Rep. Stace Nelson (R-19/Fulton) does not like the idea of the state banning minors from using their cell phones while driving. (I'm assuming that Rep. Nelson has had the good sense to tell his daughters not to do it but simply doesn't approve of the state usurping his parental authority.)
In an effort to make his point about Senate Bill 106, Rep. Nelson offered the following amendment on the House floor:
No holder of an instruction permit may engage in premarital sexual relations, obtain an abortion without parental consent, stay out past parental curfews, consume alcoholic beverages, consume illegal drugs or abuse prescription drugs, fail to attend religious services prescribed by parents, fail to do all assigned chores at home, fail to get A's in school, back talk teachers or parents, wear provocative or revealing clothing, use profane language, fail to read a good book a week, bully friends or other students, watch more than one hour of television a day, play violent video games, eat junk food more than twice a week, fail to eat their broccoli, or, any other socially deemed inappropriate activities.
Watching from the gallery, the fortunate Mr. Montgomery reports that numerous legislators got up to take offense with Rep. Nelson, saying his amendment was disrespectful and in bad taste. The amendment failed, and the minor-phoning-while-driving ban passed, perhaps by a larger margin than expected thanks to backlash at the Fulton Fulminator.
But what offense is there to be taken? Rep. Nelson made his point. He contended that his colleagues were engaging in a sort of social engineering and feel-good message sending that shouldn't be clogging up the Legislative arteries when we have a budget to pass. He sent his message in pointed, newsworthy language.
We shouldn't take offense at Rep. Stace Nelson's tactics. We should take offense at the apparently large number of legislators who can't stomach straight talk.