35 Totally Legal Things That Should Be Illegal

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While most American’s do their best to follow the laws that govern our society, we all bend or break some of what should be considered minor offenses, such as going 5 mph over the speed limit or forgetting to claim that big win at bingo on your taxes.

However, there are plenty of things that are going on every single day in our world that there should be laws against but, for one reason or another, are totally legal.

We bet you can think of a few right off the top of your head! We want to present you with our list of 35 completely legal things that shouldn’t be.

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1. 80+ Year Old’s Who Are Still Allowed to Drive

If you have ever been in the fast lane of the freeway and found someone going 5 miles an hour below the speed limit, worked hard to pass this person and caught a glimpse of a silver-haired person with coke bottle glasses struggling to see over the dashboard, then you probably agree with most of America that, after some point in time, the elderly should have regular driving tests.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. It’s not until, tragically, someone is injured or killed, or an officer spots great grandma trying to park on the golf course that their license gets revoked.

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2. Why is the Legal Drinking Age 21?

This is a sticking point for many people. You only need to be 18 to marry, vote, join the military, and get cigarettes, but you need to be 21 to buy a beer. Virtually every other country in the world allows drinking at 18 but not the USA. Why is that? The truth is that the legal drinking age has been lowered to 18 in a few states, which resulted in massive increases in DUI’s and drunk driving incidents.

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Why don’t we focus on teaching youngsters about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption and drunk driving, the same way we do about texting while driving?

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3. Hard to Cancel Online Subscriptions

Why can you join or buy almost anything online in a heartbeat but when it comes to canceling, it takes a DNA sample, a tooth extraction, a notarized form, a snail mail letter, or a call during normal business hours when YOU are working. The answer is obvious; if you can’t cancel, they can keep billing you.

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Shouldn’t there be a law stating that if you joined online, you can cancel online? If you joined in person, you need to cancel in person.

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4. Caller ID Spoofing

Caller ID spoofing is actually a thing and for anyone who has had to deal with one of these types of calls, you are shaking your head yes right now. For those who don’t know about this; caller ID spoofing allows the caller to display a different number than the one they are actually calling from.

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Some political campaigns have used an ambulance or hospital phone number in an attempt to get someone to pick up the phone. Most often, caller ID spoofing is used for prank calls, but it can actually be used for criminal activities, such as the woman who used a doctor’s office phone number to convince her husband’s lover to take a medication that would make her miscarry. You gotta ask yourself- why is this still legal?

 

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5. Daddy Debt, ever heard of it?

If you have ever watched a teenager use a credit card to purchase an outrageously expensive or frivolous item and wondered where he got his money from, you might be interested to hear this one. It’s called Daddy Debt. Teens can apply for credit cards using their parents as the source of their income, without their parent’s being aware of it.

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Now it’s true that the parents are supposed to sign the application, but teens are great at forging their parents’ signature by this age. This makes mommy and daddy responsible for the debt. Unless they want to sue their own kid for fraud. There should be a law forbidding teens to open accounts, period. Let Daddy Big Bucks put money on a refillable Visa if they want their kids to have plastic.

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6. Public College Tuition

If you thought the cost of a private college education was outrageous, public education is not all that far behind, with many colleges increasing their fees by as much as 3 percent. While this doesn’t sound like much, this means that a public college like New Jersey City University will set you back $12,000 for a one year, in state, tuition fee.

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This is simply outrageous when you consider that our tax dollars go to pay for these schools. There should be limits on what a state can charge state residents for public colleges and it shouldn’t be tens of thousands of dollars!

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7. Tricky Airline Tickets

If you are like most people, you do a bit of price shopping when looking for an airline ticket. What most people don’t know, however, is that continued searches for tickets on a computer can actually lead to higher prices. While airlines deny that they do this, a study in 2016 found that a computer which left cookies in its browser was offered higher priced seats over several searches than one who removed cookies after every search.

