Friday, January 19, 2007

I Spank My Kid, Come and Get Me

New legislation for you to watch for, but what could it be and who is passing it? (As if my title didn’t already give some of it away.)

Assemblywoman Sally Lieber…

Surprise. It is a woman.
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D…

Surprise. She’s a Dem.
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View…

Surprise. She’s from California.
…wants to outlaw spanking children up to 3 years old. If she succeeds, California would become the first state in the nation to explicitly ban parents from smacking their kids.

Jason Lewis says to watch out for the law-and-order liberal types. Ban smoking, enforce seat belt use, drop the legal blood-alcohol limit well beyond reason… this turns regular law-abiding citizens into criminals. They don’t actually need to do anything wrong, just something unpleasant, unsavory, or out of fashion. Now some left-leaning politician in California wants to make spanking a child under three years old illegal.

Thank God we have caring folks serving the public, protecting the innocent, defending those without voice, challenging the patriarchy, and all of that nonsense. What about cold-cocking a three year old? Is that legal? I suspect there isn’t a specific law covering it, so we all ought to rally behind my new cause. We need to protect our little ones! What about tying a baby up with piano wire? How about subjecting a toddler to the opening segment of The View?

Who are these people who know better? Can we send them all over to Europe, who we are always told are far ahead of us when it comes to these things. Ahead? They’ll fall for anything.

Perhaps Assemblywomyn Sally Lieber’s comments might shed more light.
``I think it's pretty hard to argue you need to beat a child 3 years old or younger,'' Lieber said. ``Is it OK to whip a 1-year-old or a 6-month-old or a newborn?''

Beat, spank, or whip? Which is it? I hate to ask what the meaning of the word “is” is, but in this case the loaded language she uses might be telling. Are those words synonymous? Any parent would say no. Even the word beating has only recently (since the Boomers) taken a more ugly connotation. Hell, even hearing the Cos say in his routines about Harold getting a beating is funny. His audience knows exactly what Harold is going to get… not a vicious and brutal beating, but strict discipline. There is a vast, yawning chasm of a difference, Assemblywomyn Lieber. If we have to explain that to you, the problem is yours… not ours.
The bill, which is still being drafted, will be written broadly, she added, prohibiting ``any striking of a child, any corporal punishment, smacking, hitting, punching, any of that.'' Lieber said it would be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail or a fine up to $1,000, although a legal expert advising her on the proposal said first-time offenders would probably only have to attend parenting classes.

Broadly, huh? Surely you must be kidding.

So she doesn’t see any difference between a smack and a punch.
If I were a violent man I could show her… luckily, there is a wonderful example in Blackadder the Third (“Dual and Duality”)
Of course, this might just be the sort of legislation that might get voters’ attention if our caring assemblywomyn is up for reelection this year. However, to say so would expose a cynic’s mind.

``Where do you stop?'' asked Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, who said he personally agrees children under 3 shouldn't be spanked but has no desire to make it the law. ``At what point are we going to say we should pass a bill that every parent has to read a minimum of 30 minutes every night to their child? This is right along those same lines.''

Huh, who would have thought there was still a Republican politician in California to stand up to his sort of nonsense?
Lieber conceived the idea while chatting with a family friend and legal expert in children's issues worldwide. The friend, Thomas Nazario, said that while banning spanking might seem like a radical step for the United States, more than 10 European countries already do so. Sweden was the first, in 1979.

Oooh, if Sweden banned it back in 1979 then it CAN’T be radical.
Nazario said there's no good rationale for hitting a child under 3, so the state should draw a ``bright line'' in the law making it clear.

Correction. There’s no good reason for YOU to spank my kid, Nazario.

What’s more, we do not need a bright line to make it clear. Why would you if there is no good rationale for doing it in the first place?

``Why do we allow parents to hit a little child and not someone their own size?'' asked Nazario, a professor at the University of San Francisco Law School. ``Everyone in the state is protected from physical violence, so where do you draw the line? To take a child and spank his little butt until he starts crying, some people would define that as physical violence.''

If everyone in California is protected, then what use is the law? It is, as I have tried to show earlier, redundant… and therefore a waste of time, money, and attention.
It's unclear how a spanking ban would be enforced. Most slapping, after all, happens in the confines of a home, and most children up to age 3 aren't capable of reporting it.

Here is yet another trifle to the politicians and professors… how exactly are you going to catch all of those potentially new criminals? More “subtle” questions anytime a family visits the doctor or police? If a Republican suggested this law, it would be for this reason that the word “fascist” would come from your typical left-leaning jackass.
…Nazario said he and Lieber are still debating whether to treat slapping the same way, or simply to encourage those who witness it to report it. But in either case, said Lieber, the law ``would allow people who view a beating to say, `Excuse me, that's against the law.' ''

Not only more loaded language, more busy-bodies to step up to strangers and say, “Pardon me, but that action is inappropriate and I am offended… if you do not stop I’ll call the police.”
…For the record, [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’m shocked, SHOCKED, to learn that this assemblywomyn does not have children. I’m even more SHOCKED to learn she has a cat. Freaky cat woman.

Luckily, according to a poll (most of which you should never trust), most Californian folks are against this ridiculous idea.

Again, spanking a child is quite different from hitting, whipping, beating, and physical violence… only a law professor would misunderstand that.

As if that were not enough, my boy didn’t make much of a fuss when his forehead opened up. He does cry when he is scolded. Now, does the crying matter to Nazario and the assemblywomyn? Is the child’s cries important to the aspect of physical violence? If not, why mention it… unless you want to pull at the heart-strings of the voters, I mean the citizens?

Then again, my boy is a tank. He cries not because he runs into a wall, falls down, hits his head on a table, and so on… he gets upset and cries when he is ashamed, knows he’s wrong, and sorry for bad behavior.

I bet he doesn’t grow up to be a law professor… or any other hand-wringing weenie who’s skirt billows up over his head anytime a politician friend wants to publicly care.

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