An Associated Press story the other day caught my eye, and I thought I would share it with you for your comments because the defense attorney raised the issue of circumcision.
Turns out that Enrique Gonzalez from Fresno, California, wanted his 7-year old son to have a small paw print tattoo on his hip. The dad has a lot of those tatts cuz it's like a tattoo for a gang called the Bulldogs. The boy, too, wanted the tattoo to be like his dad, although a 7-year in most states is not considered old enough under the law to know what he wants. Still, in many states, it's perfectly legal for parents to have their kids tattooed, but in California apparently nobody under 18 is allowed to get a tatt.
Anyways, Enrique and his buddies either didn't know the law or didn't care because they went ahead and put a small, quarter size paw tatt on this kid. Now Fresno is throwing the book at Enrique saying he has maimed (bodily mayhem) and disfigured his son against the law, charging him with crimes that could jail him for life.
The judge is not so sure. Here's part of the AP story:
"But testimony at the preliminary hearing this week to establish which charges the evidence supports gave pause to Fresno County Superior Court Judge Hillary Chittick.
"A defense attorney, seeking to undermine the potential mayhem charge, raised the issue of a painful, irreversible, and increasingly controversial medical procedure with the boy's pediatrician, a witness for the prosecution.
"Which is more painful, circumcision or a tattoo?" asked public defender Manuel Nieto about the practice performed on a decreasing number of newborn boys.
"I would guess the circumcision," Dr. Carmela Sosa responded. . . .
"It seems to the court," Judge Chittick said as she asked Monday for a few days to think, "that mayhem requires a certain level of bodily injury, and I'm not sure a quarter-sized tattoo meets that."
What I find interesting about this story is the smart defense attorney's linking of circumcision with the tattoo. Now first off, I have no problems with tatts on little kids if small and not in an inappropriate place (like a face). Nowadays, most kids get 'em in college anyways. But tattoos are different from removing the filthy foreskin from a kid. While both tatts and circs "beautify" part of the body, readers of this blog know that my big push for universal circumcision is the health benefits it confers. I don't think tattoos have a health benefit!
The anti-circumcision fanatics want everyone to believe that circumcising a kid is mutilation and a crime. They even have lawyers who go around trying to sue doctors and parents on behalf of circumcised kids. Fortunately, these cases are losers. Why? Because not only is the kid not harmed by circumcision, there is sound medical evidence that it protects the male from HIV, STDs, HPV, cancer, etc. And, so far, no court has denied a parent the right to do what is in the best medical interest of the child -- circumcise him!
The Gonzalez lawyer knows this, so he is cleverly linking tattoos with circumcision. Will it work? I don't know. Let's hear what you think!