Ladies and Gentlemen, I come before you today to write about an issue that is very close to my heart: the reform of age-of-consent legislation.
I know what you're thinking. Sam, this is a third rail issue. You can't touch it. Give up now. Well, I'm here to say† "no."† These adolescents are the most important thing there is. Have you forgotten?
For starters, these laws are based on the crazy idea that the moment you turn 18, you gain the ability to make better decisions than you were making five minutes or seven months or whatever before that. It doesn't add up, to me, and it's insulting to the intelligence of 17-year-olds across this country.
Furthermore, a lot of regular, well-intentioned people get snared up in these laws. Lot of good people. Some states don't even have provisions to mitigate your sentence in case you happen to cough at the exact moment someone was saying their birthday. And just like that, it's 10 years in the slammer. Ten years.
Hear that, McCain? Are you going to acknowledge us now? If not, there are two words you might want to consider: Bristol Palin.
Listen, I have a daughter myself, and though she's not 17 yet, I like to think she has the sense of her older friend, Tiffany, who is 17 and who can make up her own decisions, and there's no two ways about it!
Just think of all the all the responsibility you handled at 17. I myself was doing AP Calculus, regularly shooting a licensed gun, and oh yeah, driving a car. Ask yourself: why does society entrust its so-called children with a two-ton crashing machine, but not their own bodies?
If you have a good answer to this, I will quit my job.
I would like to add that I truly hope Senator Obama was serious about his sex-ed for youths proposal, because if it gets passed, there will be no remaining rationale for these draconian laws. Good luck to you, sir – and shame on you, McCain, for criticizing it.
Until then, let's call these laws what they are: an arbitrary and possibly unconstitutional encroachment by a moralistic, nanny government.
We can do better, America.