Beware the Little Children

I am always cautious when someone utilizes the “do it for the children” argument. Usually it signals a lack of rational justification and the necessity to appeal to the base emotional level in order to achieve certain ends. There seems to be a rash of that lately (i.e., the TV commercials where children lecture about the dangers of climate change). Big-eyed innocence can go a long way. But don’t trust those little rug-rats (they’ll say anything if you dangle a Hershey bar in front of them).

The latest example of this emotional exploitation is California’s continued attempts to infringe on the individual rights of its citizens. Hiding behind the little children, CA regulators are attempting to pass a law banning smoking in cars; for the sake of the children. Beside the fact that this law broadly oversteps the boundaries of government, I don’t see it being particularly useful. Unless they are the children of long-distance truckers, or part of a traveling circus, I assume the amount of time kids spend in cars with smoking parents is fairly limited. I probably get more second-hand smoke exposure walking past a row of bars with all the smokers forced to light up outside. Based on CA regulators’ logic, I say they ought to make a law prohibiting parents of small children from living in cities with high levels of smog (such as L.A.). My advice: if you’re a parent, for the sake of the children, get out of California.