Rethinking sex offender registries gains support

By Erica R. Meiners . . . When police arrived at her house to arrest her on May 8, 2013, Tammy Bond turned to her niece and said: “Aunt Tammy did something wrong.”

At age 45, she had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old. She was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and, like 26,000 others in Illinois, required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

She has great difficulty finding housing or employment. She cannot eat in fast-food restaurants with playgrounds. If a recent Chicago ordinance had passed, she would have been banned from public libraries during the summer. No other conviction results in this level of interference with daily life once time behind bars has been served.

Prison reform is the topic of the day. Last year, former President Bill Clinton renounced the 1994 omnibus crime bill that helped fill the nation’s prisons. The Black Lives Matter movement has insistently called attention to structural racism throughout the justice system. A strange coalition is building in favor of reform at the federal level, made up of Democrats such as President Obama and anti-big-government Republicans such as Rand Paul and Jeb Bush.

Yet for the hundreds of thousands of adults like Bond who must register as sex offenders, penalties are only getting harsher. In one high-profile example, Congress recently passed a bill to require that sex offenders’ passports have a “unique identifier.” At press time, it was on Obama’s desk.

In this reformist moment, the treatment of sex offenders could set a problematic precedent. In 2015, New York state Sen. Thomas Croci (R) introduced a bill to create a public registry for people convicted and suspected of terrorism. For politicians seeking to cut prison costs, why not repurpose the tools used to surveil and contain sex offenders—public registries, community notification apps, restrictions on mobility and employment, even passport stamps—to control other populations defined as dangerous or undesirable? (Please read complete article at In These Times)

31 comments for “Rethinking sex offender registries gains support

  1. Michael
    July 6, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Every law since the Jacob Wetterling Act is punitive, however, Bond should have waited until her swain had turned 17. This isn’t a case of Romeo & Romeo or Romeo & Juliet so, someone her age should have known better..

  2. Time for Change
    March 29, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    What gets me about so many of you who get on here and bash and condemn those who have got caught for minor infractions. I ask you, have you forgotten when you were 14, 15, and 16 years old. Don’t get me wrong, those who have offended with hands on offenses should be punished, but there are rehabilitation systems in place for a reason. They are there for a reason and that is to rehabilitate. Just like those to rehabilitate a drug addict, or an alcoholic, or any other addict for that matter. People can change. But going back to what I said have you forgotten when you were 14, 15, and 16 years old. You knew what you were doing at that age. Just like I knew what I was doing when I went to colleges acting like I was 20 years old chasing college women and they had no idea I was 15 and 16 years old. But now that we are 45 – 60 we think it is wrong. It’s funny how we forget what we did but it’s easy for us to condemn others for the same thing not realizing that our youngsters are guilty of doing the same thing we did. Don’t take this out of context, yes there are predators, and yes they should be held accountable, but the laws that are being passed are not being passed in fairness to those that are being judged. Originally the Registry was meant to be there as a tool to keep the real predators in check. Now it has gotten so out of hand that a minor infraction lands you on the registry for a minimum of 10 years and up to life. Some of these that are going on this registry are young lives such as 18, 19, and 20 year olds. So yes, the laws need to be changed and the registry needs to go back to what it was originally designed for and that is to keep true predators in check, and lets get those that don’t deserve to be on there off.

    • Michael
      July 6, 2016 at 10:15 pm

      I certainly remember being 14, 15, and 16-years-old, and I wasn’t chasing after 10-year-old girls. Romeo & Juliet is a whole other animal. A 45-year-old with a 16-year-old is a horse of a different color, and I am not referring to the age difference. She had to know that age is a factor where the law is concerned. Ignorantia juris non excusat.

