From the viewpoint of policy, I think most policymakers will assume people are "idiots" as you describe them. Therefore, extreme policies tend to be applied. I think it would benefit all of us if each of us did everything we could to minimize the concerns of said policy makers.
Using your food metaphor, that is why large soft drinks are being banned in New York. A little common sense goes a long way. Obviously you can use your fork or your amsteel however you choose. I think it makes sense to consider the larger impact of actions that we take. While we are "ruggedly independent" we as a hammock community feel a certain sense of responsibility to the larger community of hangers and want to be able to hang in more commonly used public areas. Education and minimization of potential harm are part of that process.
All we ask is that you give consideration to potential use of your product all over the country where folks are not as knowledgeable as you apparently are. By doing so, you will help them, the trees, and the hanging community.
If that effort appears to be more than you are willing to do, we hope that you will encourage folks to check out this site to gain information necessary to making informed decisions about hanging. I think you give too much credit to the beginner, it is a learning process and this forum is a great place to begin. I see abuses in state parks and such regularly.
Thanks so much for taking us seriously and I do appreciate the fact that you have contributed so much to the cause of conservation. We need more folks, straps or not, to do such.