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Nanny Watch: Novelty Lighters Latest Public Health Crisis for Albany Politicos

This novelty lighter with the Statue of Liberty (along with liberty itself) will soon be illegal in the madhouse state of New York.

These dangerous instruments of destruction: novelty lighters are going to be illegal in New York State. The only thing more dangerous are the lawmakers who would make everything illegal because they believe, they really believe that it is their duty to make everyone safe regardless of liberty.

The boys and girls in Albany have been working overtime for the past three decades to turn New York into the ultimate “Nanny State,” a place where every aspect of the lives of regular, law abiding, taxpaying adults is regulated seemingly to protect them from themselves.

Laws against guns, smoking, drinking and drugs have been in place for so long that no one thinks twice about them anymore.

But what about laws against sodas being served in extra large containers, or what sort of oil is permitted to fry French fries in?

The sale of novelty lighters shaped like toys, guns and cartoon characters was also banned in a bill that passed the State Assembly last week.

Tough-talking Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver came out forthrightly against novelty lighters, despite the fact that not one shred of evidence was presented to show that they’re any more dangerous than non-novelty lighters.

"These lighters may appear harmless because they look like toys, but in reality they are flame-producing devices that children like to play with," said Silver. "This is a combination that spells disaster and it must be eliminated. Our bill would prohibit the sale of these lethal items. They are a public safety hazard and a threat to the lives of children."

The State Senate passed the measure, which prohibits retailers from selling any lighters that emit sound effects, flashing lights or are shaped like another object, such as a musical instrument, an animal or the Statue of Liberty, even though the sale is intended for adults.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, D-Bronx, sponsored the bill.

The bill "will protect children and their families and ultimately save lives," said Sen. Jack Martins, R-Nassau County, who sponsored the bill in the Senate and is a staunch supporter of Dinowitz.

But down in Florida, Sunshine Lighter Company owner Sam Chebaro said parents should be responsible for keeping lighters – and even matches – away from children rather than the New York State Legislature.

"If you keep a lighter in front of your child, it's like keeping a gun or a knife in front of your child," Chebaro said. "The parent should be responsible for keeping all of that away from the children."

The ban will also have a negative impact on his business, which specializes in the wholesale of novelty lighters. The company’s website boasts more than 600 varieties.

Here at Nanny Watch, we are constantly amazed. People and businesses are leaving New York in droves because of the high taxes, the political corruption that runs rampant in Albany, and because our cities are plagued with poverty and crime.

And, while Silver, Dinowitz, Martins and their colleagues in the Legislature can’t seem to do anything about those problems, they’re taking the bull by the horns when it comes to this novelty lighter thing.

They should be embarrassed.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

JUN 25, 2013