Editorial: Laws banning children from bars uncalled forThe North Dakota Senate decided Wednesday that the state should not have a law allowing minors to eat in bars.
The North Dakota Senate decided Wednesday that the state should not have a law allowing minors to eat in bars.
North Dakota should not have a law regarding the issue of children entering bars at all. This is not an issue.
Since when is it the government’s responsibility to raise our children?
The Senate voted 30-17 to defeat the bill that would have allowed minors in if the bar serves tabletop food prepared in a kitchen with at least an indoor grill. The bar also needed to be smoke-free.
Some say a minors’ exposure to people drinking in bars puts them at a higher risk to follow those behaviors and may promote underage drinking.
It is probable that a number of these children see riskier behaviors on TV or the web.
There is also a good chance a number of children are exposed to less-desirable behaviors in their own homes.
Going for burgers or pizza at a bar in many rural towns is often looked forward to by families. A bar may be the closest place (sometimes within many miles) to sit down as a family and enjoy a meal out. In rural areas, bars are also community gathering places for birthday parties and sometimes special suppers and events.
Sorry lawmakers, it seems likely the rules keeping children from taverns now are not being abided by.
Also, was any thought put into those out-of-staters who come to North Dakota who are used to living in free states where they can decide to eat where they’d like with their children? Who gets to tell them to leave an establishment? It could be the last time they decide to spend their money in North Dakota.
Laws such as these stomp on our liberties. What’s next? A law that wouldn’t allow kids in a car with a parent who is smoking? (Wait, that idea has already been tossed around.) Maybe a law banning kids from racetracks where drivers partake in risky behavior by speeding and crashing into others is necessary.
Isolating children from all bad behavior is a slippery slope. It is a parent’s duty to let their children know what is right and wrong but keeping them in the dark — not the way to go about it.
Not stepping foot in those off-limits businesses only peak curiosity and may be doing just the opposite of what lawmakers hope for — make children want to check them out even more.
Imagine a teen, or even 20-year-old, who heads to another state to visit friends, or attend college and has the opportunity to go to a bar for food for the first time. What a shock that would be.
Publisher Harvey Brock and Managing Editor Jennifer McBride make up The Press Editorial Board.