Friday, July 8, 2011

I hate being right

In my last post, I wrote about my dread about bad law resulting from a knee-jerk reaction to the Casey Anthony verdict. I hate being right.
Michelle Crowder of Durant, Oklahoma is calling for Caylee's Law, a piece of legislation that would make it a felony for a parent to fail to report a missing child to law enforcement. And people are listening. Important people.
This won't help Caylee directly. But it will help America's kids.

It will help the quarter of gay teens who are kicked out of their homes by their parents simply for admitting they love someone of the same gender, kids whose parents leave them to rot on the sidewalks. As it stands, parents CAN kick their kids out, and with rules that don't require they report them missing, abdicating their duties to love and protect their children isn't a felony.
Caylee's Law, or whatever you call it, would help us make sense of how a system will punish a parent with child abuse charges for leaving children unattended for a long period of time (and rightly so!) but let a parent skate for not reporting a child missing. It can't be one but not the other, America. That's why we need a law.
Did I not tell you? Yet another law "for the children". Ye gods!

But the law of unintended consequences always rides shotgun with these kind of emotion-laded knee-jerk laws. Exhibit A: your 16-year-old daughter runs away with a musician after trying to poison you for the insurance money. You want this back in your life? You figure, "Eh, goodbye and good riddance." But if you don't report your daughter missing and take her back with open arms when she is returned by the cops, you're guilty of child abuse. Of course, if you do take her back, you'd better sleep with one eye open.....but I digress.

And where did this statistic about one quarter of gay teens being kicked out of their homes come from? Sounds fishy to me. I'd wager they're including "boy toys" who ran off with an older man who promised them goodies in exchange for butt sex in that obviously embellished tally. But that "leaving them to rot on the sidewalks" line? Priceless.

Emotions and law make bad bedfellows. But politicians pandering for your vote don't care. They'll pass whatever ridiculous law you tell them you want.

And you wonder why you are less free every day.....