It is so hard for me to swallow some of the laws states or even government come up with, whether approved or not, because I have lived in NH my whole life and I feel our state motto “Live Free or Die” is really a way of life for everyone. I do not feel that laws need to come into our personal parenting choices nor our personal decisions for our own self. Recently I saw a law that some states have already passed, banning smoking cigarettes in vehicles when a minor is present. I can totally back up the fact that second hand smoke is horrible for everyone and that a child shouldn’t have to unwillingly be placed upon a health hazard without consent. I do agree that situation is present when a parent chooses to smoke a cigarette inside their vehicle with their minor child. The issue I have with such laws is that this over steps a personal boundary, it is much like some who talk about making spanking your child illegal. I seriously have to say WTF with that. No kidding. That is just how I feel.
When laws start to push into our personal lives and tell us how to parent our children or tell us what we can or cannot do as grown adults in a “free” country, then I sigh with sadness because our freedoms are slowly being taken away. Darn straight I feel we have the right to Live Free or Die. I am more of the mindset of educating people, if we see other parents smoking in a vehicle with a minor child present, why not stop to talk to them about the dangers or approach them about the subject matter in a non-confrontational way. Why not have bumper stickers that show websites to visit about second hand smoke dangers? Why not educate, have compassion and step back to realize that some people may make better decisions if human kind were nicer to them to educate or inform them of such health concerns.
Sure, I know education won’t stop the whole of people smoking with children in their vehicles, nor will education stop parents from choosing to spank as a form of discipline. In my opinion, based on seeing laws made and broken, a law banning adults to smoke in a vehicle while a minor is present is going to be broken as well. Laws do not stop people from making poor choices, we were all built to make bad decisions and to learn from them. Choking the people with laws and then trying to find the resources to enforce such laws is just plain counterproductive in my eyes. I feel that every human being has a choice, while some will argue that a child’s choice is being betrayed by NOT passing such no-smoking laws, I have to argue that our children are not voting adults and they are under the guidance and upbringing of their parents … not the state nor federal government. Our children are our own. Where is the line drawn in what a law tells us we can or cannot do versus us being able to make those bad or good decisions on raising our children?
Whether I agree or disagree with such topics is beyond my point here, the point is that I do agree second hand smoke is bad for kids, I do agree that spanking as a form of discipline doesn’t work for my family … but I draw the line in having laws built around these personal opinion or in some ways facts because I believe in Live Free or Die. I believe in the power of freedom of choice. I believe each baby step law that takes away a small bit of our parental freedoms, is stripping away slowly at our freedom to raise our children. If you watch the news, you will see all too often children being taken away from loving, caring parents for reasons that shouldn’t be interfered with. If a child is abused, sure that is a huge issue and the situation should be handled properly. Is second hand smoke a form of abuse? Well that’s something I leave up to personal opinion. I just don’t think laws should be made that step into our personal bubble of parental decisions, be those decisions right or wrong.