Last week, the Capitol Crud (the flu that's been making the rounds under the dome) kept Rep. Lynne DiSanto (R-35/Rapid City) from attending Thursday's House Health and Human Services hearing and casting the deciding vote on House Bill 1166, this year's effort to restrict minors' use of tanning beds.
I visited with Rep. DiSanto today at the Capitol. She's back in fine fettle and ready to pull HB 1166 out of limbo and cast it into perdition. Rep. DiSanto says she won't let her own kids use tanning beds (boys, go out and get some real sun!), but she prefers parental control to government regulation of fake-bakery.
So unless HB 1166 prime sponsor Rep. Scott Munsterman (R-7/ Brookings) can change one mind tomorrow morning, his youth tan-ban is toast.
This is just a dumb bill. Maybe tanning beds are a bad thing to use, maybe they're not. Probably not. But do we need a law?
It's illustrative of the reasons people run for political offices. To a person, they do it because they want to push somebody around. Sure, some of the people they push around need to be, but the sumbitches also want to push ME around.
About 20 years ago I read an essay by Lewis Lapham, then the managing editor of "Harper's" magazine. In its initial paragraph, he said, "Politics is the continual argument over who gets to do what to whom, for how long, and against what degree of dissent."
I'm with my friend Bob on this. I did not read any essays that mongled my mind, but Bob and I are not the ones that need to be pushed around here.
You apparently have read several of that type of essay, dingleberry.
When tanning beds are outlawed, only outlaws will have tanning beds.
We require children to ride in approved car seats and booster seats until they reach a specific size. We also require them to wear seat belts when in cars.
We don't allow children to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes.
We don't even allow minors to make their own decisions surrounding healthcare - even going so far as to use the courts to override the wishes of the parents if we don't feel they are putting the child's best interest in mind.
We don't allow toddlers or children under the age of 14 to drive automobiles, and we restrict their driving privileges until the age of 16.
We don't allow minors to engage in sexual activity with adults (with rare exceptions).
We don't allow minors to enter into legal contracts or get married (again with rare exceptions).
We don't even allow minor kids to get their ears pierced or get a tattoo without parental consent - and I'm not aware of any form of cancer being caused by pierced ears.
Therefore, we have a history of protecting children of all ages. Since we know tanning beds can (and do) contribute to various forms of skin cancer, and we know they contribute to skin damage, and we know that some children (primarily teenage girls) become addicted to tanning even going so far as to sign up to different salons to get around the limits some of them set... why do we think it is such a bad thing to prevent kids from using them?
This really isn't a new precedent. We have a duty to protect kids and we have duty to restrict their activities until they are considered old enough to make decisions while understanding the consequences.
This isn't about "freedom" or "personal choice". It is about looking out for the portion of our society who isn't mature enough to do it on their own.
That said... we all know South Dakota legislators stop caring about kids the moment they breach the birth canal, so we may as well consider this bill DOA.
Jeff, I love your use of that phrase. Thank you.
Craig, that's a great catalog of the points where we subordinate parental choice to higher values. But apparently, Rep. DiSanto was kidding me when she said parental choice was her deciding principle. In committee today, her neighbor Rep. Kristin Conzet proposed amendment to prohibit minors from using tanning beds "without the informed consent of the minor's parent or guardian" (just like piercings and tattoos, right?). House Health and Human Services approved that amendment, which flipped the votes of two committee members, Reps. Haugaard and Heinemann. House HHS passed the modified tan ban 8–5 and sent it to the House floor, over Rep. DiSanto's objection.
So the bill enshrines parental consent, even gives it the force of law, to ensure that kids can't sneak around their parents' choice, and Rep. DiSanto still votes no? Evidently parental control wasn't her primary concern, either. What was it?
A woman's prerogative to change her mind.
is speaker beohner orange because of tanning beds (i hope, i hope, i hope) or because of spray-on tan?? lynn, do you know?
christ, newland, arent 'chu from colony area? i have enjoyed your horse tank. move to the colorado border. much prettier. would you be missing out on that much around here? i left for awhile, but missed my dysfunctional family. that is always a good reason to abuse substances though...;) just bein' a smart ass. it is stupid to allow stupid kids to tan black or orange or whatever and then grow into skin cancer as they age (you know-"death and taxes...and cancer").... pure stupidity. kinda like not getting vaccinations like jenny macart....says. gettin to be time to ramble on.
I can't wait for the horse tank bathing bill.
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