New Hampshire and Massachusetts share a common border, but differences between the states’ laws are so vast that Granite State motorists must be put on alert before crossing over into the Bay State. That, at least, is the argument of six New Hampshire legislators who want the state to erect signs along every unmarked road leading to the border with the following caution: “Warning: Massachusetts Border 500 Feet.’’ That’s just a concise way of saying, “Buckle up, put your helmet on, and throw out your fireworks, firearms, and knives.’’

The lawmakers claim the signs would be a public service, not a political statement. “People should know the rights we hold dear here in New Hampshire might not be here for you when you leave New Hampshire,’’ said state Senator Sharon Carson, one of the proposal’s sponsors. “Not everyone has common sense when it comes to creating laws.’’


But one state’s common sense is another’s folly. If New Hampshire ends up erecting its warning signs, Massachusetts may want to follow suit, and warn its motorists of the dangers to the north. There are reasons to fear an overbearing nanny state, but not because it protects residents from concealed weapons and brain injuries.