Scoot: We must stop the 'Nanny State' mentality!
Who do you blame for America becoming a “nanny state?” The broad definition of “nanny state” is “a government that makes decisions for people that they might otherwise make for themselves, especially regarding private and personal matters.”
America is made up of individuals – those individuals make up the government, the judges, the juries and all of the groups that pass, execute and interpret the laws and create entertainment, as well as judge the guilt or innocence of citizens. But individual Americans are quick to blame the government, the judicial system, law enforcement or those who create entertainment for the creation of a “nanny state.”
On my radio talk show on WWL, I consistently hear the chorus of voices that blame behavior – from poor eating habits to violence – on anything except individual choice.
Now, a federal jury has taken action against the acceptance and growth of the “nanny state” in America by deciding that an Applebee’s restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico did not break any laws when it served a man whose drunken-driving accident killed two young women.
James Ruiz was served alcohol at the Applebee’s restaurant in Santa Fe and as he drove home, he crashed and killed a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old girl who were in Santa Fe to support their school’s basketball team.
Their girl’s family sued and settled civil claims against those they felt were accountable for the deaths and Applebee’s was later added to the suit.
I applaud the jury’s decision not to hold Applebee’s accountable for the tragic deaths of the two young women. The idea of holding bars and restaurants accountable when a customer is served to the point of getting drunk and driving home circumvents the crucial importance of individual accountability.
Any bar, restaurant or server should be aware of customers who are intoxicated and should feel the power and responsibility to stop serving those customers, but since many individuals do not show signs of a high level of intoxication, is it fair to hold any establishment or server responsible for customers?
Of course, people do not always make responsible decisions when they get drunk, but the decision to get drunk in the first place was their personal decision. The growing sense that someone or something else is always to blame for the mistakes of individuals is causing a rapid erosion the personal accountability that is an integral part of a civilized society. And if we are to maintain the freedoms we have in America – we must be held accountable for our individual decisions.
It can be argued that aggressive lawyers after quick bucks contribute to a lawsuit-happy America and the popularity of the “blame game,” but individuals must agree to follow a lawyer’s lead in a lawsuit. The lawyer can’t sue without your involvement.
The precedent has been established that bars, restaurants and servers are legally responsible for the decisions of their customers, but the decision of the federal jury in New Mexico is a step toward reinforcing individual accountability.
If businesses and servers are to be held responsible for our actions that result from a state of intoxication – where does it end? So far, the trend of blaming businesses and servers for the actions of intoxicated customers focuses on the driving after being served alcohol. What if someone got drunk and makes it home and then beats his wife or kids or falls down the stairs – should the business or the server be held responsible for those actions?
As individuals – we have the power to stop the growth of the “nanny state” in America. Our nation is a collection of individuals and we can be no better than the individuals who make up America!
Tags : Locations : New MexicoPeople : James Ruiz