The European Union (EU) has taken yet another bold step in an effort to protect its citizens: it has banned the sale and manufacture of “strike anywhere matches,” according to London’s Daily Express. And the chemicals used to make them. Strike anywhere matches are typically a little longer and a little stouter than their brethren found in matchbooks. They can be lit by being struck against most abrasive surfaces. Henceforth, only safety matches will be allowed. They will light only if struck on the strip attached to the package itself. Ah, much safer, no?
I am not aware of large swaths of the EU being ravaged by fires started by “strike anywhere matches.” Nor am I privy to the countless thousands that must have died due to the nearly spontaneous combustibility of these heinous items. If one thinks about it logically, why is it safer to have the ignition strip on the same package in which the matches are contained? That’s kind of like selling a loaded gun, isn’t it? Whereas, with strike anywhere matches one has to go about scratching them across various items and surfaces, hoping against hope that one of them will somehow ignite the match. And what about lighters?
Why doesn’t the EU just ban fire outright? Speaking of fires, surely candles will be next to go. Burners on stoves can be very dangerous if not utilized properly. Bats, clubs, wickets, shovels, nets, forks, weed-whackers and scissors, among a myriad of other items, can be deadly if used improperly.
Perhaps we should ban the term “matches” so as not to unduly upset anyone. Soccer match? No! Soccer game! A friendly, even! They should all be friendlies!
Where are we headed? Will the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) seal our demise? We have already rendered ourselves nearly incapable of existence in the real, physical world. While attempting to ban anything conceivably dangerous or upsetting, as if that were possible, we are succeeding in banning personal responsibility…and freedom.
As Ben Franklin famously said: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
And, very soon, they will not have either.