Thursday, October 6, 2011

Florida Considering the Legalization of Dwarf-Tossing

I really don't get state politics sometimes.  Florida state Representative Ritch Workman has filed House Bill 4063, which would repeal a Florida law that essentially bans dwarf-tossing.  This GOP legislator feels like the his constituents' freedoms are being violated and that little people are being prevented from obtaining good-paying jobs.  Apparently, HB 4063's passage would be a win/win situation for the GOP: Little people would gain employment and big people would regain the freedom to toss a person with dwarfism across the room.

Representative Workman finds "nothing immoral or illegal about (dwarf-tossing)"  Furthermore, "All we really did by passing that law (which bans dwarf-tossing) was take away some employment from some little people."

Gary Arnold, the president of the Little People of America, expressed concern about this proposed law due to the health and safety concerns of those being tossed:
The activity is exceedingly dangerous, according to the group. Because of orthopedic and neurological complications associated with most forms of dwarfism, the person being tossed is at high risk of back and neck injury. "Aside from the physical dangers, dwarf-tossing is a demoralizing activity that treats the person with dwarfism as a mere object," a (LPA) group representative said in 2001.
I really don't get dwarf-tossing and I don't get how this could be a politically viable legislative action.  Then again, I guess every new job counts in this new economy.  I'm just not sure that Republicans like Workman are going to enjoy paying the long-term medical costs of those injured through this profession after they qualify for SSDI and Medicare.  But that's just me.

The sad part is that I just assumed that this was Florida trying to be crazy and wacky with its laws.  Unfortunately, according to wikipedia, Florida is one of only two states that bans dwarf-tossing.  New York is the other state.  I've never seen or heard of dwarf-tossing here in Iowa (or Minnesota), but I'm sure there's all sorts of crazy stuff I don't hear about that goes on around me. 

Maybe there's more of a market for throwing people than I ever imagined.  Why stop at little people?  Some brave entrepreneur should get together some money and experiment with the tossing of different groups of people.  Bar patrons could choose to toss a dwarf, but maybe they could also choose to toss a toddler.  Or maybe they could toss people without limbs.  Maybe they could toss the mentally disabled.  If you really think about this, there are really all sorts of direction that one can go with the tossing of living beings.  And each person would get paid for the opportunity to get thrown across the room and onto the floor, so it's all okay in the end.

Frankly, I'm ashamed that dwarf-tossing isn't illegal in all 50 states and in US territories.  And I'm ashamed that someone is attempting to re-legalize dwarf-tossing in one of the states where little people are actually protected from the long-term neurological injuries associated with this "sport".  HB 4063 needs to go down in flames.  I can't do anything about that from here, but people in Florida really need to step up and tell Rep. Workman to come up with new employment development bills for the people of Florida.  HB 4063 is not safe.  It's not moral.  And it's not dignified.  Florida deserves better than this.

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