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Your editorial about seat belts on April 25, certainly smacked of totalitarianism. I wholeheartedly agree that seat belts are an integral safety feature that all would be wise to employ. However, to have a benevolent dictator (the state) decree that "I shall be a wise person and use my seat belt, else be cited by said benevolent dictator via its official enforcement arm (the police)" is enough to make any true patriot bristle.

Wherein is an individual's lack of seat-belt usage infringing upon someone else's rights? It could be theoretically argued that when that individual is involved in an injury accident that individual would then be infringing upon the rights of all law-abiding citizens who pay their insurance premiums and obey the seat-belt law. But then why not permanently ban tobacco and alcohol products? They infringe just as much if not more upon the rights of the rest of humanity with their destructive properties. Those items lead to needless diseases and deaths that humanity should not be burdened with, so let's legislate those items just as vigorously as we would seat-belt usage.I do agree that education is vitally important. Educate the populace and allow them the agency to make proper decisions. We cannot hold our children's hands throughout life making them choose the right. Neither can government do the same for its society, A government that insists upon forcing its citizens to take prescribed courses of actions - be they good or bad - in my book is a totalitarian state. Education is the method, not force.

Steven Pollard

West Valley City