California, land of dreams and golden highways, gives us an example of what our elected officials should really be doing with their time (and our money). State assemblywoman Sally Lieber has introduced a bill to outlaw spanking.
At first glance, this seems to me to be much along the lines of Congress taking some time off to conduct hearings on steroid abuse in Major League Baseball. While these activities are not totally without merit, I have to wonder if these powerful legislative bodies might be spending their time more effectively. Legally, MLB operates under an anti-trust agreement with the U.S. government, so Congress certainly has the authority to do whatever it wants there, but should it? Steroid use by popular sports stars does have cultural effect, but is that the most effective use of Congress’s time?
Likewise in California, land of rolling blackouts and budget woes, is enforcing discipline in the home what the Assembly should be focused on? In light of current law outlawing excessive force or abuse, it seems like micro-managing.
Aides to the assemblywoman said they are still working on a definition for spanking.
This definition is super important and I believe could be the source of a huge amount of argument and trouble. You have to have a very clear definition of something that is inheritantly vague: how much force? measured how? is duration a concern? objects? intent? body parts involved? How would such a definition be proven or enforced?
As someone who was spanked as a child (however infrequently), survived and don’t hate my parents, I hope my legislature is doing something else with my money and the state’s time.