    • Jones
      October 8, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      I agree to much of what is stated here. I also believe that the “Plea Bargain” phased of any these types of charges is where many registrants are wronged. All they hear from prosecutors is that they will serve 30-years of their life in jail if they do not sign the “deal” which includes registration. All sex related “Plea Deals” that require registration should be reexamined – particularly those that are first-offense and/or that do not involve someone under 17. That where the rethinking of sex offense registration should begin in the prosecutors office – where most of the biased is fed.

  3. March 22, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    It really hurts me to see all you people on here that have a loved one going thru all this or some other family member. While I myself am caught up in this I am agreement with you all. Sure this all has to be changed. I can’t see anyone branded for the rest of their life as a sex offender.

    Are we not all sex offenders? Think about that for a minute, While Galen gave a pretty good example of how it is today, the sex offender reaches far back than that Here is a blog from a pastor friend of mind….http://harvyoder.blogspot.com/2015/11/we-are-all-sex-offenders.html

    Yea change needs to come in all this sex registry stuff. Lets face it we are all sinners
    but at the same time is not authority’s doing right or wrong.

    Now I’m no authority on Rom.13 but I do know God doesn’t abuse. We should all learn to love one another and love thy neighbor.

  4. R Burk
    March 22, 2016 at 4:06 am

    My 6 year old nephew was repeatedly raped, for years – just horrific and unforgiving things done to him and things he was made to do – by his step “brother.” Because that boy was under 18 when he did the heinous aggravated sexual abuse, he will get away with all of his crimes. His disgusting, vile and CRIMINAL acts. Yet, my nephew will NEVER be the same. That low life waste of skin will do it again — the problem lies within, it was proven way back with Wesley Alan Dodd in the 1980s when he was castrated and he told people over and over and over to never, not ever, never let pedophiles or sexual predators out of prison, for they will do only one thing: prey again, and again, until they eventually kill. Leopards just don’t change their spots. Some of these laws SHOULD NOT be changed, it’s a dangerous game to do so. How anyone can justify what has been done to my nephew I will never understand. It’s sick, and anyone who can, well, you’re ill yourself. It’s nothing less than criminal. It’s pure evil and the only places for such evil are hell first, prison as a temporary option.

    • Michael
      July 6, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      Logical fallacy. Wesley Alan Dodd was a serial killer. Not comparable to incestuous acts upon a 6-year-old by someone “under 18,”, public urination or a 19-year-old having sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend. Moreover, the fact is, the recidivism rate for sex offenders is 5.3%. So, if you are looking for justification, and are going to carry around that broad brush while doing it, I’m afraid you won’t get very far. Sex offender registration laws have had as much affect on sex crime as the death penalty has had on murder. It’s what happens when you attempt to paint everyone with the same brush.

      Q: When is society going to stop doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.

  5. Maestro
    March 16, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    This woman had an affair with a teenager who, in EVERY state in this union, is legally old enough to operate a MOTOR VEHICLE ….and she gets banned from fast food joints that have playgrounds??!!! I don’t know ANY 16-yr-old that gives a damn about being in a McDonald’s playground or any other “grammar school” designed playground. This is what is truly sickening about our society’s consensus is about someone who broke the law in a sexual manner.

    • Michael
      July 6, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      Not saying the law isn’t absurd when applied to EVERY situation. But… Ignorantia juris non excusat. The age of consent in IL is 17. To be safe, just wait until they are 18.

  6. Dolley M.
    February 29, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Until sexual deviancy on every level is thought of and accepted as a form of a longstanding or temporary mental illness, or an inability to control one’s own thoughts and behaviors because of the array for which situations that lead to a sex offense occur, the punishment mentality will remain strong. Society condemns that which they fear.
    People are generally too fearful to ask why someone behaves in a manner which they either cannot explain because they have never thought of doing something ‘so wrong’ or obscure, or because they are too afraid to admit to their own vices.

  7. Jeff Jordan
    February 28, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Distrust all those in whom the desire to punish is strong. –Friedrich Nietzsche

    • david
      March 1, 2016 at 12:58 am

      Right on. I agree with Dolley M. There’s usually a reason people behave the way they do. It’s cruel to punish people the way we do those accused/convicted of sex crimes. What good does cruelty do? To teach us a lesson?

