Tennessee deadbeats pay a stiff price: Daddy can't fish no more!


I'm going to begin by stating, for the record, that I am strenuously opposed to racial, social, or economic profiling. That having been said, I couldn't help but smile when I read about how the great state of Tennessee has chosen to deal with its deadbeat dads.

After the impressive success of its Deadbeat Parents Guide (and unofficial dating website), the Volunteer State has decided to go for the throat: attacking 20,000 fathers who are more than $500 in arrears in child support payments and more than 90 days overdue, the state is threatening to revoke their hunting and fishing permits.

I don't know the numbers on rural versus urban deadbeat dads, nor do I know how much of a correspondence there is between hunting and child abandonment. Furthermore, while the occasional deer or trout probably adds a lot to the dinner table, I don't imagine that most deadbeat dads are going to be going hungry because of this particular program. What I do know, though, is that a father's occasional day on the lake or afternoon spent drinking beer and shooting at wildlife is an ingrained part of the national mythology. I can't help but wonder if the next step in Tennessee's battle against its deadbeat dads involves the seizure of remote controls and attacks upon unlicensed barca-loungers.

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. He does, admittedly, love the taste of fresh venison. Luckily, his buddy who hunts is also happily married.