Youth Rights Under Siege in Midwest

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In addition to the continuing War on Low Pants, about which I will report again in the near future, other recent legislative developments in the Midwest are threatening the rights of young people.

In Arkansas, the right of toddlers to marry was eliminated by a bill signed on April 2.  As I reported last October, the legislature intended to create an exception so that (with parental consent) a person under 18 who was pregnant could get married.  But someone, probably Satan, inserted the word "not" into the bill, so that as passed it allowed any person "younger than [18] and who is not pregnant" to be married.  As a result, any minor could get married in Arkansas except a pregnant woman.

State officials noticed and deleted the "not" from the code, but a judge later held that they had no power to make that kind of a change.  The governor declined to call an immediate special session of the legislature in order to delete one word, despite the concerns of one lawmaker that pedophiles would storm into Arkansas "to find parents who are willing to sign a very young child’s consent."  (There is no evidence that the delay attracted any pedophiles to Arkansas, though it probably did increase the number of bastards.)

The governor did convene a special session this year, though for a different purpose, and the marriage bill’s original sponsor, Rep. Will Bond, jumped at the chance to fix the law.  "[T]hrow me a rope and bail me out here," he asked his colleagues, and they did.

Meanwhile, to the north, Missouri legislators are threatening to ban cage matches for children, citing a recent AP report about youth-league mixed martial arts competitions.

Now I think political correctness has really gone too far.  What is the world coming to when you can’t lock two children in a cage and cheer as they beat each other senseless?

Nathan Orand, a trainer hoping to organize a national youth league, argued that the sport is safe, saying that fighters wear pads and that the rules forbid "any strikes to the head of an opponent who is on the ground."  That did not reassure the lawmakers who introduced the anti-child-cage-match bill last week.  "I think it borders on child abuse," said Rep. Bryan Stevenson.  Well, it is child abuse, it’s just that the abuse is being inflicted by another child.

Orand said that outlawing the sport would just drive it underground.  (The first rule of Child Fight Club is you do not talk about Child Fight Club.)  He said that his proposed "Freestyle Combat League" would have even more pads and safety rules.  Also, "one of the main concerns I’ve run into is the fact that it’s in a cage.  It can look brutal at first glance," he admitted, which is true, especially the part where they kick the crap out of each other inside it.  Therefore, "[i]n the interests of the youth sport," Orand announced, "we’re taking it out of the cage."

Link: "Toddlers Can No Longer Get Hitched in Arkansas,"
Link: "Mo. Asked to Ban ‘Cage Fighting’ by Kids," AP via