The Columbia, MO City Council recently voted to withdraw a proposal that would have banned most plastic bags from stores. The proposal outlined a plan to charge ten cents for a recyclable paper bag, encouraging those in Columbia to join the twenty-first century, consider the rate at which humans are destroying the planet, and invest in reusable bags. The charge would not apply to those participating in food assistance programs and already financially struggling.
The community of Columbia, many of whom I’d guess still doubt the existence of global warming, was divided on the issue. Since a consensus could not be reached one way or another, the proposal was simply withdrawn by the Council, presumably to re-examine at a future date, after the rest of the country has made the change and Missouri finds themselves, once again, on the ugly side of history. Still, Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe made a good point:
Citizens want the government to do things for them, not to them…We really need to work with the public to get them to the point where this is a good thing and not a bad thing.
Hoppe, who agrees that the use of reusable bags should be the ultimate goal, makes an excellent point: You can lead a city of horses to water, but you can’t make them see past their horse noses in order to save their own goddamn species. The reason for the opposition to the plastic bag ban is the same song Missouri has sung time and time again:
If we allow “them” to take our plastic bags now, then tomorrow they’ll try to take our guns – or something else that infringes on our rights to make stupid decisions that endanger the rest of the population.
The government, the horses argue, has no right to make decisions for them.
Unless, of course, you’re a GAY horse – in which case the government should dictate who you can and cannot marry – obviously.