Sometimes government regulations make you shake your head in wonder. So it is with the ban on sledding on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.
People can freely walk on the grounds of the Capitol, so security can’t be the reason for banning sledding. Instead, Capitol Police justified the ban by citing statistics that there are more than 20,000 sledding injuries in America each year — a rationale which would justify banning sledding everywhere. Do the Capitol Police really think we’ll buy the notion that they did some analysis of sledding injuries before deciding to impose a silly ban on an age-old winter activity? I suspect that the real reason for the sledding ban is that some crusty old members of Congress didn’t like the sound and commotion of kids having fun on one of the rare days when the District of Columbia gets enough snow to make sledding feasible and told the Police to do whatever they needed to stop it.
I’m glad that parents and kids went sledding in defiance of the idiotic ban, which should never have been imposed in the first place and is just another example of unnecessary government overreach. The Capitol is our building; our elected representatives just work there. So long as security isn’t impaired, we should be permitted to use the grounds for leisure activities like sledding or playing frisbee. And parents — not the Capitol Police — should making the decisions about the safety of their kids’ activities.
So sled away, kids! And learn that sometimes you need to stand up — or sled down — for your rights.