Ownership or possession of cell phones by people under the age of 21 would be a crime under a new law proposed by a Vermont State Senator.

The proposal - if adopted and approved - would keep cell phones out of the hands of young people before they turn 21. The law would be a state law - only in Vermont.

If it happens in Vermont, could it happen here - and everywhere?

Hold on.

The Senator who proposed the bill,  John Rodgers, says he doesn't expect the bill to go anywhere, he's just doing it to prove a point. According to an article in the Times Argus of Vermont, “I have no delusions that it’s going to pass. I wouldn’t probably vote for it myself,” he said. He said, based on the information presented in the bill, a cellphone is much more dangerous than a gun.

Rodgers makes the following points in the proposal:

(1) The use of cell phones while driving is one of the leading killers of teenagers in the United States. According to the United States Department of Transportation, cell phones are involved in 1.6 million automobile crashes each year, causing half a million injuries and 6,000 deaths. Each day, 11 teenagers die in automobile crashes in this country. (2) Young people frequently use cell phones to bully and threaten other young people, activities that have been linked to many suicides. (3) The internet and social media, accessed primarily through cell phones, are used to radicalize and recruit terrorists, fascists, and other extremists. (4) Cell phones have often been used by mass shooters of younger ages for research on previous shootings.  (5) 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, just as the General Assembly has concluded that persons under 21 years of age are not mature enough to possess firearms, smoke cigarettes, or consume alcohol.

The entire bill can be found here.

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