Laws on Smacking

Michael Laws writes:

IF THERE is one thing that Friday’s anti- referendum will never influence it is those morons who believe that a corrective smack on a child’s bottom constitutes child abuse.

Indeed equating that to child abuse, is like equating an unwanted kiss on the cheek to sexual assault.

The country has rejected this absurd correlation.

Yet a few people remain in denial. In their fantwasy world a differently worded referendum would have got a different result from the 88% who said no. They are wrong. You could have removed the word “good” and at best 1% to 2% difference I would say. What makes me say that? There have been over a dozen polls done by multiple companies on the smacking issue over the years. Almost all of them have 80%+ disagreeing with the law. The referendum result is entirely consistent with what NZers have been saying for the last two years,

Those who deny the legitimacy of the result, are quite simply bad losers.

As all the child beatings and deaths of 2009 prove, the anti-smacking legislation has failed. It hasn’t stopped one beating, one abuse, one death. And it never will. You can’t reason with drugged, drunk, violent parents, acting out their inadequacy, with an act of parliament. If you could, we would all be living in Utopia. …

This simple fact has escaped the intellectual grasp of the “Yes” campaigners. It seems self-evident to me indeed to the entire nation but not to the zealots whose faith blinds them to reason. As an air-blown kiss is not a prelude to rape, neither is a corrective smack a prelude to Nia Glassie.

Exactly. And all but a few zealots get this.

Without question the best solution has always been and remains so that of the amendment that Whanganui MP Chester Borrows advanced within his caucus in late-2006.

It excused “transitory and trifling” disciplining and it is the genuine compromise that John Key should choose in response to Friday’s overwhelming result.

What many do not get is the Borrows amendment will actually provide greater protection to children. The current law doesn’t even define reasonable force for purposes of good parenting, preventing disruption etc. One might be able to use a horse whip legally under the Bradford law – so long as not for correction.

The Borrows amendment is absolutely the best way forward.

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