Amelia Island Beach Parking
Amelia Island Beach Parking

By: Eric Childers
It is time to draw a line in the sand when it comes to beach access and parking on Amelia Island beaches.

I’m reminded of the old saying, “Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile”. I see this as a part of a much more dangerous trend, the domino effect that is eroding our civil liberties. First, they said ‚”Let’s just limit the areas you can drive on the beach‚” now that’s not enough. “Let’s not allow anyone to drive or park anywhere on the beach, it’s a danger to pedestrians and the environment”.

“So what’s next?” One citizen wrote, “By the way, with the city becoming so restrictive on beach activities, why do you allow people to ride 1000-pound horses down the beach — they put in at Peter’s Point Park and head north every time, all the way to the pier. This is solely inside the city limits and through some of the most congested beaches. Don’t you and the other commissioners realize the liability of one of these horses being spooked by a dog and either throwing the rider or, worse yet, trampling some little kid? There are probably only 10 to 20 people who even own horses here. The people who ride them on the beach are the same ones every time.”

So by banishing horseback riding on the beach, you are protecting the public while inconveniencing a few. This guy wins and we banish the horses after all, we’re protecting the public and only “inconveniencing a few”.

Then someone is hurt or killed by a careless surfer. The argument then becomes surfers and their boards are a danger to swimmers. Is the chance of one of these surfers running over another swimmer or hitting some little kid is to big to be ignored? There are probably only 100 to 200 people who even surf here. The people, who surf, are the same ones every time.

So we must banish surfing, thereby protecting the public while inconveniencing only a few. We banish the surf boards because we’re protecting the public and only “inconveniencing a few”.

Then someone is bitten by a shark or loses an eye because a fisherman is using live bait or hooked someone behind them when casting a line. Someone argues that fishing is a danger to swimmers and pedestrians, after all we must protect the public and we’re only inconveniencing a few.

Sound far fetched? I don’t think so. Our country was formed on the principle of protecting the few from the majority, Civil liberties are always taken slowly and one at a time. I ask you to join me and draw a line in the sand right here and right now and on this issue.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!