It’s a tried and true debating strategy to take your opponents’ arguments to ludicrous extremes which enables you to depict them as extremists.
That’s why people who don’t want any change in the law around child discipline label anyone who does as pro-smacking.
However, it is possible to be against the Act without being in favour of smacking.
I don’t think smacking is a good thing to do but nor do I think parents who administer a light smack should be criminalised for doing so.
And what’s a light smack? Borrowing from Chester Borrows and the amendment he attempted to introduce to the Act, it would be one from which any pain is transitory and trifling, which doesn’t use a weapon or tool and isn’t inflicted by any means that is cruel, degrading or terrifying.
That would be a lot better than the old Section 59 and its replacement which still allows smacking providing its for prevention rather than correction.
Gooner points out at No Minister confusingly this means:
At the end of the day a smack for correction is prohibited but a smack for prevention is permitted. If a child constantly plays up then that child can be smacked under subsection (c) as long as parents tell the child “that is to prevent you behaving like that again“, rather than “that is to correct you for behaving like that“.
How silly is that? The Act which aimed to outlaw smacking still permits it yet those who want to change it are criticised for being pro-smacking.
The proponents of the Act got it wrong.
It’s bad law which permits smacking, providing its for the approved reason.
It should be changed to protect children, to protect families and to stop wasting police time.
There are more than enough crimes of violence, the effects of which aren’t transitory or trifling, which need their attention.