Carol Platt Liebau: Time on Their Hands

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Time on Their Hands

As Debra Saunders points out, one needn't be a proponent of spanking to be absolutely appalled at an effort on the part of California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber to pass a law, under which a single swat to the bottom of a child under three would be punishable by a year in prison or a $1,000 fine.

Ms. Lieber is entirely entitled to her views on child rearing. What, it seems, she should not be entitled to do is to impose that view -- using the heavy hand of an authoritarian state -- to impose her beliefs on others (and one would think that, as someone who has never been a mother, she'd have a bit more humility about trying to do so).

If the legislation prevented parents from abusing or hurting children, that would be one thing. But this is just another example of an overintrusive government -- that isn't even performing its core functions all that well -- looking to extend its authority more and more over individual families.

What's more, let's not even pretend this is "for the children." Help me understand why it would be in a 2 year old's best interest to have her mother -- who might have swatted her behind once -- in prison for a year. Heaven preserve the children from such state "protection."


Blogger wile e coyote said...

Sometimes you need to smack the bottom of two or three-year-old children to prevent them from endangering themselves or others (run into street, touch pots on the stove, open balcony window, gouge their younger sibling's eyes, etc.) You cannot reason with children this young and need to keep them -- and their siblings -- safe.

The smack doesn't need to be hard, but it has to get their attention and drive the lesson home. Strength and frequency depend upon the character of the child in question. With some children, a sharp word or look is enough; with others, a spanking is the only thing that works.

Whoever proposed this law is an ignorant fool. And a dangerous one.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

If lawmakers want to protect children from violence then they need to outlaw abortion. Pulling a babies arms off with forceps or burning their skin with saline solution is as torturous and violent as it gets.

7:08 PM  

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