A nine-year-old boy from the northern Colorado town of Severance has said “enough” to a town law that’s been on the books for a long time. Specifically, a law that outlawed snow ball fights.
Dane Best found out the law was on the books several weeks ago, and decided to do something about it, mostly so he could throw snowballs at his little brother.
According to the AP’s article, town officials have encouraged kids to speak up about getting the law changed. Kyle Rietkerk, the assistant to the Severance town administrator, says this ban fell under the ordinance that made it “illegal to throw or shoot stones or missiles at people, animals, buildings, trees, any other public or private property or vehicles.” Snowballs were considered “missiles.”
A Greeley Tribune article that covered the international explosion of this story mentioned part of Dane’s presentation that he gave to the Severance town board, which included this line:
“The children of Severance want the opportunity to have a snowball fight like the rest of the world,” he said during his presentation. “The law was created many years ago. Today’s kids need a reason to play outside.”
Shortly after his 3-minute presentation and the vote by the board to change the law, he went outside with the town’s mayor and Dane’s little brother and the two boys threw the town’s first legal snowballs in many years.
There are thousands of outdated, ridiculous laws on the books all over the country. It’s a happy ending to a good story about getting rid of one. But it leaves us asking, what if snowballs were banned at the federal level? Would Dane have been able to petition Congress to lift the ban? Would Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump have had a friendly snow ball fight on the Capitol lawn?
Obviously, a much harder task. Also, try getting that image out of your mind.
Keeping government local means the citizens — you and I — can go to our city council or town manager and get things fixed. While many politicians say Washington should take on more responsibility, Dane’s story shows that the opposite is true. Keeping government close means both accountability and responsiveness. Hard to find either in Washington.
Of course, there are jobs that just make sense for state and federal governments. For instance, regulations that affect business. Small business owners are now struggling to figure out how to tax online sales when every town in America has a different sales tax. Energy companies are fighting efforts to ban production county-by-county. These kinds of laws work better at a higher level by making it more efficient for businesses to operate, which ends up making products cheaper for us.
What are your thoughts?
Does government work better kept close to home, or should we nationalize everything? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook!
Also, check out more about the impact of regulations here.