      Here’s a poem by Tukaran:

      “Because I could not lie I called my dog God-
      at first he was confused,
      soon he was smiling and dancing-
      Now he doesn’t even bite.

      I wonder if this works on people too?”

      I’m sort of amazed at how well behaved registered citizens are as a group. It’s a recipe for disaster the way the system treats us. If we were dogs many of us would be biting. I’m not saying a person should get a citizenship award for committing a crime but it’s like they just throw us all in a box, give the box a label, and refuse to question why any of this is the way it is.

      • Alexxia
        March 1, 2016 at 5:54 pm

        I agree with you. My little brother was released from prison 03/03/2015 after serving 10 years for sexual conduct with a minor even though it was consensual. The girl was 17 years old and my brother barely 19. Since his release he has been treated like he doesn’t belong in society and often expresses to me that he feels like just locking himself in a closet and dying there. The system seems to be set up more so to ensure failure than anything else and the extreme stipulations of probation are even worse. Listening to him as well as baring witness to his experiences makes me feel helpless because no matter how much research I conduct to find reintegration programs that will help him become a self efficient adult I have been unsuccessful because with the stigma that has been placed on him it has truly been a challenge for him to find his place in society and be able to fully operate as a productive citizen. All sex offenders are placed under the same umbrella no matter the sex crime and therefore treated like they are all pedophiles and rapists even if that’s not the convicted crime. I have dang near given up my life to help him because if I don’t then he will be reduced to being homeless and committing petty crimes just to survive. No one wants to rent to him or give him a job. His entire situation is heart breaking and exhausting and its sad that there is nothing that can be done about any of it.

        • david
          March 1, 2016 at 10:53 pm

          Alexxia, that is so messed up!! Did you read the post by Galen Baughman seeking stories from people who got arrested and registered under ridiculous circumstances? I think your brother’s story would qualify.

          What was your brother charged with? Probably something scary-sounding like Aggravated Sexual Battery…never mind what really happened…that’s what people see when they look him up.

          We need to have compassion for EVERYONE. It is especially frustrating and maddening tho when i hear stories of people being extremely and unfairly punished over acts that barely even seem criminal. If more regular citizens heard stories like your brother’s (there’s no shortage of crazy tales here) maybe it would begin to chip away at the misconceptions most people have regarding those charged and convicted of sex crimes.

          I’m sorry for what your brother is going thru but at least he has you looking out for him. Imagine how terrible it must be for those unfortunates who are all alone…

          In my situation I found that being completely honest with people has been the best policy. Recently I needed to find an apartment and had to explain to every potential landlord that I was registered. It was tough and embarrassing but out of three landlords not one refused to rent to me. One landlord has a son in prison for felony D.W.I. and we talked quite a bit and I still chat with him occasionally. Everyone was very respectful. I ended up renting from a former parole agent. He didn’t bat an eye when i told him about my arrest.

          Another good strategy is to expect the best from people. Sometimes it may not seem like it but most people ARE kind and want to help. When he seeks employment i’d recommend going to small businesses and restaurants. Almost everyone knows someone who has gotten in trouble with law. Most people will be understanding. If you’re honest and work hard that’s really all most employers care about.

          Hopefully your brother will get back on his feet soon. I saw a therapist for a while for help in dealing with that “wanting to lock yourself in the closet and die” feeling. He said, “the best revenge against the system is to live well.”

          Yeah, probation sucks. Many of the rules are stupid and humiliating. The system treats everyone like a dangerous predator and it’s especially troubling in a case like your brother’s where it’s hard to say there was even a victim.

          Try not to give in to despair. Hopefully your brother will find his feet again soon. Maybe he could write his story and give it to Galen Baughman? Or someone. Ten years and the registry to a 19 y.o. for having consensual sex with a 17 y.o.? For real? Wow, what a scary monster. Gimme a break.

