Right Thinking From The Left Coast
If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Fingerprinting Charade

Lenore Skenazy, from the awesome Free Range Kids blog, has the latest local government stupidity:

The borough has started enforcing an initiative — approved in 2008 — requiring coaches, instructors and volunteers of town-sponsored youth sports programs and camps to be fingerprinted.

“It’s time to make sure everybody’s covered and we know the children are safe,” said Recreation Department Secretary Lisa Sherman said. “It’s something that a lot of towns in the area started instituting.”

Volunteers and employees of the youth programs and camps must pick up a form at the department and make an appointment to be fingerprinted at a company whose closest office is in Paramus, Sherman said. That includes anyone with the Tenafly Lions Little League, Tenafly Youth Basketball and the Tenafly Junior Soccer League, which are all co-sponsored by the borough.

Those who fail to get fingerprinted can’t serve, she said.

Of course, if your child is ever harmed, it is most likely to come at the hands of someone who doesn’t have a criminal record.  And the most effective means of keeping your child safe is to teach them to take care of themselves (the three R’—recognize, resist, report).  But what’s the harm of fingerprinting people?  What have they got to hide? Skenazy:

It changes the basic fabric of society from one of trust to distrust. It’s the difference between the United States and the former Soviet Union. It makes us think we should look askance at all adults who love children. In fact, just typing that sentence made me realize how far society has already changed. It felt a little weird to write about people who “love children,” because immediately it brought to mind pedophiles.

That’s a perverted way to think, and yet that’s what’s being encouraged.

I really don’t understand this country’s fingerprint fetish.  My wife, an Australian citizen, is fingerprinted every time she comes into this country.  The main reason for this, supposedly, is to fight terrorism, even though it’s vanishingly unlikely that we have any particular terrorist’s fingerprints on file.  The really real reason for it, as I suspect he really real reason for the little league fingerprinting, is to move us closer to a society in which the police have everyone’s fingerprints.

Every day, we seems to surrender a little bit more of ourselves to the state.  One day, it’s to fight terrorism, the next it’s to protect kids, the next it’s to save the environment.  And it come from both Right and Left. At what point do we say “no further”?

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/10/11 at 07:57 AM in Politics   Law, & Economics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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