Friday, January 19, 2007

Cali adding to its nanny state reputation with "spank ban"

You can spank your monkey, and you can spank your friend's monkey, but don't even think about spanking your child in California. From the Mercury News:
The state Legislature is about to weigh in on a question that stirs impassioned debate among moms and dads: Should parents spank their children?

Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, 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.

Making a swat on the behind a misdemeanor might seem a bit much for some -- and the chances of the idea becoming law appear slim, at best -- but Lieber begs to differ.

"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?"
Only a California Dummycrat kook would equate "spanking" with "beating"! Holy schnikes, the wussification (and paternal government mindset) of this country continues! Anywho, continuing:
The idea is encountering skepticism even before it's been formally introduced. Beyond the debate among child psychologists -- many of whom believe limited spanking can be effective -- the bill is sure to face questions over how practical it is to enforce and opposition from some legislators who generally oppose what they consider "nanny government."

"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."

One San Jose mother of three said she believes spanking is a poor way to discipline children, but she also wondered whether a legislative ban makes sense. Should a mom who slaps her misbehaving kid in the supermarket, she asked, be liable for a crime?

"If my 6-year-old doesn't put his clothes in the hamper, I'm not going to whack him. He just won't get his clothes washed," said Peggy Hertzberg, 38, who teaches parenting classes at the YWCA. "I think instead of banning spanking, parents need to learn different ways of disciplining and redirecting their children."

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.
With all due respect to my Euro visitors, the fact that the Euros ban spanking is reason enough for the U.S. to ignore such a ban!

Look, if you are a parent and do not spank your child as a method of discipline, fine. I have no beef with that, since (and this is the point that's being lost on these Califool do-gooders) you can raise your child as you see fit! Whether spanking is effective or not is nowhere remotely near the point! The point is that government has NO right telling a parent how to raise their kids, period...despite what nanny state liberals may believe. Fortunately, most Californians agree with me on this.

(Sidebar: as a prebuttal, do not come in here and attempt a feeble "Well, can't government step in if a parent starves their kids, or tortures them, or physically abuses them?" Of course it can, but spanking does NOT equal starvation or torture or abuse, and I won't let anyone try and equate them!)

Seriously, with all of the problems that California has (and God (insert deity du jour here) knows there are plenty), this is something that their legislature feels the need to take up? Parents spanking their own kids?

Pffft! And the left accuses the right of trying to impose an Orwellian big brother government?