TERRIBLE BILL O’ THE DAY: Saturday Night Not All Right For Fighting, Per HB 352

Malinda White makes appearances here at The Hayride every legislative session, it seems, and not for good reasons. White, if you’ll remember, was the pugnacious moron who threatened to kill another state legislator on the floor of the House of Representatives over his lack of support for a bill she brought, an incident which should have led to her expulsion from the House but didn’t.

That lack of judgement wasn’t papered over when White, who wants to run for parish president back home in Washington Parish, abandoned the Democrat Party for status as an independent. She then opted to flip to the GOP, which was a pretty nasty adulteration of the Republican brand (that’s only gotten worse with Jeremy Lacombe now slapping an “R” next to his name).

Malinda White isn’t a conservative and she doesn’t believe in limited government. She never has. And she’s proving it with HB 352, a bill which would make bare-knuckle boxing illegal in Louisiana.

There’s a good acronym to keep in mind as this legislative session goes along: TMG. That stands for Too Much Government, and it applies here in spades.

Nobody is forced to be a professional bare-knuckle boxer. The two or three circuits promoting the sport aren’t exactly well-heeled, and the champions only sometimes make six-figure incomes. And fighting bare-knuckle at the pro level means your face will generally get turned into hamburger. It’s a brutal sport.

But MMA fighting is legal in Louisiana and that’s awfully brutal as well.

And there are people who will tell you that bare-knuckle boxing is actually less physically damaging than the more modern-conventional kind. You can’t throw the kinds of haymaker punches in a bare-knuckle match that you can with the gloves on. If you do, you’ll break your hand. So bare-knuckle fighting is a lot more technical, and it’s much more oriented toward finesse. They used to call boxing the “sweet science” because it was about the speed and dexterity of the sport more so than the raw physicality.


You can buy into this or not. Personally, I don’t have a lot of interest in bare-knuckle boxing, UFC, MMA or any of these other combat sports. And Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield were the last two boxers I cared much to see. But a key principle of conservatism – and of sanity in government in general – is that just because you don’t like something that doesn’t mean you get to make it illegal.

There has to be harm and exploitation involved.

And so long as the bare-knuckle boxing circuits aren’t using slave labor, so long as the guys (or gals) going into the ring with no gloves are there because they want to be, nobody is being harmed by this other than folks who assume the risks.

It’s a crappy bill that would unnecessarily limit the offerings of entertainment venues in Louisiana, which is supposed to be a tourist state. Put this law on the books and you’ll make the casinos and honky-tonks and small arenas in the state empty while the Mississippi Gulf Coast and other locales money from fight fans.

Stupid. Pointless. And terrible. That’s why Malinda White and her HB 352 get today’s Terrible Bill O’ The Day award.



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