Growing up in Kingwood, Texas, a suburb of Houston nicknamed “the livable forest,” some of my fondest childhood memories are of waking up in the morning during summer vacation, eating breakfast with the family and hopping on my bike to meet up with my friends to play in the woods all day.
As a child in a military family, raised in a very conservative community, most of those days were filled exploring, playing GI Joe, paintball, or building forts. We’d play all day, moving deeper into unexplored (by us) trees and woodlands, usually in camouflage, and have about as much fun as kids could have. Sometimes we’d head home for lunch, and sometimes we wouldn’t return until the sun was setting.
It was honest, good, childhood fun, and something that I am afraid my kids may never have if this country continues on its current trajectory.
Because of the 24-hour news cycle and the media mantra of “if it bleeds, it leads,” most people in this country would tell you that violent crimes, kidnappings and other reasons to be terrified for your kids are up. Did you know that they’re actually down from previous decades?
That doesn’t matter to the nanny state; it’s in their best interest to have you scared and believing you need more big government, police driving down your street in tanks and body armor (but still say you don’t need a gun!), and a way to explain lifetime politicians whose job security depends on an ever increasing governmental overreach.
The insanity has grown to the point where two children were taken into police custody last Sunday in Silver Spring, Maryland for letting their kids walk three blocks to the park to play by themselves and then walk home alone.
I feel that bears repeating: two children were taken into police custody and held at the station until midnight (on a school night) because their parents trusted the kids, their community, and acted on that trust.
I could see an issue if these were my kids, who at their current ages of two and four wouldn’t quite have the responsibility yet to be trusted to such a task on their own…even if it was only three blocks from the family home.
But the children in question were ten and six, which paints a bit of a different picture. By ten years old I was going to summer camp every summer and competing in national Odyssey of the Mind and state-level swimming competitions. But the nanny state says these kids can’t be trusted to walk three blocks and play at the park?
It seems the nanny state and Leftist controlled media are dead set on doing everything to destroy our kids future they can: first it was “kicking the can down the road” and sending our country into a death spiral of debt by borrowing to pay ever increasing entitlements, convincing them that anyone with a different opinion is a bully, moving to common core and making our educational system the laughing stock of the world, and now even taking away their right to just play and be kids.
So just remember this story the next time someone from the left tries to tell you that they are “for children and families.” If the kids who just got locked up for playing at a playground could vote, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be for Hillary or the nanny state.
Robert Patrick Lewis was a Green Beret OIF/OEF combat veteran with 10th SFG(A), is an award winning author of “The Pact” and “Love Me When I’m Gone: the true story of life, love and loss for a Green Beret in post-9/11 war” and the host of “The Green Beret MBA” and “Center Mass with Rob and Silent J” programs on Vets on Media.