Monday, March 14, 2011

The Nanny State Meets the Kid Bicyclist

Last week I shared a laugh with a friend over a visit his wife received from the police. Apparently, a neighbor had called to report that his kids were riding their bikes in the street unsupervised. Oh the horror! Though the police couldn't actually ticket the family, they did show up to check on the situation and to warn the mother to make sure her kids were careful in their neighborhood wanderings. My friend and I had a good laugh, but I seriously wonder sometimes what has happened to our culture. As Anthony Esolen said, "you can deprive your child of a father and be cheered for it, but God help you if you let him ride a bike without a helmet"

Is it any wonder that obesity levels are rising in kids when the police show up over their riding their bikes in a rural neighborhood? Why the inordinate concern for suburban kids when ghetto kids walk can home from school surrounded by violence, drugs and prostitutes? We live in a society full of ludicrous dichotomies.


purple_kangaroo said...

We have a neighbor who has gotten extremely upset when I let my kids walk through the cul-de-sac with no cars coming and me right there next to her, because my child was IN THE STREET! And has been hollering down the street for my kids to be careful riding their bikes and get out of the road because he can hear the garbage truck coming five streets away. That's part of the reason we'd really like to move out into the country.

Douglas said...

PK: I'm sorry to hear such craziness has made it's way to your neck of the woods. Is it just me, or is this paranoia a recent phenomenon?