Barring high school students from buying Gatorade on campus, banning metal bats from their baseball games, making it illegal for adolescents to have themselves "branded" with a hot iron: Regulating teenage behavior has become an attractive topic for California's legislators.
Some lawmakers also want to outlaw nipple piercings for teenagers, and prohibit them from snowboarding and skiing without a helmet or reentering a football game too quickly after taking a hard hit to the head.
The proposals have riled those who complain that California is already an intrusive "nanny state," and they're asking whether lawmakers should find better ways to spend their time than pondering how to keep teens in check — like dealing with high unemployment or resolving the budget crisis.
The tone is one of dismay bordering on contempt, and it comes not from a conservative blog but from the Los Angeles Times.
My guess is that it isn't conservatives who are pushing for these laws, but I guess I could be wrong.
Americans have long been driven by two deep longings. The first is to be left alone. The second is to tell other people what to do. On most moral issues, the easiest way out is to inflict our piety on children. All the righteous satisfaction, none of the libertarian backlash.
- William Saletan
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