- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 11, 2013


The powers that be in Washington are painstakingly proving why politicians and government bureaucrats, like diapers, need to be changed with regularity.

The D.C. Health Department is pondering regulations that would mandate 24-hour waiting periods before getting a tattoo or body piercing.

The ridiculous government argument for body art is that the waiting period is needed for safety and health reasons, and that the customer might be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Some people are simply high on God’s glory.

Under either scenario, the government should butt out.

Sure, there are health risks involved with body art, considering the fact that even routine ear piercings can lead to serious infections — and, as we have seen, piercings aren’t limited to ears anymore.

There also are health risks involved with manicures and pedicures, too.

We don’t see the government issuing sleep-on-it regulations for those body-art services — the end result of which, quite frankly, can leave women’s toes and nails looking as frightening as some elaborate tattoos.

Regulations that call for parental approval for anyone younger than 18 trying to get a tattoo or piercing could be considered reasonable, but not when politicians and bureaucrats, like those in city hall, have sat for so long their seat cushions stink to high heaven.

If D.C. pols really want to intrude in our personal lives, why not institute a wait-and-see rule on:

Abortions? Pro-choice activists, women’s libbers and their supporters have long argued that it’s a woman’s right to choose. The District supports abortions on demand, an extremely risky proposition, but proposes a woman think twice about a butterfly tattoo on her shoulder.

Substance-abuse treatment? Let the meth heads and “molly” poppers admit they have a problem, sign up for treatment but wait 24 hours before admitting themselves. That way enablers can get another shot at trying to wean them off drugs.

Fat people? If we revamp food stamp laws and give recipients the time to reconsider their buying power, perhaps they’ll substitute those sugary drinks for milk.

Driver’s licenses? If we impose English-only laws in granting driving permits, non-speakers would delay applying for them — and that will certainly improve public safety.

Section 8 vouchers? Give recipients time to change their minds. They may have to hit the pause button after discovering that washing dishes by hand poses a dry-skin problem and threatens to undo their manicure.

A spokesman for the mayor says some aspects of the tattoo regulations are eyebrow-raising.

Well, the health department chief works for the mayor and this is a no-brainer.

Scrap the proposed regs, rely on people to be responsible for their own bodies and do the sensible thing: Ask — that’s ask, not require — the industry to ink responsibly.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at [email protected]



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