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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Are Californians Smarter Than Kiwis?

From Fox News 23.2.07

A Democratic lawmaker has abandoned her heavily ridiculed campaign to make spanking a crime, acknowledging that the idea would get whacked even in California's sometimes whimsical Legislature.

Instead, San Francisco Bay area Assemblywoman Sally Lieber introduced a more narrow bill on Thursday she said would help district attorneys more easily prosecute parents who cross the line from punishment into physical abuse.

Lieber is seeking to classify a laundry list of physical acts against young children, including hitting with a belt, switch or stick, as unjustifiable and grounds for prosecution, probation or a parental time-out — a class on nonviolent parenting.

Spanking a child on the buttocks — even to the point of injury — will remain legal in California, Lieber said.

"Clearly, I take exception with that part of the law, but the votes are simply not there" to change it, Lieber said, facing a bank of eight television cameras and the largest media spotlight the soft-spoken Democrat has ever encountered.

Some conservatives criticized Lieber's amended bill as no better than the idea she floated weeks ago.

Assemblyman Chuck Devore, an Irvine Republican, said the wording might be too specific, including objects such as belts but not others that could be used to strike children. He said the bill also could lead to parents being improperly prosecuted.

"Are we in danger of unintended consequences where loving parents might have their children taken away from them and we cause more harm than good?" he said.

Devore said input from police officers and prosecutors will be crucial.

Until last month, Lieber was perhaps best known for authoring the state's minimum-wage increase.

Lieber, who has no children, attracted nationwide attention after she pledged to introduce an anti-spanking bill to protect children from violence. Her idea was even the subject of a "Saturday Night Live" parody.

Conservative and family values groups lashed out at her proposal, charging that criminalizing spanking epitomized overbearing "nanny" government.

If passed, it would classify most physical harm to children as unjustified. That would reverse the current principle under which judges and juries are asked to decide whether physical abuse that begins as discipline is justified.


Blogger mah29001 said...

The socialistic nanny state strikes again. Now the socialistic nanny state is endorsing kids to have bad behavior?

5:56 PM  
Blogger Chuck DeVore said...

Trevor, thanks for your comments.

Freedom and liberty must be defended not only from the barbarians, but often as not, from the well-meaning among us as well.

P.S. My family and I drove 2,100 miles of New Zealands roads in October 2005. Beautiful nation -- but the coffee needs work.

All the best,

Chuck DeVore
California State Assemblyman, 70th District

11:30 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Thanks for the comments Chuck. Good to see you guys put a stop to the anti-smacking lunacy in California.

Its looking a little tougher here, but public opinion is rousing and our leftwing government is getting worried.

Our coffee certainly needs work-but then so do some of your sitcoms.


12:03 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Excellent comment.
I really don't like the idea that the state thinks it knows better that we do as to how we bring up our kids.

Surely it would be a much better idea to have a law saying:

"Thou shalt not damage your kids"

No one would have a problem with this as a smack on the back of the hand or bum does little more than shock the child (which is why one does it) and it would address the whole point of the excercise.


Derek Gunn

12:57 PM  

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