In an era of terrorist attacks, school and town shootings and cyber intimidation, I have to wonder at the wisdom, not to mention the squandering of resources, when I read that a father in North Carolina, driving his daughter to school, ending up being arrested for not returning a video rental in 2002. The kicker is that the video store-scene of the crime, is now defunct.

My first thought, besides seeing this as overly ridiculous in light of today’s real problems, is that it must have been one hell of a movie to warrant an arrest 14 years after the fact. Even more galling is that there is a statute of limitations in the U.S. (not sure if that is for all 50 states) on rape of 5 years. So I gather not returning a $2.00 rental is a crime taken much more seriously by legislators there than is the violation of the human body.

Then I read of the sad story of the two (2) year old Winnipeg boy who went missing from his front yard in late March. Now I am sure I will horrify many of you but who in their right mind leaves a 2 year old alone in the front yard (or even in the back) for even 2 minutes let alone 15 minutes? Just like all those summer drowning stories we unfortunately read about every year [the summer being shortly around the corner] there can be no excuse for not staying with your young child, ever. No phone ringing, no laundry, no chore is ever important enough to leave a child alone, ever.

I have a neighbour who has 2 young children and when they are outside either their mom or their dad is with them. I have heard arguments to excuse momentary absences, but as I have stated many times on the radio, these tragedies are not accidents. There is a choice made to leave a child alone and choice implies intent. I have asked my fellow commentators during one session on the radio to please explain to me in what way do these tragedies classify as accidents. They couldn’t give me a satisfactory answer because these deaths are not accidents. Unless a meteor fell from the sky and hit the deck pushing a child into the pool there can be no situation in which a pool drowning of young unattended children can be classified as an accident.

Just like the stories we hear concerning young children disappearing at amusement parks. There is no reason on earth that lends itself to an accidental kidnapping. Sure young children move quickly, and in crowds it can become very difficult to see this tiny person, but we know this in advance so the disaster can be avoided. Use a harness and leash and never stop holding the child’s hand, don’t let anything cause you not to see the child and certainly hold onto your child on all rides involving dark tunnels or high places like a Ferris wheel.

We each are the only ones responsible for ensuring that no accidents befall our loved ones.

Me. Hammerschmid has practiced Family Law since 1982; Senior Partner at Hammerschmid & Associates; founding & current member of Family Law Association of Quebec (past Secretary for 28 years). Inquiries treated confidentially: 514-846-1013 or hammerschmid@vif.com © 2016 Linda Hammerschmid

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