Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Raising Free-Range Kids

Roger Ebert laments the freedom we give children due to our own paranoia...

We live in a reign of terror. Outside the home, molesters and drug pushers lurk. Children drown, are hit by cars, shot, electrocuted, bullied, burned, stabbed, attacked by pit bulls, or kidnapped and end up with their photos on milk cartons. When they play, they make "play dates." They can ride their bikes outside--but don't leave the block. They can shoot baskets, but in the driveway, or at a supervised playground. If some kid tells you to go f*** yourself and you whoop him, you'll be seeing his parents in court. If he comes over to play and falls down your basement stairs, you'll get sued for the house.

Many parents keep firearms in the house for protection, even though most shootings in the house are tragic accidents. Now I learn of a church whose pastor has asked his congregation to bring their guns to church, in support of the cause of Visible Firearms. That pastor is getting mixed messages from above. My friend McHugh was sitting in O'Rourke's one night when a guy flashed a gun stuck in his belt. "What are you carrying that for?" he asked the guy. "I live in a dangerous neighborhood," the guy said. McHugh told him, "It would be a lot safer if you moved."

We believe that all undesirable things can be eliminated by legislation. In England this has gotten so far out of hand that that a 10-year-old boy is forbidden to cross a parking lot, and girls can't skip rope on public property. In America, have you seen grade school football players recently? They wear more armor than Robocop. It's safer for them to sit on the sofa and blow people up in video games.
The whole piece is here.