Friday, January 19, 2007

Has The Government Gone Too Far?

There were 2 Stories that came out today that caught my attention

Maine law bans adults from smoking in cars with children
National-NBC) January 19, 2007 - A new law banning smoking with kids in the car has taken effect in Bangor, Maine.
Under the new law, anyone caught smoking in a vehicle with minors will face a $50 fine. Advocates say the ban will help children breathe easier, while opponents say it infringes on personal rights.
Several other areas have similar laws covering young children, but Bangor is the first to include everyone under 18.

And then there was this one

CA Proposes Ban On Spanking
January 19, 2007 12:26 p.m. EST
Julie Farby - All Headline News Staff Writer
Sacramento, CA (AHN) - California's state legislature is mulling a ban on spanking children, making California the first and only state to outlaw smacking kids on the behind.
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, a Democrat, is proposing a bill to ban parents from spanking any child 3 years of age or younger. The bill would make spanking a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail or a fine up to $1,000, with first time offenders most likely only having to attend parenting classes. For the record, Assemblywoman Sally Lieber does not have children and says she was not slapped as a child. But she does have a cat named Snoop, which her veterinarian told her never to hit.

I thought it was interesting that the Assemblywoman does not have any kids and related the situation to hitting her cat. Kind of like if my gold fish jumps out of the tank it doesn’t do any good to give Goldy a little pat on the tail fin. I also thought the name of her cat (Snoop) was kind of ironic. When my daughter was younger (under 4) I did give her a little hit to the butt a couple of times for stuff like running away from me toward the street. OK I do cringe a little when I see parents spank their kids for stuff that seems really minor to me but I really don’t think the Government should interfere with that.

There are many child abuse laws already on the books.
Have we gone too far?

Keeping with tradition here is a “ No Agenda Zone” illustration relating to the subject. .
I was also was wondering what happens when a child turns 4 years old? Is it then no holds barred?

Little Johnny's parents have been waiting to give him
the presents behind their backs for 4 long years.


si said...

re the proposed ca law: thot the same thing -- what happens when the kid turns 4? it does seem like another big-brotherish intrusion in our lives.

unca said...

Yes. Sounds like a zero tolerance policy. A tap on the butt is the same as a beating. What nonsense.

mamacita said...

I hesitate to say this but sometimes toddlers are almost "relieved" when they finally receive the well-earned swat on the butt. It lets them know they don't have to control some of their mischievous instincts all by themselves. I said a swat, not a red-butt spanking. Also, learning to obey parents' "commands" can stop a child from running into the street.
Good post, especially the hilarious photot at the end. Blogball, you need to go to Hollywood. Oh, yeah, you already did that. :-) p.s. The smoking in the car law seems okay, but smoking in the house can't be controlled.

bryan torre said...

If 2nd hand smoke is really as bad as they say, i guess i can support a law against smoking in the car with kids.
As to spanking: I think it should be used rarely, but if done right is far from a disaster for a kid. Of course, everyone thinks *their* level of spanking is just right, even parents who beat their kids.
If it's just a little skin pain, if it's ritualized, if the kid understands exactly what it's for, if it's done in a regretful way, etc etc, it's easily distinguishable from just hitting (even to the kid).
I also think having the govt prevent spanking is probably the lesser of two evils, if the alternative is letting parents spank however hard they want while hiding behind their right to privacy or to run their own lives.
I'm reminded of the story of the guy who stopped someone from beating their dog: the beater said "It's *my* dog..." and the guy said something like "No, it's God's dog, and I'm here to protect it." Probably goes double for kids...