Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I must be psychic. Yesterday I ask you to read this fine piece and now today I read Ohio has joined the ranks of the insane. You see gentle reader if you’re a registered sex offender you can be evicted from your home if you live too close to a school, library, park or any other place legislators feel that children may be at risk to be abducted or abused by sexual predators. Just so you know sexual predator is my least favorite political euphemism hands down. We should call the criminals by their crimes not some vague political BS term.

Anyway so if a community puts up say 2500-foot radius rule, like North Canton, Ohio did. Meaning that a sexual predator may not live within 2500 feet of a school or park or whatever the community has deemed as unsafe for these sexual predators to live near. So if you have a house say 2100 feet from a school you get kicked out. This law is worthless. Why is it worthless? Ask any woman who’s gotten a restraining order to keep an abusive lover or spouse away and she’ll tell you they’re not the most effective things. Some imaginary zone to protect the children is almost laughable. We might as well give them imaginary guards with imaginary guns.

Why only these zones for sex offenders? Why not for those people who abuse their children or how about those with a history of burglary? Why is it only sex offenders we’re all worried about? Are our politicians truly concerned with our safety or are they just trying to look all tough?

If there are enough 1000 or even larger foot radius zones in a town it might be pretty difficult for some people to have anywhere to live. You draw enough circles with 1000 feet radii it gets really hard to find real estate really fast. Are we going to have to build internment camps soon?

If we want to be serious about protecting our children, here’s what we ought to do.

First, we need to have tough sentencing for worst sex offenders, rapists and child molesters. People who have a history of doing either are not likely to ever stop. So it’s off to a jail cell forever for these people. These people are a danger to society and we need to keep them away from those they would do harm to.

Second, we need to offer counseling to the victims. The big problem with sexual abuse is that it tends to be cyclical. Those who are abused as children grow into abusers as adults or continue to allow themselves to be abused as adults. If we intervene soon enough we can start to break the cycle and slowly but surely start making our streets actually safer. But the problem is that no one wants slowly and surely they want immediate results. Sexual abuse is not a problem that can be solved with punishment alone there also needs to be healing and that takes patience.

We also need to lose this God-awful umbrella term, sexual predator. It’s far too vague. The words don’t have enough impact. Even the term sex offender is a rather weak choice of words. We need to be specific. If someone is labeled as a rapist you know what he or she did. If someone is labeled a sex offender you got no idea what he or she may be guilty of. So lets call them what they are. Let’s lose our worthless political euphuisms or to paraphrase Malcolm X, let’s all speak in a language everyone can easily understand.

Just to make things clear because I don’t want to lose any of you. I am not defending the behavior of child molesters and rapists. I think these people are vile scum who need to be kept far away from society. What makes me mad is this faux tough guy position these politicians take on crime, when in reality they’ve really done nothing at all.


Anonymous Dave said...

Agreed...Politically correct terms can take away too much from a true description of what these "people" have done.

If you're interested, you can see if any live near you:

Ohio search for sex offenders

8:19 AM  

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