Providing perhaps the definitive proof that legislatures could meet a little less often, this story details Massachusetts’ lawmakers crusade to save America’s teens from the newest health threat…tanning beds. This Thursday, lawmakers on Beacon Hill (insert your own joke here) will consider legislation to ban teens under 16 from using tanning beds. Teens 16-17 would have to secure parental consent to frequent tanning dens. As one of the bill sponsors, Sen. Pamela Resor, stressed, “Let’s not make it so easy for young people to expose their skin to dangerous rays.” Right. Maybe vulnerable youth should be kept indoors during daylight hours. Perhaps schools can add classes like, “SPF and You.” Sen. James Timilty adds this sage observation: “I think people get very anxious to be out in the sun. And some people also don’t realize you can be exposed to harmful rays even on a cloudy day. If you can see your shadow at all, you’re feeling some effects.” I guess after several long months enduring a New England winter, folks are probably a tad anxious to get out in the sun. When I was growing up, we called that Spring. Who knew it was fraught with such danger?
Michael Flynn is Director of Government Affairs for the Reason Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank whose mission is to advance a free society by developing, applying, and promoting libertarian principles, including individual liberty, free markets, and the rule of law.