Sen. John Rodgers (D-Essex-Orleans Counties, Vermont) has introduced a bill to the state Senate that would make cell phone use illegal for anyone under the age of 21. The legislation was proposed as a response to the technology’s alleged role in car accidents, suicides, radicalization, and mass shootings.
As outlined in Bill S.212, the state’s General Assembly found the following:
(1) The use of cell phones while driving is one of the leading killers of teenagers in the United States.
(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.
Rodgers has admitted that the bill wouldn’t survive and was introduced merely to “make a point.” In an interview with The Times Argus, the Senator mentioned that he had “no delusions that it’s going to pass” and “wouldn’t probably vote for it myself.”
Citing the Assembly’s findings above, however, Rodgers remains firm on the idea that a cellphone is more dangerous than a gun.