Zero Fun Sir

Aw this kid looks like he is having fun…

Can any of you take a guess at what this child is doing wrong in this picture? Believe it or not a law is being violated in South Carolina. The law being broken in South Carolina is SECTION 63-19-2430.

This law prohibits minors under the age of 18 to play a pinball machine. As ridiculous as this sounds, when a person turns 18 in SC they are finally allowed to play pinball. Can you imagine being a 17 year old kid and a police officer approaching you at the local arcade. “Um kid, I am going to need some identification.” Come on. It might be more embarrassing for the officer to actually enforce that law, than a kid breaking a law for playing a game. Also, aren’t pinball machines played mostly by kids in the first place? I know I probably haven’t played pinball since middle school. Why not just go ahead and dispose of all pinball machines if children cannot play them.

Now obviously this is a dumb law. But in many ways I see this as an example of too much regulatory authority by the government. There are laws that many see as unjust or unfair which may call for lawmakers to rethink the amount of freedom given to citizens. Laws like the drinking age are widely disputed. Though the age is 21 years old, it honestly comes down to the parental control, not enforcement officials. It is really the decision of the responsible adults in these situations so may be the decision should be placed on the responsible adult in this situation. And if not the responsible adult, then the age for when a child becomes an adult needs to be more clearly detailed. One law establishes that at 18 a person can be charged criminally and has the right to vote. This is probably the most common age of adulthood but that same adult cannot make his/her own decision on alcohol consumption. The government may need to reevaluate many of these unjust or unfair laws to give back much of the freedom this country was built on.



3 thoughts on “Zero Fun Sir

  1. Wow, I can’t believe this is actually a law. One of my friends used to have a pinball machine when we were younger and I can remember playing it all the time. I can’t imagine why this law would be enforced in the first place. What harm is a pinball machine causing? I can’t even see any potential dangers with it other than the kid falling off the chair trying to play it in the picture you posted. Is this the only state with this crazy pinball law?

  2. My guess is that this is a very old law (similar to Pennsylvanias that says more than 3 women living togethter is a brothel) that is not ever put into use. It is so ridiculous that I actually thought it was a joke. But, I liked your analysis of how this law fits into the bigger picture of government regulation a lot. Where do you draw the line with laws and rule breaking? When is it the appropriate thing to break a law? Ever? This is similar to the ongoign discussion of legalization and/or decriminilizing marijuana….

  3. Has anyone every played the game Balderdash? There is a section of the game called “Laughable Laws” which consists of extremely outdated and just silly laws in different states of America, and I think this would count as one of them. Why on earth would someone take the time to fight for a law on the use of pin ball machines? Really? Do they have nothing more significant to fight for? Apparently not. This is just silly! If a person can play video games, they can play pinball. There is nothing potentially dangerous about pinball. I can’t believe this is a law. It is not only unjust, but it is stupid.

    Out of curiosity – does anyone know what the punishment would be if a thirteen year old was playing pinball? Jail? Arrest? A court hearing? … even a slap on the wrist seems way too aggressive.

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