If you are of a certain age, you may remember the game of Lawn Darts, or “Jarts”, as they were sometimes called. If you don’t remember, let me describe it: much like horseshoes or washers, this game is a lawn game involving tossing some object at a target of some distance. Working well with grilled meats and beer, this game was a hoot to play– especially with copious amounts of grilled meats and beer.

A washer in the face can be annoying. A horseshoe upside the head can hurt quite a bit. The deal with lawn darts is slightly more serious, as they have a heavy metal tip and a plastic fletching system designed for speed and distance. You see, though the metal tip is somewhat blunted, it is designed to stick in the yard when it falls. And it is well-designed, because it does stick.

If we lived in a world of common sense or freedom, instead of in modern-day America, this game would be perfectly legal, and parents would not let young children use it without meaningful supervision. However, this IS America, so the game was banned by the federal government back in 1988.

Not content to ban future sales only, the same nanny state that is currently seeking to quash lemonade stands and girl scout cookie-selling pre-teens, spent a lot of time trying to locate and destroy those lawn dart sets already in garages across the country. I thought that this relentless pogrom was long over, but thanks to Karen de Coster I just became aware that the U.S. Attorney in St. Louis has sued a Jefferson County retailer from selling parts of these games. You see, the problem is that some people still like to play lawn darts. And that must. be. stopped.

Last month, the U.S. Attorney’s office in St. Louis filed a suit to stop the Jefferson County web retailer, Steve King, from selling lawn darts and parts. This is how the Feds spend your money: In two online stings, undercover investigators from the Consumer Product Safety Commission bought darts twice, the complaint says. Yep, online stings to eradicate the selling and repairing of toys that don’t meet the official approval of the Safety Czars and the handful of folks who lost a family member because someone was careless with lawn darts. So Steve King is out of business. Well I’m glad that monster is off the streets! The Feds, as usual, made King grovel. He was forced to put a warning on his website about lawn darts, include a link to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), and he also had to offer to exchange lawn darts for another game for free. See the website. Now for the funny part. This is what Mr. King had to put on his website as a part of the Fed’s “Nation of Pansies” disclosure: Please return any and all lawn darts and parts that you may have in your possession immediately to Lawn Dart Parts, LLC at P.O. Box 543, Hillsboro, MO 63050, for proper disposal. In exchange, and with the return of your items, I will send you another game of your choice (rubber tipped Jarts™, lighted foam LED boomerang or lighted LED frisbee).

I for one am glad that the federal government is so dedicated to my personal safety that it will prosecute a person for allowing someone to play this game on their own property. I mean, what if a jart goes sailing over their fence, out of Jefferson County, and right into my eye? And what about the children?!

I can just imagine Washington contemplating with serene satisfaction the federal war on lawn darts as he glided across the Delaware that Christmas night long ago. Rest easy, George– we did it!