Some callers to Reardon felt that this was child abuse. Others felt that it was normal discipline. (Listen to them yourself at this link.) Police are still investigating the incident for possible criminal charges, though the boy was not injured.
The language folks used in this debate is noteworthy. Those who called it a "spanking" saw nothing wrong with the mother's actions. Those who thought it was child abuse called it a "beating." But, that is neither here nor there.
This is an important story but it isn't a story limited to a particular incident. It is really about the role of government in the family unit masquerading as a debate over corporal punishment vs. child abuse.
Do you agree with Hillary Clinton and believe that the village should raise the child? Or should Mom and Dad?
Should government ban spanking because some, maybe even a majority of people, think that it is bad? Or do parents have the primary right to go with the responsibility of raising their own children?
I'm no fan of corporal punishment and think that, generally, it is a bad idea. Other forms of discipline seem effective, more reasonable, and better for children. But that's my own opinion. Others believe that sparing the rod spoils the child.
It isn't my place to mandate that everyone else disciplines their children the way I think best.
And, it isn't the place of government either. No matter what Hillary would say. The decision is the parents' decision, and the parents' decision alone.
Note that I'm talking about discipline, spanking, corporal punishment, etc. Abuse does exist and government has the right, even the duty, to protect its people, especially children too young to protect themselves from physical harm.
Too bad government doesn't take that role seriously and allow thousands of its youngest and most helpless citizens to be torn, limb from limb, killed, and thrown out as trash every day. Where are the outraged talk show callers over that?