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It might be difficult to make a law against this sort of thing, but shouldn’t we at least try?

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8. Pyramid Scams (AKA MLM)

Hopefully, by now, most people are aware that pyramid schemes are illegal. The problem here is that there are many Multi-Level Marketing products out there that are nothing more than pyramid scams with a product. How can you tell the difference?

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First, the reason MLM hasn’t been made illegal is that there actually ARE legitimate MLM companies. These legit companies get a bad name when scammers use MLM as their own personal pyramid scheme. In short, if you are promised to make money based on sales of the product, it’s a legit business. However, if you are promised money based on the number of people you recruit to become salespersons and the sales you make to these people, it’s a pyramid scheme.

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9. Gerrymandering

Chances are that you have heard the word but don’t really know what it means. In a nutshell, Gerrymandering is the drawing of political boundaries (districts) which gives your political party a distinct advantage. If you have 50 people in a state, with 30 of them being blue and 20 being red, your districts should be divided evenly. However, districts can be divided in such as way that one party is favored.

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Why isn’t gerrymandering illegal? Because that would be asking the government to police itself, which we all know it won’t do. Hopefully, court cases will be decided soon and demand that computerized software be used to determine districts without party lines.

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10. Puppy Mills

Puppy mills. Everyone claims to hate them and yet, they are still around. No one wants to think that those cute little furballs with noses just begging to be kissed came from someone who doesn’t give a damn about their health and well-being, but puppy mills operate exactly in that manner.

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While congress did pass the Animal Welfare Act in 1966, it only applies to “large scale breeders.” This means that you can have 20 breeding dogs and never worry about an inspection. Perhaps part of the problem lies in the definition of what a puppy mill is. Your neighbor with his two breeding pairs of Pug dogs, is he a puppy mill? Rather than wait for congress to get their act together, you can effectively eliminate this industry by refusing to buy dogs in pet stores. Use a rescue center or find a private breeder whose home and conditions you can see for yourself. Oh yes, and NEVER buy dogs out of state off the internet.

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11. Letting Children Go Un-vaccinated

This is going to be very controversial, but it needs to be said. Parents who don’t vaccinate their children should be charged with child abuse, child endangerment, or child neglect. There is a long, long history and scientific evidence showing that vaccinations work. Not only do vaccinations work, but they protect everyone in society.

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No, we haven’t been brainwashed by mainstream media. We don’t own stock in pharmaceutical companies, we look at facts and scientific data for our answers, not social media, not doctors with questionable backgrounds, and certainly not celebrities.

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 12. Sketchy Supplements

Everywhere you look online, dietary supplements are being sold as “the real cure that doctors don’t want you to know.” These supplements are NOT regulated by the FDA 

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The problem here is that companies can list ingredients as “natural” to avoid FDA inspection. This means that companies can make products that contain almost anything deemed “natural” and sell it to the masses. Seriously, arsenic is completely natural, right?

Some of these supplements can even lead to serious medical problems like liver damage so severe that some people may require liver transplants.

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13. Child Crime

This is another controversial area that is in serious need of a legislative makeover. While you can’t buy a beer or enlist in the military or even get a driver’s license without parental consent, many states are charging children as young as 10 years old as adults.

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More than 100 years ago, states established juvenile courts and laws, which focused more on treatment and rehabilitation than simply locking up criminals. Every year, at least 200,000 children under 16 are being charged and tried as adults. This seems very, very wrong. No child is born a killer. These are taught or learned through bad parenting and society. America should not throw children away but should spend time and money finding out where things went wrong and trying to fix them, rather than spend 60 or 70 years paying to keep people locked up.

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14. Conversion Therapy

Before modern medicine discovered things like bacteria and mental illness, people firmly believed that sickness came from evil spirits and “bad” blood. We would never dream of going back to the days when we put feces on open wounds to “cleanse” them or tying stones to people to see if they would float to the surface and prove they were a witch.

