A senator from Vermont recently proposed a total ban on cellphone use for anyone under 21-years-old. Democratic Sen. John Rodgers says that he is sponsoring the bill because “cellphones are just as dangerous as guns.”
While Rodgers says that he knows the bill will not make it past the judiciary committee, he is using the effort to draw a comparison between cellphones and firearms, which are illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase in the state of Vermont.
“I’m not going to push for the bill to pass. I wouldn’t vote for the thing. This is just to make a point,” Rodgers said, according to CNN.
The text of the bill reads:
“It is clear that persons under 21 years of age are not developmentally mature enough to safely possess them.“
If the bill ever were actually voted into law violations could result in fines of up to $1,000 - or even up to a year in prison.
Rodgers said that he established the bill to intentionally parallel Vermont’s gun legislation. In the bill Rodgers references the dangers of texting and driving and calls attention to how the problems of bullying have evolved in the social media age. He even suggested that cellphones have played a role in mass shootings.
“The Internet and social media, accessed primarily through cellphones, are used to radicalize and recruit terrorists, fascists, and other extremists,” the text of the bill read.
When Vermont constituents reacted with understandable anger, Rodgers insisted that his bill was intended as somewhat of a troll which was intended to highlight the importance of the 2nd amendment.
“I think people need to think about what liberties they’re willing to give up for safety. My position is that no good can come from taking rights from good people,” Rogers said.
“People in rural areas are largely independent, and we take it upon ourselves to stay safe. Without the Second Amendment, we couldn’t do that,” he added.