Posted by kelphead on August 03, 2000 at 18:13:17:
In Reply to: Re: ???????????? posted by Jim Hoffmann on August 03, 2000 at 16:03:02:
are going to the opposite extreme.
now, i have to write a disclaimer that i really
don't mind it when municipalities try their darndest
to protect my health (ie, certain traffic laws
that minimize injuries/informing a neighborhood
of the presence of a sexual predator released
from prison/certain laws that ensure safety of
the food and drugs i use/certain laws, guidelines
that ensure the safety of the plane that i fly/laws,
guidelines ensuring the quality of the oceans i
however, when it comes to diving, i have quickly
realized how independent divers are and how much
they all value their freedom to choose where and when
i do believe in self-regulation to ensure that stupid
laws don't get enacted by those who are completely
ignorant of facts, just as i believe each person should
clean up their own mess and throw their garbage in the
garbage container, or that those who choose to drink
alcohol (yuck!) do so responsibly so as not to injure
or outright kill others. if individual human beings
were just more conscious and empathetic of those other
human beings around them, the world would truly be
a safer place to live.
most people die of their own doing: from preventable
'accidents'. that's a fact of life. more people die
from their own carelessnes and negligence than from
war or disease. and there are laws that try to
protect people from themselves, but they don't always
work and they certainly don't cover every single aspect
of our lives, though it seems to feel that way at
times. humans will always find a way to maim and
kill themselves. hence, the argument that more rules
w/all that being said, one can't go from caring
about the safety of others to being unhealthfully
obsessed over others. people like that turn out to
be control freaks, worrying more about others than
i do believe generally that there has to be a minimum
level of safety built in to living in a society, and
when it comes to diving, that minimum level has
already been met: basic certification.
as it has been repeated time and again, a basic
cert is just a license to learn more, and the more
responsible divers in our community who cherish their
lives and desire to increase their safety margin do
indeed take the initiative to learn more by taking
more courses (hopefully by qualified, caring instructors!!!!!)
and by associating w/others who can teach them by
example. they also keep up w/the diving literature
re:diving health as well as diving techniques.
if other divers don't follow this protocol, then
they wind up dead or injured, God forbid, but as
has been pointed out already, that's normal and natural
and who is anyone to say that stupid people don't have
the right to be stupid? if you take that position,
you then become what you and others claim you detest:
hey, experienced, technically trained divers have been
dropping like flies off the 'andria doria', sad to say,
but so far your fears have not come true: there has
not been govt oversight. how many divers have died
off the 'a.d.' in what period of time????????
how many divers died in 1999???
how many divers died in 1989???
how many divers died in 1979???
how many divers died in 1969???
((of course %'s are more appropriate here than
sheer numbers for obvious reasons.))
so far, in the 30-40 years of rec diving, the govt
has rarely stepped in--and i mean nationwide.
sure, there are laws in some areas that, say, mandate the
use of a dive flag (ooooooh! scary!), but in those
same areas, they have also legislated safety distances
that boaters/pwc'ers must keep away from dive flags--both
of those laws don't exist under california statute.
thus far, the anti-govt paranoid crowd has been
crying wolf;[ but it just seems to others that some
in that same group want to do the controlling
i believe that is what steve's point is, as well as
i believe in having a balance and not opting for
extremes, whether it be by the govt or by members
of the dive community itself.
i'm not into wrecks (they just don't turn me on) and
i doubt i will ever get tech certified, but i have
indeed dived around wrecks (for my aow cert) and i
have even entered very 'shallow' areas of a wreck,
but why should boats exclude divers who want to
swim around the outside of the wrecks? neither
you nor anyone else, for that matter, can ever
guarantee that only so-called experienced divers
will exclusively enter wrecks. this is not a decision
you should personally worry about, unless of course
you feel you will be perhaps sued in the future over
it--then you will need to protect yourself.
just as long as the general diving public is informed
about incidents, reports, events this same public
will come to its own rational, logic, correct decisions
about each individual diver's profile.
on the one hand, those who claim to hate all the
govt regs and laws that seem to restrict their
freedom and insult their intelligence, those
same people who seem to have more confidence in
other humans running around them, can't then turn
around and claim to want to protect those stupid
humans from themselves. and they would be selfish
to claim that, well, they are doing this to protect
their own personal rights to dive.
in other words, you can't have it both ways.
just my personal thoughts.
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