A Ban on Walking with Music?

The state senator from Brooklyn, N.Y., wants to outlaw using an electronic device while crossing a big-city street on foot. The good intentioned law is overreaching, says Steve Chapman.

You've had the experience of walking along and negotiating around someone who is walking slowly, weaving or bumping into other pedestrians for an obvious reason: He or she is talking on a cell phone, listening to an iPod or texting on a Blackberry. And you've had the natural, inevitable response to this annoyance: demanding a law to prevent it. ... These measures reflect a reflexive urge to regulate even the smallest elements of human behavior, from the flavorings in cigarettes to the type of fats in restaurant meals to the number of bullets a magazine may hold.