CD, Now that I am feeling a little better, (SD was right, I just needed a little medication) let me have another crack at this.
I respect and truly admire your desire to make the world a better place.
I would really like to think that there could be steps taken to make our waterways safer.
Education and experience is what makes a person good at whatever they do. Oftentimes people exhibit a natural talent for certain disciplines and some are better at certain things than others. But most anyone can learn to drive and most everyone can learn to sail. Not sure about flying.
But let me ask you. What makes someone a good driver? If you ask me, the most important aspect is a person's temperament. Followed closely by their experience. Education is close behind.
If you want to see the waterways become safer, then befriend a stupid sailor. If, or should I say when, you come in contact with someone who needs some guidance and support, then give it to them. If they won't be helped then at least warn everybody else to keep an eye out.
Don't continue to live in a world where you can just maintain your little bubble of privacy and isolation and expect your government to protect you from every careless sailor, driver or pet owner.
People can learn to sail without the government's help. They can learn from their dad's. They can learn from their friends or their lovers. They can even learn to sail all by themselves.
But don't try to take away their freedom to learn their own way.
Do you know why we have welfare. We have welfare because we have failed as a decent people.
Families don't take care of families. Neighbors don't take care of their neighbors. Churches are more concerned about doctrine and legalism than about loving and caring for each other.
Even here on SailNet, people are content to judge and ridicule others before taking the time to listen and even pretend to try to make a connection.
We can have debates that go on for days on how to respond to the guy who makes a stupid first post while in the mean time he's already said screw it, I'm just going sailing.
On every level we are failing to take care of our own and You can't legislate the problem away.
The USHGA was the best model I've personally seen where a sport regulated itself. I haven't been involved for many years so I don't know how they are doing now but back in the day. You couldn't fly off a hill anywhere in the area without someone looking for the sticker on your helmet. While you were looking for his.
If we as sailors were better about regulating and supporting each other we could solve the perceived problem ourselves.
Please, don't advocate more government regulation. Let's just each try to be better sailors ourselves. And maybe better people too.
Don't try to legislate morality, and don't put the government in charge of something that we as people should be doing ourselves.
If you want to make the world a better place, then get your hands dirty. Open your hearts and try to understand that we are a pretty crowded little planet here and not everyone looks at things the same.