          Hang in there!

        • Magarry
          March 4, 2016 at 6:32 am

          Alexa, my brother in law was under the law’s thumb….. for a similar situation. He actually wanted to marry the girl as soon as she turned 18. Instead, their relationship was discovered, and he went to prison-while the adoptive father of the girl,left his wife and two children, and moved away with that 17 year old. AND he was a minister. Yes, I’ve got injustice down…. and you and your brother have my sympathy. Tell him to work hard at whatever it is….save $$$ and continue on.

        • phoenix
          March 4, 2016 at 6:57 pm

          I agree my son was sentenced to four years probation and he completed that successfully. I just don’t understand how we can call ourselves the land of opportunity when we treat people the way we do. There needs to be some legislation that restricts some of the registries and some of the regulatory guidance of some of our sex offenders. I feel as if they are ensuring that they will fail in life. I agree with one rider just said, they are reduced to committing petty crimes in order to eat or sleep and there is no normal life for them anymore. It is cruel and unusual punishment and if they have suffered their punishment and not gotten into anymore trouble this shame on society for not allowing them to get on with their lives. I just want to scream and cry for my baby. I am not excusing anything he has done but he has been at one time offender not ever getting into any trouble a day in his life. I feel that if he is a tax paying citizen then there should be resources out there so that these people can we integrate into society successfully. The only thing that society is doing is creating monsters because they are so angry that they can not live anywhere or get a job. This has nothing to do with victims rights because they were already punished for what they did. But who are we to continue to punish them for the rest of their lives? People need to rally and help so that people that want to go back to society successfully can do that.

        • Lynne
          March 5, 2016 at 8:47 pm

          My heart goes out to you guys. My husband was also convicted for a relationship with his girlfriend.

          Make sure your brother registers on time as per the documentation he’s been given. My husband married a woman with children BEFORE the registry was even in place.

          He was arrested and manipulated into confessing to a second crime, that never even occurred. He is now on the registry for life.

          I’ve had two heart surgeries due to a birth defect and we live on disability.

          He does not have a job but has been able to do odd jobs for friends.

          We believe in God and have trusted Jesus Christ with our eternity. He paid the price for our sin AND He was well acquainted with grief, being mocked, falsely accused, …

          I am praying that a way will be provided for your brother to maintain a life that he can embrace, finding some dignity, friends who love and support him and a future to look forward to.

          Lynne

        • JIll
          March 8, 2016 at 10:24 pm

          You express the same feelings and complications that I experience as a mother of a SO and I have not a clue how to help him find housing. I found this website to help look for support. He lives in WA and is on probation and the probation is the hardest I could imagine. No library, no internet, no parks, no sport team participations, no beaches (they’re considered state parks) and no contact with his newborn all because of a blanket level 3 assignment given by people who don’t even know what the reality of the issues were. He is only 25 and is on the verge of suicide as he is being evicted from his apartment even though his apt has no children living in the entire unit. No one will rent without a background check, and with a sex offense, new landlords will not even consider. He has 30 days to find a place . . .being two states away is hard & yes, its exhausting and I am at a loss for helping him.

        • Maestro
          March 16, 2016 at 11:50 pm

          If I were your brother, I would not have agreed to do even as much as 1 day of the dreaded probation after having to serve a 10 yr prison stint. Probation adds to the problems after prison, it doesn’t help anyone (convict, “victim” or society). It’s a waste of our tax paying dollars to the states. They can’t fix the roads or better the school systems because they have to pay a bunch of buffoons to tell you what you can and cannot do for a duration of time. Then when it’s over you can do whatever you want.

          If you have to do ANY amount of prison time, that should be it! None of this “probation” nonsense.

  8. Jerry
    February 25, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Both Paul and PHYS ED are completely correct.

