“Live Free or Die.”

Since 1945, I’ve been the Granite State’s official motto. I’m rugged. Independent. I don’t bend to authority. Naturally, New Hampshire residents look to me for guidance. And to be sure, many who draw inspiration from my words live long, liberated lives. But some, admittedly, do not.

So I’d like to take a moment and reiterate this: You can most definitely die while living free.

I thought this was common knowledge, but apparently not. Certain people are clearly under the impression they can do whatever the hell they want here and nothing bad will happen. They climb Mount Washington—alone in January. They ride their motorcycle down the Kancamagus highway–at 2 a.m. with no helmet. They go water skiing in Lake Winnipesaukee—alone in January at 2 a.m. with no helmet.

And guess what happens to these folks? They live free and die.

Where did this misinterpretation of my teachings even come from? Not sure. I’d guess from the out-of-staters moving here from less free places. Every New Hampshirite has met a Massachusetts transplant who bought a house here for the lower taxes, tasted our way of life, and went absolutely feral for freedom. I think it’s all the repressed energy from living under laws written by Puritans.

But regardless of what or who is behind this surge in stupidity, it has to stop. Our inhabitants need to start using logic again.

I’m not talking about formal logic. I don’t want to get into that Ivy League theoretical crap about how “or” is a mathematical operator. Sure, syntactically speaking, maybe I could have been clearer when writing myself all those years ago. But “Live Free (and Still Perhaps Die) or Die” doesn’t roll off the tongue. And practically speaking, you shouldn’t need a Dartmouth degree to calculate that living free does not equal immunity from consequences.

Preventable loss of life in our dear state of New Hampshire is tragic. Worst of all, it makes Vermont look better by comparison. Do we really want those hippy-dippy “Freedom and Unity” pinkos taking our spot as the best state in New England? I know I don’t.

I’m not saying people should stop embracing the many freedoms afforded here. Maybe everyone can just do it a little more sensibly?

Wear a helmet when joyriding your Harley, even though it’s legal not to. If buying guns and fireworks, both of which can be purchased here with relative ease, don’t shoot one at the other. And when indulging in our state’s most cherished commodity, tax-free alcohol, please drink responsibly. Don’t get shitfaced and chase a bear with a dull hatchet like that Masshole did a few years back (look it up). We’re better than that.

Look, at the end of the day, I’m a motto. The best state motto in America, sure, but just a motto nonetheless. I can only offer my words of wisdom. I hope you heed them.

If you choose not to, then please consider dying in Vermont.