A few years ago there was a campaign launched by a prominent skate company to “Legalize Skateboarding,” remember? The approach and concept are sound, except, as several legislators explained, “Skateboarding is legal. You can’t legalize something that isn’t illegal.”
Well sure, but if skateboarding is legal, why are so many kids getting tickets and getting their boards confiscated? The answer came: “Well, there are localized restrictions, of course, but skateboarding is legal.”
Which presents our current conundrum.
Our form of government can find its roots in Rome, and one of the tenets of Roman society was the concept of self-governance. The Roman model of democracy called for each citizen to share in self-governance. The citizens of Rome had a mission-to spread reason and logic throughout the land. It was their duty as citizens, and they embraced it. They marched forward, and their lifestyle and their ideas and their government swept across Western Europe and encircled all of the Mediterranean. Rome was the center of thought, government, and business.
Most of the time, our society succeeds because of our ability to embrace self-governance-we take care of ourselves. The recent blackout along the Eastern Seaboard and through the Great Lakes demonstrates the ability of millions of citizens to care for themselves, even without power for our high-tech society. Even the Romans could be proud.
But skateboarders? How are we at embracing the concept of self-governance? It’s important for all skateboarders to realize the distinction between legislation and law enforcement. Legislation is the law itself and typically created by legislators-those given the opportunity to create laws as a result of the electoral process. Simple message here-vote, and vote from an informed position. Today, more than any other time in our history, skateboarders and ex-skateboarders are sitting in state and federal legislative positions. Vote, and when you do, vote for the right people.
Now, especially with its new board of directors and new member companies, IASC is positioned to exert even greater influence upon law enforcement and legislators. IASC, with your support and understanding, can effectively establish the structure of a nationwide effort to represent the rights of skateboarders. As law enforcement continues to crack down on participants, the message is clear: we have a responsibility to protect the rights of kids who ride skateboards. That’s our responsibility.
Isn’t it time for the skateboard community to accept the responsibility of self-governance? Shouldn’t we be the ones to determine skateboarder’s rights and help create legislation protecting skateboarders? We can change laws, have new laws written, introduced, and passed. We can make the Romans proud, and ourselves, too. Most importantly, we can create the opportunity for skateboarders to have the freedom and responsibility guaranteed as citizens of this democracy. Get involved in self-governance. Join IASC-we’re pushing skateboarding forward.