“The Seemingly Inexorable Transfer of Authority from Parents to the State”

Hi Readers — As you know, I am a big fan of helmets. Have been since I first started this blog, as you can see right there, on the left of this post. I also make my kids wear helmets when they ski and snowboard.

BUT I am also a big fan of this helmet veto, just signed by Gov. Brown of California, for the very reason he cited. Voila the actual letter. And here’s what it says:

To the Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 105 without my signature.

This measure would impose criminal penalites on a child under the age of 18 and his or her parents if the child skis or snowboards without a helmet.

While I appreciate the value of wearing a ski helmet, I am concerned about the continuing and seemingly inexorable transfer of authority from parents to the state. Not every human problem deserves a law.

I believe parents have the ability and the responsibility to make good choices for their children.

Sincerely,

Edmund G. Brown

I applaud this because when the government gets to decide how we parent, it sometimes criminalizes things IT considers “unsafe” that a lot of US do consider safe, whether that’s allowing a child of a certain age to stay home alone, wait in the car, bike to school (yes, I’ll address that Tennessee case very soon),  operate a lemonade stand or play unsupervised outside.

I am all for child safety, but I am also for parent safety. And when parents can be criminalized for believing in their kids or community, we are all at risk. — Lenore