Guest Post: “Caylee’s Law” Could Make Me a Criminal

Hi Readers! I’m busy filming my TV show, so I was glad to get this pithy guest post on Caylee’s Law. It’s a proposed law I’ve been disturbed by, mostly because often when we make laws named for tragic children, they seem to make sense only in very specific situations, and retroactively, to boot. Like, “If only we’d had a law against moms buying duct tape, this never would have happened!” Then we get saddled with a law that doesn’t keep anyone safer, but does impinge on everyone’s freedom.
So here’s an essay by suburban Chicago dad Mark Buldak, who says his motto is, “Common sense isn’t as common as it used to be,” and is active in the Facebook group “Ban Dihydrogen Oxide.” — L
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“CAYLEE’S LAW” COULD MAKE ME A CRIMINAL, by Mark Buldak
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The knee-jerk reaction to bad motherhood being proposed, labeled Caylee’s Law, is a blow to Free-Range Kids.
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As proposed, the law would make failure to report a missing child in a timely manner a felony.
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I’ve received numerous requests from friends on Facebook to “join the cause” and sign the online petition favoring the passage of this bill. I refuse.
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I have problems with “in a timely manner.”  That’s vague and open to whims of interpretation. For example: My 13-year-old daughter tells me, “Dad, I’m going over to Brittney’s house for the afternoon.  I’ll call you later.”
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Four hours have gone by.  I haven’t heard from my daughter, so I call Brittney’s mom.  She tells me, no, my daughter isn’t there and, in fact, has not been there all afternoon.
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I call my daughter’s cellphone; no answer–only voicemail.  Of course I don’t have Brittney’s number—why would I need that?
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Seven hours after she left, my daughter walks in.  I’m relieved, and a little angry.  I demand to know where she’s been.
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“Dad, I’m sorry!  We ran into Madison and decided to spend the afternoon at the mall.  I tried calling, but I forgot to charge my phone.  It was dead, and Madison’s and Brittney’s couldn’t get signals.  You know the mall took out its pay phones last year.”
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With Caylee’s Law and an eager district attorney, I could be charged.  After all, my daughter was missing for seven hours.
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Granted, Casey Anthony did not graduate from the June Cleaver School of Motherhood.  That’s no call to punish all other mothers and fathers out there. — M.B.

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