Herd is the word 

Edmond says it has an underage drinking problem, and so does Yukon and Enid. Soon we will be told we have a problem throughout the state and folks will be asking our legislators to write a statewide social host law " a law that will punish anyone older than 21 who permits younger folks to gather at parties and consume alcoholic beverages.


Alcohol can be abused and can cause harm, no argument from me. Government controlling our every move is abuse, and it does cause harm. The big difference is one might; the other does. Social host laws destroy families and family values. The law tells us that if we do not act in accordance with the government's value system, we are unfit. We can be sent off to jail, and the state will take our children.


The Edmond and Yukon decisions to pass social host ordinances show that people think that if we tell the government to stop underage drinking and other undesirable behavior, all will be well. We will be one step closer to utopia.


To persuade individuals to give more control to the government, officials throw some mighty impressive numbers at us when it comes to underage drinking. They report that 5,000 people under the age of 21 die annually due to underage drinking. They report that nearly three-quarters of all 12th-graders have admitted to using alcohol. They want us to believe that if the government doesn't clamp down on these youngsters, our society will be destroyed.


How much faith do we put into the government's interpretation of data? Our social engineers have a long history of getting it wrong. An engineer can look at data and notice that child and adolescent mortality is highest among American Indians, followed by blacks, Hispanics and whites. Asians, as a group, have the lowest rate. Using the imperative that the government must save the most children, the best engineering approach might be to mandate the Asian model of parenting for all American Indians, blacks, Hispanic and whites.


Continuing on the theme of maximizing the number of perfect people, we also must eliminate all dangerous social activities, regardless of the fact that they may provide excitement, happiness and valuable experiences.


We must deprive our youngsters of things such as cars, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, trampolines, swimming pools and anything else that is known to cause harm to teens.


Then, there is the war on obesity. If we continue to ask the government to help us be the best we can be, it is just a matter of time before we see a law that will fine and arrest parents of overweight kids. The heftier the child, the stiffer the punishment. We can make those fattening birthday cakes illegal and have our SWAT teams raid birthday parties. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that obese children will be a burden on society. It's common sense. Or would "herd sense" be a more appropriate term?


Individual values, family values, herd values " they are in conflict. Based on the recent actions of Edmond and Yukon, it seems as if the herd is winning.


Prawdzienski is an Edmond resident.

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