Air Bag Omelettes . . . and Eggs

  • June 26, 2023

Air bags – those government-mandated “safety” devices force-built into every new car made since the late 1990s – have killed again.

ARC Automotive – “pioneering safety since 1948” – says it “can’t say for sure” whether the inflators (as the explosive devices built into air bags are styled) won’t “cause future incidents.”

Those “incidents” being deaths and maimings. But what are a few deaths and maimings when so many lives have been saved? This is the Usual Argument presented by advocates of forcing people to assume the risk of having an explosive device built into the steering wheel (and dashboard and door panels) of the car they buy. It is in its basic reasoning the same argument – the same justification – presented by Stalin about having to break some eggs to make an omelette.

The eggs, of course, get no say.

They certainly are not allowed to say no – which is the crux of the moral problem here. Not the mechanical problem of the explosive devices built into the car. They are no more the problem, as such, than high-fructose-corn-syrup and canola-oil-laden “food” at the supermarket is a problem, as such. No one is forced to buy liquid diabetes – sodas infused with HFC – or to eat their way to metabolic disorders via a steady diet of canola-oil-laden processed foods.

You are free to assume the risk, if you like the taste.

Put more finely, no one else is forced to assume the risk. It is this latter that is the real problem with the explosive devices built into the steering wheel, dashboard and door panels of every new car, truck and SUV.

If there is a risk associated with something, it ought to be up to the individual assuming it to decide whether it is worth assuming it.

Skydiving, for instance. People who choose to do this understand that they are assuming a certain risk. It is not high – assuming the parachute is properly packed and everyone involved exercises precautions. Almost always, the skydiver does not die – and does have a good time.

But there is a risk that does not apply if you do not get into that airplane – and do not jump out of it. Those who choose to get in the airplane – and then jump out of it – do so because they accept the risk in return for what, to them, is the reward. The value the thrill of skydiving sufficiently to be willing to accept the risk that the airplane might crash or the parachute might not open.

If it does not, then it’s a tragedy.

But what would it be if the person had been forced into the airplane – and then pushed out of it?

Then it would be murder, would it not?

How is it meaningfully different to force people to sit in front of an explosive device that might explode in their face? That has done exactly that? That will always have the potential to do just that? How do the odds that it probably won’t justify that?

Just ask Stalin.

People like Stalin infest what is styled “the government,” a term used to banalize what is in fact a gang of office-holders who have acquired the legal power to impose risks – and costs – on other people. That is the essence of the problem – not the fact that air bags can kill. Nor that they can also “save lives.

Both of those being entirely beside the point.

Maybe having an air bag in your vehicle will save your life one day. This is certainly possible. It is also possible the air bag will end your life. Both possibilities are inarguably real. The question is – or ought to be – who gets to decide whether the potential benefit is worth the potential risk?

This is a question many Americans no longer ask – which helps explain why America is no longer the country it once was. It was – once – a country – that respected the right of free people to decide for themselves whether a cost was worth the benefit. That objected to the obnoxious notion that other people ought to be endowed with the legal power to countermand those decisions and impose their decisions on everyone. It is why – when air bags were first developed, back in the early 1970s – they were available.

As opposed to mandated.

You could chose to order your car (from GM and Chrysler, which both offered air bags in some of their cars) with them or choose to skip them. It was up to you.

Then along came Stalin, with an urge to make some omelettes. Not exactly Stalin, of course – but the same type. People who think it is their business to order other people’s affairs and if there’s a problem, that’s their problem.

This problem has been institutionalized.

Too many Americans now accept that they are eggs – and that if they get broken, then it’s a kind of natural calamity for which no one is to blame. Worse, many of them seem to revere these who are to blame. Whom they see – having been taught to see them – as “keeping them safe.”

They are like Stalin’s chicken.

It etiolates everywhere. Most recently during what was styled the “pandemic.” And it was, of course. Just not in the sense generally meant – by the idiot-innocents who blithely use the term in just the way those who taught them to use it intended.

. . .

If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos. 

We depend on you to keep the wheels turning! 

Our donate button is here.

 If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:

721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS: Get an EPautos magnet or sticker or coaster in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a magnet or sticker or coaster – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)

My eBook about car buying (new and used) is also available for your favorite price – free! Click here.  If that fails, email me at and I will send you a copy directly!



The post Air Bag Omelettes . . . and Eggs appeared first on EPautos – Libertarian Car Talk.

Spread the love