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So why is conversion therapy (the idea that you can change someone’s sexual orientation through torture or spiritual interventions) not outlawed? This backwards and ridiculous notion that one can stop being gay after being subjected to electric shock and other forms of torture is laughable and has its roots in religious dogma. Stop torturing people in the name of some god and try loving them the way most gods say that we should.

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15. The Tobacco Debate

There is zero doubt that smoking and tobacco use leads to various types of cancer, as well as a few other horrible diseases. So why is tobacco still legal? Good question. This has to do with freedom vs restrictions.

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While it’s true that tobacco can cause great harm, is it not your right to enjoy it, even if you know you are harming yourself? You can eat yourself into a half ton quivering piece of oblivion and that is perfectly legal. People also drink themselves into a coma and liquor is still available. If you suffer from hypertension, you need to cut salt out of your diet. Does that mean salt should also be illegal? This is another slippery slope that no one wants to climb.

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16. Payday Loans

If you are lucky, you have never found yourself needing one of those well-advertised Payday Loans. Unfortunately, for many Americans, the slightest difficulty in life, such as a ruined tire, means they need cash to pay for things to continue working or to make ends meet. These loans are easy to get but have astronomical interest rates, sometimes as high as 460%, crippling those who can least afford it.

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Luckily, Payday Loans are illegal in 14 states. In these states, people short on cash can use online community lending sites. Let’s hope that more states realize that these predatory lenders are not their residents’ friends.

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17. Cannibalism….seriously?

We bet you run to Google for this one, but trust us, it’s true; there is no law in the US forbidding cannibalism. At least no federal law. Some states have laws regarding “desecration of a corpse”, but if you didn’t murder the person, you can probably eat them.

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Why are there virtually no laws regarding this practice? Probably because we can only imagine that someone who would do such as thing either had no choice (think Donner party) or they were completely insane.

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 18. Adware/Malware

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It’s probably happened to you. You are innocently surfing the internet and click on a site that looks good. You click on the “I agree” so you can see what it’s all about, but it doesn’t offer much so you keep on surfing, only to find that your web browser starts to malfunction by showing you ONLY ads. This comes to you courtesy of adware or malware and it’s perfectly legal.

While there are laws against computer invasion, but when you clicked on that “agree” button, it was like opening the front door to a salesperson. Never hit that “agree” button unless you know what you are agreeing to.

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 19. Parking Over The Line

If you want a case of road rage in the worst way, find me someone who thinks that they are so special, that their care deserves two parking spaces. Everyone in America should be agreeing with me right now, screaming “WHY ISN’T THIS ILLEGAL?!”

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If it’s any consolation, it is in some cities, but the fines are so minimal ($10 in Grand Rapids Michigan) that it’s hardly worth the time to write the ticket. In most states and towns, there are no real laws forbidding taking up two or more spaces. Of course, if you are using two metered spaces, you need to pay both meters, but some people are apparently willing to do that. Let’s face it folks. Some people are just jerks and as much as you may want to, you can’t make being a jerk illegal.

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 20. Medicinal Hijacking

Let’s imagine that you were looking for a way to invest some money. You buy the legal rights to an age-old drug that is very common, for our example, let’s say insulin. After looking at the spreadsheets, you realize that you could make oodles more cash simply by increasing the price. People need insulin, so they will have to pay it, right? So why not raise the price 4,000%?

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This is very similar to what happened with the now infamous Martin Shkreli, who increased an HIV drug price from $13.50 to $750 per tablet simply because he could. Shkreli is in jail now, but not for increasing drug prices. Capitalism is alive and well in the USA, which means drug companies can increase prices for little or no reason and YOU are stuck with it. Why has congress failed to address this issue? The answer can be summed up in one word: Lobbying.

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 21. Trying to Save a Life

No good deed goes unpunished and that is certainly the case here. Did you know that good Samaritans, who attempt to resuscitate a person who has stopped breathing via CPR, can be sued if they aren’t trained?

