Montpelier, VT – A Democratic Vermont state senator has introduced legislation banning cell phones for people under 21 in order to make a point about banning guns.
“It’s more to prove a point,” Vermont State Senator John Rodgers told WCAX. “If we’re going to allow 18-year-olds to vote and join the military and such, they should have all the rest of the rights.”
Rodgers’ proposed legislation pointed out that cell phone use while driving has become the number one cause of death for U.S. teens.
He also called attention to the fact that young people have used cell phones to threaten and bully others, as well as to commit horrible crimes, The Barre Montpelier Times Argus reported.
“The Internet and social media, accessed primarily through cell phones, are used to radicalize and recruit terrorists, fascists, and other extremists. Cell phones have often been used by mass shooters of younger ages for research on previous shootings,” the bill read.
The proposed law said the Vermont legislature had decided the law that said people under 21 “aren’t mature enough” to have firearms, cigarettes, and alcohol should also be applied to cell phone usage, The Barre Montpelier Times Argus reported.
“I have no delusions that it’s going to pass,” Rodgers said. “I wouldn’t probably vote for it myself.”
But the senator said he was trying to make a point to a state legislature that “seems bent on taking away our Second Amendment rights,” according to The Barre Montpelier Times Argus.
Rodgers said that data in the proposed legislation proved that cell phones were much more dangerous than guns.
Voices for Vermont’s Children Executive Director Michelle Fay released a statement that expressed her disappointment at seeing lawmakers waste time on pointless bills, The Barre Montpelier Times Argus reported.
“There are so many critical issues impacting the lives of working families in Vermont today, from increasing minimum wage to implementing equitable family and medical leave insurance programs to establishing an office of child advocate. We urge the Legislature to focus on the important work at hand instead of getting tied up in hollow diversions,” Fay said.
She also said she wouldn’t support a law that banned cell phones for people under 21, The Barre Montpelier Times Argus reported.
Fay said parents needed to be able to get in touch with their children via cell phone and suggested giving juveniles more conflict resolution skills and making them feel more accountable.