Spanking not a crime, but it still hurts
TO THE UTTER dismay of children everywhere (and one newspaper columnist), a California politician has given up her attempt to make spanking a crime.
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber bowed to the pressure of child-beaters, witches, the Leather Belt Lobby and wooden spoon manufacturers and withdrew her bill from the state legislature, thereby assuring that not only will children continue to get "lickin's," but could end up back in coal mines and iron smelting plants.
I thought banning spanking was a grand idea since, as a small chap, I was steadfastly against being smacked and, as a parent whose child is now in college, I could not be prosecuted for past alleged spankings upon my little sweetie pie. At least, I think the statute of limitations has run. Had spanking become a crime in California, it surely would have spread across the country like automobile emission limits and "California roll" sushi.
I SHOULD say that only Lieber's original bill -- which made spanking, I think, a capital offense punishable by decapitation -- has been withdrawn. She is still pushing a modified law that would ban hitting kids with belts, switches and, I believe, mackerel. Drawing on my childhood experiences with corporal punishment, I would add to that list coat hangers, soup ladles, yardsticks, slippers, golf shoes, fly swatters, spatulas, pingpong paddles, brick trowels, cheese boards and hard-bound editions of "War and Peace."
The new bill apparently would allow spanking by hand, but, hey, have you seen some of the hands on parents out there?
I was in Macy's the other day, and this cute little rascal was hiding from his mom under a dress rack while she was calling for him in a semihysterical manner. He finally came out smiling, and she yelled, "You scared me to death! What if someone had taken you? You'd be gone!" Then she smacked him practically into the small-appliance department. He cried as she dragged him away by the arm, and I couldn't help but think that the next time he hides from her under a clothes rack, that little tyke AIN'T coming out.
SHOULD IT have been a crime for her to hit him? I don't know. I would like to have seen someone bigger than her come up and smack her for smacking a defenseless, happy boy who was just goofing around. But this was an exceedingly large woman, and no one bigger than her was in the vicinity. That's the thing about giving out "lickin's" -- once it starts, everyone wants in on the act.
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