Uncloggers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your drains!


Commenter Michael M. had the same thought I did when it comes to Illinois' ridiculous new Drano law, or as I call it, the Illinois Clogged Drain Registry.

Reporter Sarah Sutschek wrote a story in Thursday's paper about the new requirement to show ID and fill out a log when buying drain cleaner or other caustic household substances, in response to several Chicago women being attacked with acid. Michael M.'s comment was priceless:

"It is totally legal, however, for me to walk into the same hardware store and buy a 9" chef knife, cable ties, a coil of rope, some duct tape, kerosene, a shovel, and a bag of lime, and pay for these items anonymously in cash, and the only thing the cashier will say to me is "Do you need help loading?"

Among the Army manuals that I keep from my years in the Infantry is TM 31-210, or the Improvised Munitions Handbook. The manual, originally written for special forces, tells soldiers how to manufacture bombs, timers, small arms, explosives, mines, grenades, you name it, out of ordinary household or supermarket objects.

For the record, I am a law-abiding citizen who has never used the book for anything more than a collector's item. But when I was blogging about this silly law the other day, I realized that while you're filling out the form at the store to buy drain cleaner or pool chemicals, I could check out with the materials to make a bomb, with no one the wiser.

Columnist Cyndi Wyss weighed in on this idiotic law, as did our Opinion Page. And so did many of you. Here are some of the better comments we received:

"It's a good thing they didn't have McGyver help make their list. Every thing would be on the [list]." – Randall S., Huntley

"The nanny-state has just added to my shopping list when I go to Wisconsin to buy gas." – Don C., Harvard

"You would think a state that is completely broke would have more important thing[s] to do than monitor our purchases of drain opener and toilet bowl cleaner." – Steve B., McHenry

"Just like the rules around purchases of pseudophederine - meth cookers just find different ways to do it, at the expense of someone with a cold who just wants relief." – Jeff H., Crystal Lake

"How does registering your purchase of a substance prevent its use? There is no three day waiting period before purchase. There is no Caustic Owner Identification Card." – Harold W., Cary

"Stupid laws like this show exactly why this state is in such trouble. They ignore the really big problems and make it illegal to buy drain cleaner without an ID. There should be NO additional laws passed until, and only until, the financial solvency of this state is resolved." – Michael H., Algonquin

"As an allergy sufferer and mother of two children with severe allergies, I cannot purchase enough medication to keep me and my children symptom-free because of the same type of legislation that was passed for pseudoephedrine a few years back. When I go to the pharmacy I am treated as if I'm running a meth lab in my home. I have to provide an ID and I'm 'tracked' by the state for every purchase I make. And now I'll have dirty toilets, too. Thank God I don't own a boat!" – Sheri C., Crystal Lake

"I submit that we need to log each purchase of gasoline, knives, and hammers as well. Can't be too safe. Thanks legislators for working on these idiotic laws while ignoring the real work at hand ... Pension reform, fiscal responsibility, and corruption. We have the best legislature that money can buy." – Tom S., Crystal Lake

Senior Writer Kevin Craver can be reached at kcraver@shawmedia.com.


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