Vermont Lawmaker Wants to Ban Cellphones for People Under Age 21

Vermont lawmaker, Senator John Rodgers has proposed a bill, S.212, that would ban cellphones from people under the age of 21. Anyone under the age of 21 caught using a cellphone, according to his proposed bill, would be jailed and face a $1,000 fine. Rodgers claims that he wouldn’t vote for this bill and does not expect it to pass, he just wants to “start a conversation” and honestly, has this man not ever read a damn mom blog?

Rodgers claims that cell phones are being used to radicalize youth and recruit terrorists, fascists, and other kinds of extremists. He also draws some ambiguous parallels between mass shooters who had cellphones and basically anyone else having a cell phone.

While wagging his finger at some pretty flimsy evidence of how irresponsible he believes young people to be with cellphones, he wrote in his bill, “In light of the dangerous and life-threatening consequences of cellphone use by young people, it is clear that persons under 21 years of age are not developmentally mature enough to safely possess them.”

In a time when serious issues around healthcare, maternity and paternity leave, the distressingly high cost of child care, and other issues that directly affect families across the socioeconomic board have far more reaching consequences, it seems like a ridiculous vanity project to put forth bills that could potentially upend how families run.

Cellphones are an incredibly important tool that families use to keep everyone safe. Yes, texting while driving is a problem. And yes, cyberbullying is real, but those issues are already attracting plenty of attention from communities who are banning together to find solutions that won’t harm families.

Rogers told the Barre Montpelier Times Argus that he was trying to make a subtle point about gun rights by using the same arguments used to ban guns and apply them to cellphones. No matter what side of the argument you land on, threatening families by creating laws to punish teens and young adults with $1,000 fines and jail time for having a cellphone seems like a reckless way to go about making such a point.

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