If you ever travel to California and you buy a cup of coffee in the morning, don't be surprised if there is a large warning label on it. A Los Angeles judge has ruled that java contains a chemical compound that the state of California has determined to be carcinogenic--and the public must be warned about that every time someone wants to order coffee. No doubt that warning will go right next to the warning on the cups that reminds you that coffee is hot and that if you spill it on yourself you will likely get burned.
I'm sure that judge feels good about himself having protected the fragile people of California from the dangers of acrylamide--but he's bound to be disappointed the next time he drives by a Starbucks or a Dunkin Donut and sees the cars lined up around the building to buy coffee at the drive thru window--and the lines of people getting their joe without even looking once at the "COFFEE MAY CAUSE CANCER!!" warning label that he helped to put in place.
Let's face it, we have to be warned about so many "dangers" today that we as a society have come to just ignore the vast majority of them. I noticed some perfect examples of that just last week when we got a new dishwasher at the house. The box in which it came had warnings on every side of it DO NOT TIP UNIT ON ITS SIDE--but what did the store employees do first to get it into my Grand Cherokee? Tipped it on its side. When I jokingly pointed that out they replied "they just put that on there so you don't stack them up on their sides--I think". Then when it was home and our plumber was installing it, both the installation and user guides came in separate packages with bright yellow warning labels saying READ GUIDE COMPLETELY BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO INSTALL OR USE THIS UNIT. The only time the installation guide was referred to was when there was a minor problem getting one of the connections to fit right. And then my wife and I gave the user's guide a cursory glance over before using the dishwasher for the first time.
I should note, that it's not just Americans that ignore all of those warnings. At the sundries shop inside the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas they sell cigarettes in the international packaging where the health warnings make up pretty much the entire front of the carton. I expected to hear a customer ask the clerk "Give me a box of the SECOND HAND SMOKE IS DANGEROUS TO CHILDREN and a couple packs of SMOKING WILL GIVE YOUR LUNG CANCER please." But based on the constant haze of smoke hanging over the casino, nobody seemed too concerned about those warnings--nor did the families with kids walking through the room to get to the waterpark and aquariums.
Nearly all of these warnings are due to two things: One, over-protective government bodies and bureaucrats that believe you are a total moron and are incapable of doing anything without hurting or killing yourself. And two, corporate attorneys who know that you are a total moron that is incapable of doing anything without hurting or killing yourself, but if we tell you not to do it, it might give us some legal immunity if your estate tries to sue us.
Maybe if the Los Angeles judge ordered gun makers to put warning stickers on their products, that might make schools and urban areas "safer"!