“This business will get out of control.”

“It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it.”


The pictures are funny. The reality – not so much.

Those don’t just make me laugh out loud. They hint at a darker truth about straw bans, a fact these policies’ proponents prefer to ignore: All laws ultimately rest on state violence.

This point is often greeted with eyerolls and snorts from straw ban apologists, who would rather focus on their good intentions than the coercive powers needed to bring their rules into effect.

Indeed, when I reported last week that Santa Barbara’s straw ban included a punishment of up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines per straw, a spokesperson for a prominent environmentalist group emailed to inform me that focusing on the penalties was “unprofessional” and “inaccurate” because they would never actually be enforced, even after a third or fourth violation.

Santa Barbara officials have made a similar argument. Asked about the ban by a local ABC affiliate, the city’s environmental services outreach coordinator said that locking people up for straws is only “a last line of defense” and isn’t intended “for first-time offenders.” But he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of jail time…

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to “This business will get out of control.”

  1. Matt says:

    People should mail plastic straws to the Santa Barbara City Hall. Large amounts.

  2. Mike says:

    I just hate these bonehead enviro-nazis.

  3. Sendarius says:

    I have had the argument that “all laws are predicated on violence” with my lefty relatives – many times.

    Finally got the concept through to one cousin, recently – I could tell because he suddenly got that “deer in the headlights” look, and I think I heard his brain snap.

  4. patrick fowler says:

    Many years ago I had a boat in a city marina. The new manager who was one of those ” controlling straws ” type guys put rules in effect that essentially outlawed anything on the dock or deck of the boats that was not nautical. No bikes,plants,tools,kids toys,towels,bits of wood, etc.etc.etc. Remember those tacky pink yard flamingos? Well guess what… they started to appear on boat decks…written threats to boat owners resulted in additional birds being installed. Before this was over there were hundreds of flamingos decorating more than half the boats in the marina.The manager was replaced shortly thereafter…the birds gradually flew away!

  5. abnormalist says:

    I mean it’s not like anyone’s gonna die over a stupid law like this…


  6. paulb says:

    Laws that are not meant to be enforced should never see the light of day. Nuts.

  7. Spud says:

    Bottom line is that if people weren’t so stupid. We wouldn’t need stupid laws.

To the stake with the heretic!