No I actually picked 18 because, if I'm not mistaken, it's the draft age in the US. It's not a state thing. I figure if you're old enough to go to battle, you're old enough to solo-circ. Keeps things simple.
As for it coming down to the individual in question - it doesn't. That's why the law is there. And, in cases where, as porc mentioned, parents are burning kids with cigarettes, I doubt you'd want to use this same argument. I would imagine that you would be pretty ticked if a regulatory body didn't step in and do something...which requires the law.
I'm just saying you can't have it both ways. You have to find that age that most people agree on - make it the standard, and live with the consequences. Or you let parents beat their kids with pipes because that's how they choose to raise them.
I agree, I'd be pretty ticked it parents were burning their kids with cigarettes. And, I also agree that government does have a duty to protect those who can't protect themselves (at any age.)
But, there are exceptional people in this world. People who end up accomplishing much more than anyone imagined was possible. They are frequently, as may or may not be happening in this case, held back by well meaning but mis-guided individuals. Do I think most 13 year olds could do this, NO WAY. Can She? Looks like we'll never know.
Are 100% of 13 year olds not equiped to do this, or could it be 99.9999999999%? Of all the millions of girls who have been 13, are 13 or will be 13, not one could?
But laws are "one size fits all."
I just don't think any of us really knows if she could do it. Maybe if we had known her for the last 12 years we'd think differently ........... maybe not.