In a state like New Jersey where we are taxed, regulated, nannied and outlawed out the wazoo, you'd think that some well-meaning legislator would've already claimed this as his/her own: A "home alone law"— In other words, the youngest age you can leave a kid alone in your house without having the authorities up your bum.

I know we don't NEED a law like this. I would be angry if there WERE a statute like this. But the fact that it doesn't exist here in New Jersey is mind-boggling. We're usually the first state to pass overreaching child protection laws that are none of the government's business. We have lawmakers who generally drool at the idea of putting their names on a bill that looks like it's designed to protect children. (Lilting violins playing here)

So what's up with this? Where are all you do-gooder legislators just dying to set your legislation-sponsorship loins afire? Not to mention to further your political careers in the process? How have you let this one slip through the cracks? After all, you tell me how to protect my kid from car accidents, from child molesters, the proper way to discipline him, what I must have him eat in school, how to best protect him on the playground, and from drug dealers.

Without your guidance and your laws, how am I going to determine when he's responsible enough to be left home alone? After all, other states have mandated a "proper" minimum age for a kid to be home alone. Illinois says 14; Maryland says 8; and "Safe KidsWorldwide" (whomever the hell THEY are) recommends that no child under the age of 12 be left home alone. Make no mistake: the lack of a "Home Alone" law in New Jersey leaves me with considerable latitude regarding how to raise my child.

It's unlike you, New Jersey, to let this liberty go unchallenged! I hardly know what to do with all this freedom! In fact, without a law, and just my questionable parental judgement to guide me, I'm apt to just up and leave my 2-year-old at home while I hop a red-eye to Vegas for a couple days.

Please. Don't tell me you're just TRUSTING me? Come on, New Jersey, you've dropped the ball!

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