Last Updated on January 10, 2020
A Democrat state senator from Vermont has introduced a bill that would criminalise the possession or usage of a cell phone by anyone under 21.
Bill S.212 was introduced to the Vermont senate’s judiciary committee by Senator John Rodgers, and would punish the possession or usage of a cell phone by anybody under the age of 21 with an up to $1,000 fine, a year in prison, or both.
“The Internet and social media, accessed primarily through cell phones, are used to radicalize and recruit terrorists, fascists, and other extremists. Cell phones have often been used by mass shooters of younger ages for research on previous shootings,” the bill reads.
It argues that they are one of the leading causes of teen suicides, as victims of bullying often receive harassing messages on their phones.
“In light of the dangerous and life-threatening consequences of cell phone use by young people, it is clear that persons under 21 years of age are not developmentally mature enough to safely possess them,” it states.
As the Vermont legislature has concluded that “persons under 21 years of age are not mature enough to possess firearms, smoke cigarettes or consume alcohol,” the same must clearly follow for cell phones.
Senator Rodgers made it clear in an interview with The Times Argus that the bill was not at all meant to be taken seriously.
“I have no delusions that it’s going to pass. I wouldn’t probably vote for it myself,” he said. The bill is there to make a point about the dangerous infringement of rights that is currently happening in the state.
Vermont “seems bent on taking away our Second Amendment rights,” he argued, and that given the information he presented in the bill, cell phones are far more dangerous than guns.