Waiting Periods are Back

It looks like Washington, DC wants to institute new waiting periods. The reason?

“They can’t be responsible for themselves, as well as the person doing the work on them,” [Council member Yvette M. Alexander] said. “We’re making sure when that decision is made that you’re in the right frame of mind, and you don’t wake up in the morning . . . saying, ‘Oh my God, what happened?’”

The new waiting periods are for tattoos and piercings. The people cannot be trusted to make decisions with their own bodies, so the government must restrict it.

I love how the tattoo artist interviewed notes that if the concern is regulating regret, then they could just restrict serving clearly intoxicated patrons. Instead, the new regulations will likely drive business underground where they won’t even honor basic regulations that actually have to do with public health concerns. Everyone will be more at risk to health problems because the DC City Council wants to institute a waiting period to stop even perfectly sober people from being pierced or inked on a whim.

For what it’s worth, I’ve had multiple piercings done on a whim. When I decided that I regretted one, I didn’t need a government bureaucrat to solve the problem for me. I managed to allow the hole to close completely on my own without an overbearing nanny state holding my hand. I’m sure that somewhere a bureaucrat is weeping to know that a citizen managed to make a decision without them.

12 thoughts on “Waiting Periods are Back”

  1. *checks to see if it was Sebastian or Bitter who posted about the multiple piercings done on a whim…” :D

    1. Heh. Yes, it’s me. Sebastian is pretty much against any type of body modification at all. But he will never get me to give up my earrings. (Not that he’s ever even suggested it. He knows that’s a line to never even suggest crossing.)

    2. @KevinC: So did I!!!

      I got my ear pierced once. Sort of one a whim. It got badly infected, and I took that as a sign that it wasn’t for me.

  2. Much like with guns, I bet they are not writing in any exemptions for people who have half their body tatted up.

  3. A colleague I was bar hopping with years ago literally picked up a safety pin out of a gutter between one bar and the next and used it to pierce the upper cartilagy part of his ear right there strolling along the sidewalk. It’s simply not possible to prevent people who really want to get something pierced from doing so. And I’ve spent enough time working in a prison to know that if people really want a tattoo, they’re gonna do that too. Like you said, all it’s going to do is drive some of the businesses underground.

    Oh, and the whole District of Columbia is less than 70 square miles. I doubt that it would take more than half an hour to drive from anywhere in the city to a tattoo parlor in either VA or MD. So as a bonus, now DC will be exporting even more of their drunk drivers to neighboring states.

    1. I’m going to assume that the waiting period will probably drive up prices since some people will forget about their appointments or just decide to look around at more competition and never show up. If the price goes up, you’ll see even more safety pin-style piercings and tattoos. (Ugh, I knew a couple of girls who did the safety pin piercings in their ears. I can’t even imagine…) The higher price will also mean that more poor people – those who can’t afford to get treatment as easily – will do something that will be less likely to be sanitary. But remember, we can’t allow people to take responsibility for their decisions!

  4. Looks like DC wants to violate another right, this time the First Amendment. The 9th circuit had ruled that tattoos, the process of tattooing and the business of tattooing are all fully protected speech, in the case of Anderson v. Hermosa Beach.



  5. > then they could just restrict serving clearly intoxicated patrons<

    They tried that one once,called it prohibition. that worked well
    enough that it was repealed!

    Nope, I do hope the weight of the public lands on the DC city Council hard.


    1. Prohibition was NOT about forbidding allowing intoxicated people to get tattoos.

      1. And there are compelling reasons that can be argued against allowing intoxicated persosn to do that — both medical (Hell, a lot of tatoo artists WILL NOT work on a drunk, because the excess bleeding makes THEIR job harder) and legal (“informed consent”).

  6. …and people will vote with their feet, and hop the Metro to Virginia or Maryland to get their tats. Businesses in DC will suffer while those elsewhere prosper.

  7. Pain, suffering, and regret are GOOD things. They make you not want to do stupid stuff. Eliminate pain and suffering that result from a person’s choices, you just get stupid people.

    Note that I am speaking of the results of voluntary actions.

Comments are closed.