Following up on this previous entry (about Florida), it looks like Virginia is cracking down on nudist camps for minors.

I wrote before:

On one hand, I can't see how the government could possibly outlaw nudity on private property, and on the other hand I can't see how the government can allow child nudist camps but then enforce laws that make it illegal to take photographs of the camps. How can it be legal to go to a nudist camp and see naked children everywhere, but be illegal to take pictures?
The new Virginia law prohibits nudist camps from admitting children without a parent or guardian on the premises.

The one camp affected by the new law claims it's unconstitutional, but I'm not sure why. Would a law requiring parents to always have their children with them everywhere be unconstitutional? I think it would be a stupid law, but I don't think it would violate the Constitution.

I don't know what effect this law is supposed to have. Is child abuse common at these camps? Will requiring that parents be on the premises mitigate that problem, if it exists? Or is the idea simply to place burdens on the camps in order to discourage their existence?

If the former, why not just prosecute the child abuse as in every other situation. Children are abused in other settings when their parents are nearby, often by their parents.

If the latter, I don't think it's appropriate to use laws to influence social behavior in such a round-about way. Virginia can't just outlaw nudist camps (or any number of other undesirable businesses) because such a prohibition would be unconstitutional, so it may be burdening the camps with regulations in an attempt to stifle them. That's not a good motivation for laws, however, because under such a doctrine the government could regulate anything it doesn't like out of existence.

Eh, it's a messy issue.



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