Limited government sports several rationales. The need for it pertains on many levels. One such level we don’t think about enough? This: Not every rights violation warrants calling in the law.
Take the strange case of Breana Evans, 12-year-old assailant, charged with misdemeanor battery.
What did she do?
She pinched the gluteal posterior of a boy she did not know.
Now, pinching the butt-end of strangers is a breach not only of decorum (to the extent that this standard we call “decorum” even exists any more), but of a pinchee’s rights.
Yet it was a mere pinch.
And the boy did not press charges.
The school’s “resource deputy” did not arrest her; she was merely suspended from school.
It would have remained a minor matter (so to speak) had not the boy’s mother “insisted to police that he was the victim of battery, and so they had no choice but to arrest Breana,” as Robby Soave explained over at Reason. “She was Mirandized and put in a patrol car. They took her mugshot and booked her into juvenile detention.”
The escalation of the dispute over carnal rites and personal rights into a matter fit for the police is, it seems to me, a grave result of a sort of cultural hysteria about all sorts of things. The willingness of some adults to push children through our harsh, bureaucratic, and often ruthless criminal justice system is sad to behold.
It is more indecent than a pinch.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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