"We have all kinds of parks that have hills on them,' said Marie Ware, Dubuque's leisure services manager. 'We can't manage the risk at all of those places."
The risk they speak of is from lawsuits:
"...a $2 million judgment against Omaha, Nebraska, after a 5-year-old girl was paralyzed when she hit a tree and a $2.75 million payment when a man in Sioux City, Iowa, slid into a sign and injured his spinal cord."
I found some info on the Omaha case mentioned above. A family's two daughters hit some trees at the bottom of a hill while they were sledding. The family's attorneys claim the city is responsible because they knew the trees posed a hazard to sledders. Connelly v. City Of Omaha was decided by the Nebraska supreme court in july of 2012, affirming the appeals courts awards to the plaintiffs although modifying the amount of damages. Judge Narragansett could not be reached for comment.
Back to the original article:
"Most people realize that cities must restrict potentially dangerous activities to protect people and guard against costly lawsuits, said Kenneth Bond, a New York lawyer who represents local governments. In the past, people might have embraced a Wild West philosophy of individuals being solely responsible for their actions, but now they expect government to prevent dangers whenever possible.
'It's a great idea on the frontier, but we don't live on the frontier anymore,' Bond said."
At the part where they mentioned "New York lawyer" I somehow just felt like I was being lied to, and instinctively put one hand on my wallet and the other on my Garand.
That is part of the problem though; progressives from more densely populated states try to use the "old west" rationalization to justify any encroachments on not only individual freedom, but individual responsibility as well. A question though - if it's not a frontier then what are all these carpetbaggers doin' 'round here? Come to edjumacate us hicks on our earth killing sled-risk-takin' ways? To enlighten us about how the collective matters more than the individual? That government is responsible for us in every way imaginable and must protect us from ourselves?
"...[Assistant city attorney Tom] Mumgaard said courts in Nebraska have decided cities must protect people, even if they make poor choices."
Ayup. That's exactly what they came out here to tell us about.
The good news is there is resistance to such efforts:
"In Omaha, the city banned sledding at a popular hill as a test one winter after losing a lawsuit, but decided to allow it again after most people ignored the restriction.
'It wasn't practical,' assistant city attorney Tom Mumgaard said. 'People wouldn't abide by the ban."
Gee, imagine that - people ignoring a law. I wonder if this could have any implications for gun owners...?