    It is absurd that people are in jail for mere possession of CP, yet there are real physical crimes against the person that the offender can plead down to a misdemeanor and even a summary offense and not end up on a public website. Even a felony conviction for assault (as long as it isn’t sexual) doesn’t require registration on a public list.

    Isn’t someone who has beaten another person, or his wife, or a child more a risk to the public then someone looking at something on their computer? I have yet to see any empirical study or evidence to show a correlation of looking at nudity leads to sexually attacking another person. When you add to the “one size fits all” mentality, meaning that in 13 states a mere topless depiction of a female under age 18 is the same thing as someone under age 18 engaged in sex, or being molested, or posed lewdly and being a third degree felony, it is time to stop this madness.

    One of these days, some high ranking judge or a governor or a legislator or someone in their family is going to get charged with streaking, public urination, or a picture of a 17 year-old girl who is only topless and will have to register on a public sex offender registry. When that happens, we will then see a push by the criminal justice reformers to include the sex offender registry.

    The sex offender registry is a black mark on what America is supposed to be all about. It IS time for us who are on this registry to ban together and force reform.

    • Joyce Lowery
      February 28, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      A judge in Walla Walla , Washington was charged with child porn. He said he had a problem with it most of his life. A judge from Spokane came in and gave him a couple of months in County jail and community service. Go figure!! Oh! and he had to pay for his own therapy. So why did he not get five years in Federal Prison like everyone else?

      • mike
        March 8, 2016 at 3:52 pm

        I was convicted of one count of invasion of privacy in Pennsylvania from using an old cell phone to basically “sneak a peek” I didn’t even know this was a Meagan’s Law offense at the time and neither did my lawyer. Turns out it never was before the Adam Walsh Act of 2012. I had all of the official testing done and had no mental abnormalities and even though it was only an M3, I was given an SVP status. I lost my job with the township, my promotion, my pension, my car, home, and became homeless sleeping in a field. I know how horrible this can be and is designed to make it impossible for a person to exist. I was given a life sentence for an M3 and 7 years of probation. Meagan’s Law is the worst part of the sentence and every study has shown that it doesn’t help anyone; not victims, or offenders. It has created an entirely new “decay” of society. I can’t find work even though a went to college and have a good resume. This is why people become new types of criminals, because they have nothing to lose and nothing to live for. The justice system produces criminals instead of preventing them with Meagn’s Law. I am not condoning illegal activity, I just believe there is a difference between a child rapist and someone who did something petty. There were no minors involved in my crime either. I am not sure how i can go on like this.

      • Jill
        March 8, 2016 at 11:25 pm

        BECAUSE HE HAD MONEY AND KNEW THE LAW AND SOMEONE WORKING IN THE SYSTEM!
        Most of the time I look back at my son’s case and think that if I would have taken out a mortgage, it would have been cheaper to get everything taken care of with an expensive knowledgeable lawyer rather than having him plea out. I had no idea, as most people, of the consequences of letting a child of only 17 or even 21 agree to a plea rather than taking the steps to get it thrown out of court. This repercussions are greater than 100K if your son can’t find work, constantly thinks of suicide and is becoming so bitter and depressed that even the simplist of tasks are difficult. This judge was an adult, and in charge of sentencing . . . for shame.

    • phoenix
      March 4, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      I am with you Jerry! I am so very serious about this. We do need to band together to change a lot of these laws to allow people to be treated with decency again they have already paid their price so please I don’t want to hear anyone talking about what about the victims. I feel for them as well however especially if it is a non violent offense, then we should try to reintegrate them back into society without all these black marks, pictures on the internet of who lives in your neighborhood, not allowing them to live in places my son can’t even live with his mom or dad or any of his family. But he has managed to stay in school but every time we turn around there is a roadblock! Enough is enough!!

    • Chris F.
      March 26, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      Consider this… One of the “perks” of being in a position of power is having the ability to make things like this and others to disappear, or to reduce penalties to a mere slap on the wrist, for themselves or for those in their family. And those with real power are essentially considered “untouchable”.

