What’s worse… Tattoo or Circumcision?

Photo of a paw print tattoo on a waistline.

There’s a father in California up against an “aggravated mayhem” charge that carries a potential life sentence (his hearing it tomorrow) for having a gang tattoo applied to his 7-year-old son’s waistline. Crucial to a mayhem charge is a finding that permanent disfigurment has taken place.

As you can see by the photo, the gang in question is the notorious Panda Bear Posse.

Okay, so we know a tattoo isn’t permanent. It can be removed or covered over with a new tattoo. And let’s not forget that tattooing a minor in California is normally a misdemeanor. The whole thing is inflated because of the gang angle.

But… I found the public defender’s legal maneuvers quite amusing… he asked, “Which is more painful, circumcision or a tattoo?” And he raised baby ear piercings as another act that doesn’t land parents in jail.

AP story: Child’s tattoo: disfigurement or poor parenting?


6 Responses to “What’s worse… Tattoo or Circumcision?”

  1. Paul says:

    Circumcision is worse because it is an amputation without consent. It is a “permanent disfigurment.” When the kid grows up he can have the tattoo removed. Not defending the act. It was wrong to do but so is circumcision. Children are not property and should not be altered because their parents think it will make them fit in with other gang members, to look like dad, or because they like the look…of the tattoo.

    October 2nd, 2009 at 2:54 am

  2. Jeremy says:

    i’m sure in most cases, a tattoo can be considered permanent. I know it can be covered up or removed, but from what i hear it’s very expensive to remove a tattoo and the kid is 7 years old. are you going to let him get another one to cover it up? I think not. I say give the ‘dad’ (and I use that term lightly – how about sperm donor instead?) a life sentence for aggravated mayhem and sterilize him while you’re at it too. he’s obviously not fit to be a father.

    October 2nd, 2009 at 6:39 am

  3. Mary A. says:

    While I agree that tatooing your kid is not a steller parenting move, life in jail is not a fitting punishment. And per the article, he didn’t force it on the kid either (doesn’t make it right, but still). So many “parents” get away with far worse abuse that causes permanent scars much less visible on the outside than a stupid tatoo. What are we doing about them? Nothing, because we are too busy making a spectacle of jackasses like this one.
    I agree with Paul in that the decision to circumcise is not my right as a parent to make, and I did not for either of my boys. If they want to hate me for it later, so be it.

    October 2nd, 2009 at 8:34 am

  4. Kyler says:

    Just goes to show how much sway public perception can have on things. Logically, circumcision is worse, but it’s been done for ages and ages and has never been questioned enough by people with enough power to make the general consensus see it as unacceptable.

    October 3rd, 2009 at 12:03 am

  5. Ameya says:

    Whoa- life sentence? That’ is way out of proportion to the crime- i agree the big bad gang word is making this a lot different than it otherwise would be. The parent should NOT be allowed to do this, but are we really going to pay for him to live in jail for the rest of his life, so he doesn’t tattoo a paw print on another child!? Who is wanting to actually spend their tax dollars on that? Obviously they want to jail him because he’s in a gang, but can’t they find any real evidence to put him away for the real reason?

    I was just talking about the baby ear piercing yesterday. I detest it. My mom had mine pierced before a year old and they very unsurprisingly grew asymmetrically, and i’m too OCD to even be able to look at my ears (let alone actually wear earrings) and i’m very upset that she was legally allowed to deform (yes, even though they are little holes) me in such a manner. I don’t think any of these permanent (even if surgically reversible) things should be allowed. Children are not the “property” of their parents! :(

    October 5th, 2009 at 7:51 am

  6. Cathy @ Chief Family Officer says:

    What kind of person agrees to put a tattoo on a child???

    October 24th, 2009 at 7:18 pm

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