In an effort to cut down on arson and cigarette smoking, the California legislature unanimously approved a measure to ban the use, sale and/or distribution of “lighters, matches and other forms of portable incendiary devices”.
“Cigarettes and flammable tobacco products unto themselves are not dangerous”, said Governor Jerry Brown. “It’s the act of smoking them that’s dangerous”.
Brown also stated that most arson cases are caused by the use of matches, lighters and other types of portable incendiary devices.
Brown pointed out that if matches and lighters were banned people would be living longer, healthier lives, arson could be prevented and the state would save billions of dollars in insurance costs.
“And we will prevent the accidental explosions of backyard grills and exposed barbecue pits”, the governor continued. “We will make exception for large, self-igniting gas stoves”.
Critics of the new law indicate that items such as magnifying glasses, flint stones and dry sticks were not included in the ban. The governor stated, “Magnifying glasses would deprive the elderly of the ability to read and we cannot enforce the restriction of items that are commonly found in wooded areas”.
The governor pointed out that magnifying glasses would be worthless on cloudy days and a person would have to have the patience of a saint to start a fire with sticks or stones.
“I see no reason why any good citizen should have access to fire”, the governor concluded.
The governor said he will ask neighboring states to follow in California’s footsteps.