As I extend my Florida getaway, one word keeps popping up in various guises: freedom!
Not just the freedom to walk outside in January in short sleeves or the freedom from state taxes. I’m talking about freedoms that we New Yorkers gave up some time ago, such as the freedom to speed down the highway at 75 m.p.h. gabbing on your cellphone.
Yes, the law still allows it here. What fun!
Sure, you pass an accident on I-95 approximately every twenty minutes, but freedom ain’t free. Not only does the state allow cell phone yakking while driving, but sending text messages as well.
A few local killjoys here have tried to introduce bills that would ban chatting and texting while driving, citing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics showing that about 6,000 deaths and half a million injuries a year are caused by such distracted drivers.
Socialists! Not only have none of these bills passed, but the state prohibits local municipalities from passing their own county laws. So yak and text away, Floridians!
And bonus–when you finish your call or text, you can whip into the local Walmart, put down your cell and pick up a rifle. Yep, the giant retailer recently brought back rifles, shotguns and ammunition to hundreds of its stores here and nationwide to “reinvigorate its one-stop shopping appeal”, according to The Wall Street Journal. So Floridians can grab a beach chair, English muffins and an M16 and be out in less than ten minutes. Can we do that in New York? No way!
To be ready for any emergency, some Floridians keep both their cells and guns handy on the front seat. But a word of warning to Sunshine Staters, if I may: Make sure you grab the cell and not the gun before you put it to your ear.