Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Civil Disobedience and the CPSC Ban on Youth OHVs

Last week, The General wrote about riders and dealers who are “mad as hell” regarding the CPSC’s current ban on the sale of youth-OHVs. Those angry folks have been “banging trash can lids” loudly so that Congress, the Obama Administration, and the CPSC will hear them from miles away.

Dems and GOPers in Congress are working on H.R. 968 to address the impacts to OHV sales as well as Senator Tester and Representative Rehberg with the introduction of their “dirt bike” bill this week:

Senator Tester’s Website on Dirt Bike Bill

One of those folks who have been banging the drums at 104 dBA is off-road hero, Malcolm Smith. Malcolm is planning a protest on Thursday March 19 at his Riverside dealership.

Malcolm’s Event
USA Today Article on Malcolm's Event

Malcolm is actually taking his protest to a higher level by planning to sell the currently banned OHVs to various racing legends and other celebrities. This is an act of civil disobedience and it has a long history in America’s political process.

Being a veteran of the private property wars, the timber wars, the roadless wars, the Klamath water war, and the OHV commission war that defunded trail monies to the FS and BLM for almost 8 years, The General’s view is that the decision to engage in civil disobedience is an extremely personal choice.

That decision can make them a target for overzealous federal agencies who may decide to target them to make an “example” out of them. In addition, the court system is not geared to protect conservative values or issues and a family can face fiscal hardships fighting the federal government.

The General (or anybody for that matter) cannot tell somebody like Malcolm or other dealerships when it is an appropriate time to employ civil disobedience to address ill-conceived government regulations that will put you out of business.

Factors such as the status of pending congressional actions to fix the problem, support from local elected officials for the event, being drowned out by other more pressing media issues, agency relief, or pending court action must be considered.

In the final analysis, it remains a deeply personal decision that must be respected.

1 comment:

  1. Malcolm's Event-CPSC Blog.
    I agree with the position statement of the General, as this action and the politics involved is a greatly emotional one. Process, the favorite word of those in power to make such decisions, are feeling the angst and down right anger at this very process. Every single major OHV organization, manufacturer is on board in opposition to this regulation as inspired by the law Congress created. Is this an "unintended consequence" of the law, or as I feel, totally and abused by the CPCS for a regulation that hurts America's families, stifles family recreation and parenting, and creates an ugly void in family time together in the great outdoors. The SEVERE economic impact is just starting to be realized, and will get worst.
    Now, the wrath of American OHV families is starting to be heard by elected officials, and the sting of those that are writing those penetrating letters blistering the hides of the CPCS folks, is starting to have impact. Keep those personal letters going to your Congressional representative, AND send another to your State Assembly and Senate Representatives outling the economic impact it is having on the OHV industry, layoffs of staff, and reduced sales tax income our state needs desperately...........After all, it IS part of the process !

    Dave Pickett President and Legislative Action Office Director District 36 Motorcycle Sports Committee Northern California