We’re going to be forced to classify this fatality as death by environmentalists. The hysterical plastic straw ban has claimed its first fatality. Fox News reports United Kingdom subject Elena Struthers-Gardner, sixty years old, “sustained a traumatic brain injury after falling while carrying a mason jar-styled drinking glass that had a screw-top lid at her home in Dorset.”
Warrants weren’t issued for Greenpeace, but the coroner’s report pointed out “clearly great care” should be taken when using metal straws.
Asst. Coroner Brendan Allen, in light of the circumstances, pointed out the obvious, “There is no give in them at all. If someone does fall on one and it’s pointed in the wrong direction, serious injury can occur.”
In Ms. Struthers-Gardner’s case the danger came when she tripped and fell. Her head landed on her drinking glass which had a metal screw-top with a metal straw inserted. The 10-inch straw “pierced her eye and impaled her brain.”
It goes without saying her death was unnecessary. The plastic straw ban isn’t fact-based, it’s feelings-based. As USA Today has reported, the scare figure of 500,000,000 plastic straws per day dumped into the environment is based on research done by a nine-year-old boy:
“[Milo Cress’] big finding? Americans use more than 500 million drinking straws daily, enough to fill 125 school buses. That figure has become highly touted since, referenced in straw ban coverage from The New York Times and National Geographic to reports from the National Park Service (and USA TODAY).”
Only that number is based — as we used to say in the ad business — on no facts at all!
Cress called a number of straw manufacturers who gave him wildly varying estimates of the straw market in the USA, not straw use. He simply picked a number he liked and at the same time adopted a policy used throughout the entire environmental prophet community, “Why I use this statistic is because it illustrates that we use too many straws. I think if it were another number, it still illustrates the fact that there is room for reduction. That’s really my message.”
Seattle was the first city to ban plastic straws and today in California a waiter can go to jail for offering you a straw. This panicked rush to banment ignores another segment of the population that depends on plastic straws and that is the disabled.
Shaun Bickley, co-chair of the Seattle Commission for People with DisAbilities, told NPR that before the advent of plastic straws, “[The disabled] aspirated liquid in their lungs, developed pneumonia and died.” So, in this case plastic straws are quite literally a life-saver.
Facts or science have never succeeded in reversing an environmental ban regardless of how wrong, foolish, or impractical the ban is. Maybe the solution is to extend the handicapped parking zone into the interior of restaurants.
In those sections disabled diners can be offered a plastic straw without fear of anyone going to jail.
Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.
Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.