Texas Governor Perry is absolutely correct in exercising his veto power over the driving and texting bill presented to him by the Texas Legislature. It comes down to the simple notion of personal responsibility. Unfortunately, many legislators are intent on protecting the community against itself in the mistaken belief that the government’s job is to protect us against our own stupidity.

There is no doubt that texting and driving is a dangerous activity. It endangers not only the driver, other drivers, their passengers but also the community in general. Unfortunately any activity, when common sense is not adhered to can become dangerous no matter how benign. Take for example, riding a bicycle on a leisurely Sunday afternoon.

A bicyclist that applies common sense to bicycling will not only enjoy the activity but would also not create havoc for others on the public roadways. The bicyclist that ignores personal responsibility and rides their bike ignoring common sense and road rules not only becomes a danger to themselves but also to the others on the roads, including automobile drivers. For example, a bicyclist who ignores a stop sign causes a motorist to swerve to avoid the bicyclist only to end up crashed into a utility pole.

Would the community demand that bicycling now be banned on Texas roadways because of one or many bicyclists ignoring personal responsibility? Of course not. Just like there are existing mechanisms to deal with errant bicyclists, there are also existing laws to deal with irresponsible drivers.

There is a rising political class in the United States that has decided that to deal with the problems in a community it takes a firm hand to dictate upon the community the how a community should live. Unfortunately this political class seems to have forgotten that the United States was formed under the notion that freedom from government dictums is the reason America was founded upon.

Whether at the national, state or local governmental circles, the populace that votes politicians into office need to remember that a power granted to a government is a power that cannot be readily taken back. From the immortal words of John F. Kennedy, citizens need to start asking themselves, not what government can do for you but rather what can you do to keep government at bay. It starts with exercising your right to self-determination through personal responsibility.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...