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While there are Good Samaritan laws, these vary from state to state and usually don’t apply if you give aid to a child whose parents are present, and you neglected to get their permission. When you consider that someone was making a genuine effort to save someone from dying, why isn’t suing someone who only wanted to help illegal? Oh, by the way, it is perfectly legal to stand by and do nothing. How backasswards is this?

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 22. Predatory Lending

If you are reading this, you most likely remember the housing crash of 2008. This occurred because banks and other lenders used “alternative” means of listing a lender’s actual income and made loans to people who obviously couldn’t afford the payments.

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Although we have great pity for those who were the victim of these loans, we must wonder just how high they were when they signed for that $2,000 a month house payment when their income was $2100 a month? We also think that perhaps it’s time to bring back the stockades and public humiliation for predatory lenders who got paid for these loans and didn’t care how little Vaseline they used on their victims.

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23. Tenure

Apologies to all the teachers out there, but the idea that teachers basically can’t be fired once they’ve secured tenure is downright bananas.

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We’ve all had ineffective teachers in our lifetimes, and those teachers should be removed from their positions, but tenure makes it next to impossible to that. Since public schools are funded by tax payers, we should have the right to remove teachers don’t make the grade.

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 24. Super-PACS

PAC is short for Public Action Committee. These committee’s pool campaign contributions and use them to promote or slam candidates, legislation or even ballot initiatives.  While individuals can donate no more than $5,000 to a PAC, Super PACS can raise unlimited amounts of cash from anonymous donors and spend this money however they want. Super Pac’s cannot donate money to a candidate directly, but this doesn’t stop them from endorsing a particular candidate.

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If you have ever seen a political ad on television promoting one candidate while saying nasty things about another, followed by the words “Paid for by People for Fair Voting” or a similar type of name, you are watching a Super PAC in action. Super PACS can be unions or corporations and you will never know it since they are going by another name. This is a deceptive practice that should be outlawed or at least have laws created that force Super PACS to disclose who they really are.

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 25. Clamshell Packaging

Raise your hand if you have cut yourself or cursed like a drunken sailor while trying to open a clamshell package. That’s a lot of hands (with cuts) out there. While manufacturers think that clamshell packaging is terrific since it not only protects the product but helps to stop items from being stolen, consumers around the world hate it with a passion.

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In addition to cuts and even cases of severed fingers, there is the seriously eye rolling issue of plastic waste. There are hundreds of less costly, equally secure means of packaging items without ruining fingers and without all the plastic waste. Cut your fingers or cut out the clamshells! We hope manufacturers are listening and if they aren’t, that lawmakers are.

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 26. Drinking & Smoking While Pregnant

While pregnant women are often told about the dangers that drinking and smoking can do to their unborn child, the truth remains that some women don’t follow doctors’ orders. So why isn’t drinking and smoking illegal?

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Although it makes sense in some ways, this remains legal because of what is called the slippery slope. Today, you can make it illegal to drink or smoke while pregnant to protect the child, but what about taking a vacation to a foreign country? Doing yoga? How about running a marathon while pregnant or operating a lawn mower barefoot? While this might seem silly, the slippery slope argument is very real. Making the woman responsible for the health of her fetus is something most people are loathed to put on the law books.

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 27. The Jon-Benet Syndrome

One of the great things about the USA is the freedom to raise your children as you see fit. The word, fit, however means different things to different people. When does “fit” become abuse? Every parent thinks that their child is the most beautiful, talented, smartest child ever, and that’s a good thing, but the sexualization of children has become a big issue issue.

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Child beauty pageants are solely for girls, which teaches them from a very young age that they are only valued for their looks. Even if children are singing and dancing, which is a good thing, they should do so in age-appropriate costumes and songs. A 6-year-old singing My Milkshake and twerking is just plain wrong. Why aren’t these beauty pageants banned? Because in America, you are free to be a really bad parent, it appears.

