One of humanity's most perplexing problems is how to handle the category of people who would like to have things both ways. If you don't believe me, just look at our Republican politicians who profess to believe there's nothing more important to the nation than defense (it's even worth raising taxes for!), yet vote to delay the nomination process for a new Secretary of Defense in order to demonstrate their unhappiness with the President's effrontery in nominating someone who agrees with his own views.
Few groups, however, can compete in the "both ways" department with bicyclists. They're all in favor of everyone - including themselves -- obeying the rules and laws of the road (such as stopping at stop signs) yet far too many of them apparently believe that in practice, they have a perfect right to blow through those hexagonal reds.
And so it is again recently, as a Maryland bicycle organization goes to war against a proposed law requiring bicycle riders to wear helmets. This group confesses, or professes, that helmets are the best protection against getting one's head cracked open, but make the perverse argument that passing a law requiring helmets would not be a good thing because it would inhibit the growth of the sport (or mode of transportation if you prefer).
Why? Because novice riders who don't own helmets might be discouraged from starting into cycling. That may be a correct observation, especially as services like BikeShare are just gaining popularity, and the premise of flexibility that underlies such operations could be seriously undercut by a helmet law. So the Mayland group suggests that bicyclists' safety might be better assured by putting more of them on the road so they become noticeable; yet even a pretty small car can mow down a platoon of two-wheelers as easily as pair.
Eventually, though, it's likely a helmet law will be passed, even though some might justifiably be tempted to decry "too much government." Do we need laws for force people to do what they know and admit is best and safest for them? We do, as long as it's human nature to want to have it both ways.