  9. PHYS ED
    February 18, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    There are now almost 1,000,000 strong of us on these very public registries in the United States. I served seven years in federal prison for the crime of basic journalistic curiosity. I was a professional writer with a lot of professional credits, especially in the world of broadcast television cable documentaries.
    My charge was picked up because of a research project I set myself on to understand some anomalies involved in a review that I read online of the RAND report – a very politically incorrect, but scientifically correct report on the impact of incest on the American family. This report was notorious in Congress because its conclusions were that there was no impact at all until and unless law enforcement became involved. Whenever that happened the family was utterly destroyed. When one corrected for all the egregious things the dysfunctional family can get up to that does NOT involve incest,that conclusion was valid.The Rand medical group is world-reknowned and famous for its methodology and the quality of its research, with its findings on many subjects and topics appearing in the pages of most of the world’s medical journals.
    Congress could could do nothing against that research group because it was a private entity– But, when university research departments with press arms began to tout this particular report and praise its findings, Congress went ballistic. Individual representatives began calling up University research department heads in their districts and threatening them with the loss of their federal funding if they mentioned this report in any way shape or form in university publications. When I found this out I took this to be an unconscionable abuse of legislative power..
    I went to some incest porn sites on the web that were legal entities under the law but soon discovered that most of them were fake, and just bad porn into the bargain. When someone sent me a catalog purporting to provide REAL footage of incestuous practice, curiosity about what I needed to know overwhelmed me and I did try to order it.
    I found myself in a similar situation – regarding curiosity – as Richard Dreyfus the actor recently experienced when the media caught him at a presidential candidate Ted Cruz political rally. Since Dreyfus is an established icon and darling of the Hollywood liberal Elite colony, his fan base went ballistic on him and accused him of being a traitor to his ideals and their collective cause.
    Horribly virulent comments comparing him to Benedict Arnold started to appear all over the web on social media. He was forced to go on the air and explain what he was doing at the rally; he hadn’t turned his coat, he was merely “curious” to see if the claptrap he was seeing on Ten Cruz’s television appearances and videos was the same as what he was putting out at live events. He was NOT there to support the candidate. He followed up his comments with a reification of the quality of “curiosity” and lamented that it should be so demonized and misunderstood.
    Admittedly this involves two completely different uses of “curiosity” but the principle is the same.
    The other sex offenders I met in prison were – like me – in that they molested no one personally, had no actual sexual contact with any minors and had never tried to.Unlike me, they were simply voyeurs, where I was trying to find out information that would fit in the broadcast cable documentary I was working on at the time.
    Our numbers are becoming Legion! Why can we not all pool our funds and hire a dream team of lawyers to fight a class-action case for us on the matter of these public registries. With Antonin Scalia now back in the nether regions where he sprang from, and hopefully a liberal shift in the court will afford us all an opportunity to have a little success on this. But – it will cost money – a LOT of money.There is STRENGTH in numbers of pocketbooks!

    • Paul
      February 19, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      PHYS ED, while I agree that some people are caught for the wrong reasons (as is what seems to be true in your case) unfortunately the majority of time people mess up. Someone had posted a few weeks ago that she was troubled that a kind of hierarchy among sex offenders was starting to emerge (which has actually been going on for a long time) where some people claim their crime was much less serious than other people’s and therefore, those people belong in a different category than they do. While it can’t be disputed that some crimes are more serious than others, we ALL need to be humanized. Whether the people you met in prison were just voyeurs or had actually crossed the line into worse territory, it almost doesn’t matter because we all deserve a second chance. A house divided against itself cannot stand. I know you aren’t trying to be divisive. None of us are. But we can’t compare ourselves to each other. And I don’t think that was your intent. Please realize though that It’s important we all see ourselves in the same boat because in fact we are.

