Licensed to breed
Published: 8/12/2009 19:57:18
by Michael Coetzee, The Citizen’s Chief Sub Editor
James Bond has one that allows him to kill, drivers of cars are supposed to always have one on them, and gun owners are constantly complaining about how difficult it is to get or renew one.
While it may indeed often be an inconvenience to obtain them, licences play a very useful role in regulating the ownership and use of dangerous and potentially lethal tools such as vehicles and firearms.
Few would deny that it’s a good idea people should obtain licences before being allowed to pilot a few tons of metal down the highway at 120km/h, or that it should be ascertained whether someone has a criminal record or is mentally unstable before they are allowed to own and carry a lethal weapon.
It seems there is pretty much a consensus that when it comes to things that have the possibility to injure, kill or in any other way negatively impact the lives of people or society in general, regulation is desirable.
Considering this, there is one sort of licence that is conspicuous by its absence: a licence to breed.
Or procreate, to use the more acceptable term, for people seem to get quite upset when the rather mundane event of a human giving birth to a child is referred to in any way other than with the respect and awe usually reserved for describing some religious experience.