Drop the iPad, Kid!

It’s 10:30 PM and your 17-year old is in his room, messing around (the way Wally and the Beav would mess around) on Instagram. Suddenly the cops burst through the door. They shout at you, “Where’s Josh?! We’re not playing around here, people! Where’s your son?!”

You point up the stairs. The SWAT team rushes up there, kicks in the door. They shout, “Drop the iPad, kid!”

State Rep. David Steffen (R-Howard) is introducing a bill that would ban the use of social media by kids under 18 between the hours of 10PM and 7AM. You can’t make this stuff up.

According to a story in this morning’s Wisconsin State Journal, Steffen said, “In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need this legislation. Also in an ideal world, we would not need regulations on youth use of tobacco, alcohol or other things that can harm them. The reality is that parents need some help, too.”

Rep. David Stetten

Notice anything missing from Steffen’s list of threats? That’s right. Firearms. You see, Steffen belongs to a party which, in the face of near daily mass shootings, moves to weaken gun controls, often to a ludicrous extent since they’ve run out of ways to encourage the use of guns. For example, in Kentucky where the other day five people were gunned down in a bank and two responding police officers were seriously wounded, the gun used in the shooting must, under state law, be auctioned off. It may not be destroyed, apparently, because we can’t afford to lose just one of the estimated 300 million or more guns out there.

In 2020, for the first time in history, more children died from gun violence than from car crashes, and it’s not because driving has become a whole lot safer. That year’s total of gun deaths for children was 2,281 and we’re likely on a path to exceed that this year. In the opening two decades of this century guns took the lives of 32,000 kids under 18.

While Steffen and his Republican colleagues fret over the dangers of Instagram, where is their concern for the much bigger threat to our kids?

Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

4 thoughts on “Drop the iPad, Kid!

  1. Is he crazy?! That would be a certain violation of the Second Amendment!! It would limit the ability of kids to find and buy ghost guns that they could use at school!
    Shame on him!


  2. In an ideal world we;… wouldn’t have a sitting president incite an insurrection to overthrow a free election, or a former president incite violence against the judiciary and law enforcement, or a back bench politician like Steffen try to infringe on the first amendment..


  3. We seem to have forgotten that it’s OK to say something is bad for you without concluding that it should be illegal. Also, I’d rather not think about what 17-year-old boys are doing in their room at 10:30 p.m. I was referring to consuming sugary drinks, you pervert!

    Does Yellow Stripes & Dead Armadillos constitute social media? As a blog, I think it does. Then this proposal would infringe on minors’ access to information necessary for the functioning of democracy! Parents, do you know what insidious moderate blog posts your 17-year-old might be reading instead of websites that legally require users to click on the “I’m 18 or older” button to enter? Young minds are in danger.


  4. Words are inadequate to describe the gun problem we have. That gun-related death is now the number one killer of children in the US is obscene. The rest of the industrialized world has less of a gun problem because they have stricter gun laws. The numbers are starting to bear that out in the US. The states with more lax gun laws are enjoying more gun-related deaths. From my perspective if you vote republican and if you are an NRA member, you condone and are responsible for this problem. How absurd to think that there should be more rules around owning and driving a car than a gun, or that people should be able to be more armed than our police and nearly as armed as our military just boggles the mind. Do people not see a correlation between the “conceal carry” laws that swept the nation since 2010 and the uptick in gun violence? The answer of many republicans: MORE GUNS. It’s like living in an alternate universe.


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