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October 11, 2007

Comments

Bladerunner

Assemblyman: Thanks for your response. I don't mean to create more work for you but you did bring the nanny subject up.

As for banning smoking in parks, your agreement that this is acceptable and non-nanny because the government " has the right to set the rules for public facilities,"is hard to argue with. Of course its the same rationale as restricting behavior and activity in and on other public facilities, like highways and streets(read cell phone laws, seat belts), public buildings and schools.

On the abortion questions(you didn't respond to the requirement of reading certain material so I'll assume you like that one to)I didn't think the ultimate value of restricting the activity was relevant to you. It was whether the state was going to intervene in a private and legal decision of an adult. If it looks like a nanny, and walks like a nanny and talks like a nanny, it usually is a nanny.

Is it fair to say that for you nanny laws regarding minors have more validity then with adults?

Bladerunner

Assemblyman: Thanks for your response. I don't mean to create more work for you but you did bring the nanny subject up.

As for banning smoking in parks, your agreement that this is acceptable and non-nanny because the government " has the right to set the rules for public facilities,"is hard to argue with. Of course its the same rationale as restricting behavior and activity in and on other public facilities, like highways and streets(read cell phone laws, seat belts), public buildings and schools.

On the abortion questions(you didn't respond to the requirement of reading certain material so I'll assume you like that one to)I didn't think the ultimate value of restricting the activity was relevant to you. It was whether the state was going to intervene in a private and legal decision of an adult. If it looks like a nanny, and walks like a nanny and talks like a nanny, it usually is a nanny.

Is it fair to say that for you nanny laws regarding minors have more validity then with adults?

Bladerunner

Sorry there, keyboard got stuck.

Chuck DeVore

Bladerunner,

I disagree with how you try to logically extend my arguments. This shows I need to add some additional detail to show you how I see the distinctions in reasonable laws and Nanny State laws.

Banning smoking in government-owned parks if the duly elected officials decide to do so is fine in my book because cigarette smoke can degrade the experience of other park goers. I would not likely be keen on voting for such rules myself, or might simply vote to create smoking and non-smoking areas of a park, but I recognize elected representatives’ prerogative to do so.

Now, why do I see that as fundamentally different from doing the same with, as you put it, “highways and streets (read cell phone laws, seat belts)”?

For the following reason: the car is privately owned. Cell phone laws and seat belt laws seek to dictate how people use their own property in an attempt to reduce accidents and injury. I would rather punish the action, not a POTENTIAL cause of the action. As I previously noted, there is already a law in the California Vehicle Code that makes it illegal to drive recklessly. There is even jail time for reckless driving that leads to injury of another. We passed a cell phone restriction for adults last year and a ban on their use for minors this year. (By the way, studies have shown that hands-free and hand-held phone use appears to have the same accident rate, therefore, last year’s law that requires hands-free cell phone use only in cars by 2008 will likely have no effect whatsoever on accident rates, meaning we gave up some freedom for nothing!) What’s next? A ban on eating in a car? On applying make-up in a car? On driving with a screaming baby in a car? Do you see my point? All of these factors add to the danger of driving in a car and yet, some people seem to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, so to speak. So I say, punish the actual behavior, i.e., reckless driving, not something that may contribute to it. As I set forth the case before, you can make a pretty exhaustive list of things that are distracting to do while driving – should they all be illegal and made punishable by a $100 infraction?

Regarding abortion, my favoring restrictions has to do with the fact that I believe that one person (the mother) is making decisions that may end the life of another person (the baby) often with the help of a third person (a doctor or nurse). This decision is irrevocable and has been shown to have major psychological impacts on the mother.

Lastly, regarding Nanny State laws for adults vs. minors. I do believe that we should tread very lightly when seeking to apply the power of government to restrict people’s liberties. Laws restricting minors trouble me when it appears that the state is seeking to supplant or replace the responsibility of the parents.

I don’t want government to by my nanny or my children’s nanny.

All the best,

Chuck DeVore
State Assemblyman, 70th District
www.ChuckDeVore.com

One Who Knows

Apparently the GOP caucus has taken a poll which indicates that calling a statute a "nanny bill" scores points with the electorate. To me it sounds silly, but they must think it works.

The problem is, while Assemblyman and Mrs. DeVore are, obviously, outstanding parents, our prisons are full of people with parents who didn't care whether their kids skipped school, smoked cigarettes, did drugs, drank alcohol, ignored seatbelts, cursed at their teachers, carried guns, had sex with adults, stayed out all night, or did other dangerous things like texting or phoning on their cell phones and driving at the same time.

The problem with "reckless driving" is that the definition is in the eye of the beholder. What is reckless to you and me, might be OK to someone else. That's why the Legislature needs to pass specific prohibitions such as stopping at stop signs, not crossing double lines, don't phone and drive at the same time, etc.

Some people believe it is the obligation of the State to step in and make such dangerous behavior illegal, especially by minors. I agree that the world would be a better place if all parents were as attentive as the Honorable & Mrs. DeVore...but they are not. In my opinion, trying to protect our children (and the rest of society) from uncaring parents is not behavior to be ridiculed.

brian

This is what happens when you have a full time legislature
Too much time results in too many bills

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