Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Councilman Advocates Sterilizing Irresponsible Parents.

Shirley offers fix for bad parenting
Sterilize irresponsible moms, dads, he says.

And one of the things he says needs to be talked about is whether bad parents should be sterilized.

"What we've got is a failure in society, whether it's in Mount Pleasant with yuppie parents or whether it's on the East Side with poor crackhead parents," Shirley said Friday. "We pick up stray animals and spay them. These mothers need to be spayed if they can't take care of theirs. ... Once they have a child and it's running the streets, to let them continue to have children is totally unacceptable." Deadbeat dads might ought to be sterilized as well, he said.

Wednesday night, police arrested a 14-year-old girl and 12-year-old boy in connection with a stickup at the Hollywood Video at East Bay and Calhoun streets.

A 9-year-old who was apparently involved was taken home to his mother by police, saying he was too young to charge.

Shirley, like many in the community, was aghast that someone could be turned loose for being too young to be charged with a crime, and that the parents of these kids had no idea what they were up to at 9 p.m. on a school night.
. . .
If a child is too young to do time for a crime, his folks ought to do it, Shirley said.
. . .
State Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, says Shirley is correct, that this is a societal problem, but that the notion of sterilizing people is just "crazy."

"What Larry Shirley needs to talk about is getting City Council to provide some recreational facilities and activities for these kids and creating an atmosphere conducive to a normal society," said Ford, a former councilman.
. . .
Shirley said sometimes social services is part of the problem, making parents afraid to whip their kids when they need it. Ford says that's the way it is supposed to work.
"Hasn't he heard, 'It takes a village'?"

One wonders whether such a brazen suggestion would even work: by the time one has a nine year old, they are typically done with having new children.

Of course, the State Senator wants the childless to help pay for what parents are neglecting them.

I am beginning to wonder whether the childless, be it the childfree, singles, young couples, etc, might meet the status of 'politically overlooked minority' that gave racial minorities and women greater legal protection in the past.* Since it is political suicide to back childfree-friendly legislation, our lobbying power is relatively less than other similarly situated plurality interest groups. We're a long way from such recognition, but the elements might be present all the same.

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*Legislation that classifies on the basis of race or gender is subject to "strict scrutiny" by the courts for Equal Protection challenges. While other classification legislation will be upheld when there is the barest of rational reasons behind it, strict scrutiny will cause a court to examine whether it is narrowly tailored to further a compelling governmental interest. The idea behind it is such politically weak groups will not have the same opportunity to challenge discriminatory legislation in the polls.

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