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28. Pass the Plate but Not the Taxes

It remains a mystery to many why churches, pastors, and other religious organizations pay no taxes. Believe it or not, the Supreme Court feels that this is a free speech issue. If the federal government gets involved in taxing churches, then they might also sway churchgoers into party voting via campaign promises (“I’ll cut church taxes by 50%!) or they might end up squashing the free expression of their religion.

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People, on the other hand, believe that taxing churches shows equality under the law. Why can’t the government create a happy medium, allowing either a base income or property tax rate that is tax-free but putting taxes on those billion-dollar cathedrals and pastors multi-million-dollar estates? Perhaps politicians fear the wrath of god will prevent their re-election if they propose this?

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 29. Common Core

If you have a child in elementary school, then you understand the curse of Common Core. Common Core has its roots in the 90’s, when some educators thought it would be more productive to teach kids math concepts, rather than the memorization of multiplication tables.

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Unfortunately, it seems like this pendulum has swung WAY too far into extreme land. In some cases, 6-year old’s are working on formulas that are taught in some college trigonometry classes. Seriously? Many states are considering repealing these standards and we can’t help but applaud this effort.

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30. Radar Detectors

With the exception of D.C. and the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is perfectly legal to own a radar detector in personal vehicles. Radar detectors alert drivers to the possibility that the police are tracking their speed using a radar gun.

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If speed limits are set to ensure public safety, why are radar detectors legal? Law enforcement are quick to note that detectors only go off after a vehicle has been targeted, so reducing your speed at that point is probably pointless. Still, thousands of these units are sold every year. Could it be that the companies who sell radar detectors have lobbyists in Washington? Ya think?

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31. Secretly Recording Someone

It’s been said that everyone will get their 15 minutes of fame in their lifetime, but do you really want your fame to be linked to a secretly recorded video of you? This is an area that, legally, is very complicated and varies greatly from state to state, as well as whether we are talking about public or private property. (audio recordings are another subject entirely)

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In general, you can legally record video in all public places with no need for consent. Private property varies with some states allowing secret cameras on private property if the owner consents, others make unknown cameras illegal. Why not make one set of rules that everyone follows, so there is no confusion or wondering about the law when you travel? Avoid a Paris Hilton situation by knowing the laws in your state!

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 32. Locking a Minor in Hot Vehicle

Did you know that leaving a child in an unattended car is illegal in only 3 states? Most other states allow a “grace period” of 5 minutes, but who is watching the timer on that one?

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Let’s not forget that other states will let you leave children under 6 in a car if they are “supervised” by someone over the age of 12. While it’s true that many children are babysitting by the time they are 13, they aren’t doing so while enclosed in a vehicle.

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 33. Owning a Tank

By tank we are referring to an actual military, jump inside from the top, missile shooting tank. Did you know that you can own a tank and even drive it on many public roads? It’s true! Now, of course, you can’t take your 40-ton tank and take it down 20 ton rated main street to hit up Wendy’s for a Frosty, but you can drive it on gravel, dirt, or other types of unpaved roads, even if they are public.

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Tanks, especially surplus military tanks, can easily be purchased online, even via Craigslist. Of course, you will need to go through a ton of legal red tape, but if you seriously must have one, it is perfectly legal.

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 34. Owning a Flamethrower

Ownership of a flamethrower is perfectly legal in 48 states, (only restricted use allowed in Maryland and California.) Now perhaps you are dying to get ahold of one of Elon Musk’s flamethrowers to impress your friends at your next backyard BBQ, but seriously folks, how can anyone think that owning these is OK?

How are these legal? For some reason, they are legally listed as fireworks and not designated as weapons. Still, you should seriously reconsider your upcoming plans for using one of these to play a fire-breathing dragon in the Chinese New Year parade. These aren’t toys, even if Musk makes them look like they are.

Dale Cooper

Dale Cooper

Spent 10+ years in corporate finance before I realized how much more I enjoyed writing and advising people on how to achieve financial freedom. We all have different goals, what are yours?