeanor for a 14-year-old to use her parents’ tanning bed. If she tanned at a commercial tanning facility, the company would be subject to a $1,000 fine.
But wait. What if she has her parents’ permission to tan at a tanning facility? According to Barnes’ anti-tanning bill, her parents could be charged with a crime.
There are many things we do that are hazardous to our health, with and without our parents’ permission. The Missouri Legislature should not be preoccupied with trying to write laws to force us to do whatever they think is “right.”