There are a number of laws governing childhood behavior that have never been successfully challenged. Minors are told they can't smoke or drink until a certain age. Why does the state consider it injurious for minors to take alcohol into their stomachs and nicotine into their lungs, but not harmful for them to absorb the most violent images into their minds?
If alcohol produces a reaction in minors the state finds harmful and if cigarettes injure developing lungs and contribute to rising health care costs, -- and so the state imposes age restrictions -- what do violent images produce and why can't the law impose age restrictions on those?
Minors can't sign contracts. The state won't let kids drive cars until a certain age, believing, rightly, that they are not mature enough to handle the responsibility. Some argue that even at age 16, the legal driving age in most states, children are still not sufficiently mature enough to drive, as evidenced by the high accident rate among teens.
Anyone who has tried to stop an adolescent from ignoring a parent's wishes knows what I'm talking about. In a perfect world, children would listen to, respect and obey their parents. But this is far from a perfect world and parents could use occasional help from the state in preventing violent culture from undermining what's in the best interest of the child, and the country. This ruling by the Supreme Court does not achieve that end.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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