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August 26, 2012
Mark Soave, Ishpeming , The Mining Journal

To the Journal editors:

In response to the "Helmets Are Good" letter to the editor on Aug. 12, from Bob Chapman and Barb Coleman, I take deep exception with your letter. Why do you consider it your business if I wear a helmet or not while riding a motorcycle? How does that affect you?

Would you feel better if we had to have 20 years experience, were over the age or 30 and had $1 million of medical insurance before we could ride without helmets?

Wearing a helmet should be a personal choice. Wearing seat belts should be a personal choice. No one should be forced to wear safety gear. Your letter is based solely on emotion. If you have lost a loved one or a friend through a motorcycle accident, that is very sad. But please, don't try to force your beliefs on me. Nobody has, or should have, the right to force me to protect myself.

I spent over 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and 10 years at Marquette General Hospital as a surgical technician. I saw first hand numerous people survive horrendous accidents because they were wearing helmets and/or seat belts.

I also saw first hand numerous people who died while using safety gear and/or restraints. Helmets, seat belts, life jackets, etc., are not 100 percent guarantee that you will survive an accident.

This really isn't about utilizing safety devices. It's about my personal freedom and my choice to seek life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in a way that is meaningful and satisfactory to me.

I believe I'm old enough, smart enough and experienced enough to make my own decisions about how to enjoy my life without the approval of other people or the government.

I consider how my actions will affect other relatives and friends, but the final decision is, and should be solely mine, as are the consequences. If everybody truly believed that wearing helmets and seat belts was in their best interest, they would do it automatically. It wouldn't be forced on us in the form of a law.

In your last paragraph: If I have nobody who depends on me or cares for me, then I guess I have your permission to ride without a helmet.

Michigan, and the world as well, would be better off if people would just mind their own business. Oh, by the way, the last time I rode a motorcycle was March 1970, when I had my accident. No helmet then, either.



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