      • gb
        March 2, 2016 at 6:45 am

        very well said

    • PHYS ED
      February 20, 2016 at 12:18 am

      Yeah Paul you’re right, it was not my intent to be divisive. But there are different degrees of culpability in various sex crimes. Some that are currently criminalized are very recent indeed. These days, the proverbial “way of a man with a maid” which is been a societal norm for thousands of years and long recognized as part of the magical mystique between the sexes is now largely criminalized, especially on university campuses. Nowadays before any sexual behavior at all between the sexes, both parties have to have signed contracts authorizing it!! this is now the absurd modus operandi as far as campus rules go at way too many universities.
      There are too many wrongful assumptions built into the existing law, such as the one that assumes for all intents and purposes that anyone charged with possession of CP, or even just the attempt to possess is actually not just the “one off” it appears to be, but the end of a long road of such criminality for any individual so charged. Another assumption of that law – if the person has any age on him at all at the time of his arrest– is that he’s just been lucky all this time in not having been caught!! Another assumption is that you’re guilty when charged. The current political divisiveness in the nation precludes any action on just about anything you can think of legislatively in the Congress is likely to continue far into the future. I myself –these days – am almost of the opinion that was elicited from Sir Thomas More at his trial for treason 400 years ago in England. “I do none harm, I say none harm, I think none harm– and if this be not enough to keep a man alive, then in truth I long not to live.”

  10. Paul
    February 18, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    This is an awesome article. Journalists are slowly but surely catching on. One thing that has troubled me about the recent conversations about criminal justice reform is that the issue of sex offenders and new laws (such as International Megan’s Law) are entirely left out of the conversation. It has become politically correct and even bipartisan to condemn out of control sentencing for some crimes but when it comes to the registry, it’s like they are touching a hot stove. They won’t get near it. Whenever I hear this kind of rhetoric, I always feel like throwing something at the television and screaming “What about us????!!!”
    But I’ve come to expect this kind of hypocrisy from politicians.

    I truly wish that most people would get it through their heads that they are not immune from this. Most people feel as though their impulse control is impeccable, they are morally righteous and would never act on a deviant impulse. What they fail to consider is that they could be falsely accused, have a momentary lapse in judgment or have bodily urges (the need to urinate) that are beyond their control. Fear drives politics. While I hate to base an issue on fear, this conversation needs to be about the fear people should have that they or someone they love might end up with an identifier on their passport. Let’s look at this proportionally. If people really understood that the odds of ending up on the registry are dramatically higher than their son or daughter being kidnapped or molested on Halloween or by any other stranger, we’d see a whole different dynamic being added to this conversation. Since the Reagan years and the seeds of Satanic Panic in the 1980’s, the zeitgeist of our time has been a mama bear protection of our children. While this needs to continue, we should expand this notion to the protection of ALL people (not JUST children) from those who want to pretend as though the constitution exists for some but not for others. We all need to be protected, including children.

    • Paul
      February 18, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Let me break it down a little further. It all comes down to what a person believes is their locus of control. A person’s “locus of control” is the extent to which people feel they are in control of what happens to them. Most people would typically ascribe a low locus of control the protection of their children and a high locus of control to behavior they chose to act on. This sounds logical and even reasonable but it’s not accurate. It’s a myth and a dangerous one at that. People need to understand that in the age we live in, every action is scrutinized to the nth degree. I don’t care how careful someone is, if they’ve never had a drink of anything, taken any drugs, lived the cleanest lifestyle possible; I mean, they could literally be the most squeaky clean, goody two shoes individual the world has ever seen and it doesn’t matter. ANYONE and I mean ANYONE could end up on the sex offender registry for the aforementioned reasons from my previous post. Conversely, if people want to base laws on probabilities that are consistent with being struck by lightning, it jeopardizes us all. Any human being in the United States is just a moment away from being a member of our RSOL community, only they just don’t know it. If they ever do, it should terrify them. Hopefully it will terrify them enough to demand an end to these laws.

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