As I watched WJZ TV 13 this evening, they had a story about some do good (most likely liberal) nurse who is on a crusade to ban spanking in her home state of Massachusetts. While this is a not a new phenomena in enlightened progressive circles, it's certainly troubling how media outlets give a prominent voice to the vocal minority on issues such as this.
Throughout the WJZ report, they used an "expert" witness, McDaniel college professor Thomas Zirpoli, to give his thoughts as to why spanking and abuse go hand and hand. Underneath the professor's name on TV was a title "Parenting Expert". Personally, I'd like to know who anointed him with that distinction? Better yet, what kind of litmus test did he need to pass in order to earn that title among the elites?
Government has no place dictating to parents whether or not they spank their children. It would be one thing if were talking about incessantly beating the crap out of a child. No reasonable person, regardless of ideology, could argue in favor of such despicable behavior. Still, that's not the issue here. We're simply talking about a parent swatting a child on the behind for the purpose of correcting behavior. Many of us experienced this type of punishment growing up. Despite this, we have carried on successful lives without permanent damage to our psychological well being.
All 50 states currently have laws protecting children form abusive adults. Instead of taking away an effective and proven parenting tool, target true child abusers. Of course, they are out there. No one can deny that. Law enforcement in cooperation with concerned citizens within the community should be able identify true abusers. Go ahead, target and prosecute these creatures. It's time to stop blurring the line between those that favor the rod for occasional discipline with those who hit children for more sinister motives.
Opponents of spanking often argue that those who received corporal punishment growing up are more likely to be resistant to authority. I'd like to challenge that notion. In fact, I'd be willing to bet jails are filled with more people who had parents that resisted discipline in favor of being a child's friend than persons who had a father and/or mother that immediately corrected negative behavior. Speaking of correctional institutions, I certainly wouldn't want to see a good parent throw in jail next to some armed robber for simply whacking their kid on the behind.
For the record, it should be noted that WJZ has an unscientific pool on the front page of their website. As of this writing, 92% of the respondents said they oppose a ban on spanking. With these results, I am certain that poll will soon expire.