Let's get mad about child predators
"I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" This powerful phrase was used in the popular 1976 movie, Network. The premise was that when people were tired of the status quo, if everyone got mad and yelled out this phrase, then that anger could bring about change.
I'm part of a fleeting group of people that still reads the daily newspaper (as well as the internet) and it boggles my mind each day I read the news. I've gotten to the point where I want to scream out and shout at the top of my lungs that I'm as mad as hell. My children are the most important beings in my life and though I'm a pacifist and advocate peace and love, I wouldn't have any issues or problems causing dealth to anyone who tried to harm my children. Any crime is unacceptable, but when the victims are helpless children, there is absolutely no excuse.
I understand the "due process" and that all citizens are entitled to their rights, but I believe that if a person is caught "in the act" of committing a crime and that it's caught on tape then that criminal should lose their rights as a citizen and not be entitled to a trial by jury. If a child is murdered the criminal should go from the holding cell straight to death row. Anything other than murder should result in life in prison, Child predators cannot be rehabilitated and having the highest forms of punishment would be a deterrent.
What incited my rage, was a recent crime that happened in a nearby town and happens in many towns way too often. Two seperate abductions of two different youngs girls walking home from school occurred within a few days of each other. They were both abducted and sexually assulted by the same man who was previously convicted of four other sex offenses involving 7-8 year old girls in another state! While reading this, there was a section in the story titled, "What Parents Can Do" which consisted of different tips including, "Do not allow children to walk or ride a bike to school without an adult" and "Teach your children to yell and run to the nearest business, school or other visible place if they are approached by a stranger."
Although those are good tips, I was mad as hell that those tips were needed. Why should we, the majority of law-abiding citizens have to teach our children to yell and run to the nearest safe place? Why should we have to tell our children about "Stranger Danger" and instill fear in their little lives? Why should we as parents live in fear that our child may not come home if they go outside to play with a friend?
Why? Because our legal system in the United States is not working and countless children and their families have to suffer before we start to get serious with these offenders! The first step to change the status quo would be to put pressure on lawmakers to give tougher penalties to offenders of crimes against children. One strike and you're out...not three strikes!
The next steps would be for everyone to take the time to get to know their neighbors who live around them. Look online at sex offender databases where you can type in any zip code and state and pull up a registry of convicted sex offenders complete with pictures and addresses of the criminal. A popular website to research is familywatchdog.us You will probably be suprised at how many offenders you'll find living close to you. With that useful information, neighborhoods should form groups similar to neighborhood crime watches but take it a step further and have neighborhood volunteers with clear background checks patrolling our streets when the children are outside playing and/or walking home from school. When you're out walking the dog or jogging, make a point to pay more attention to what's going on in your neighborhood and respond if you see something out of the ordinary. Respond by either handling it yourself or calling the police if you don't feel comfortable, just get involved.
Every child deserves to grow up without fear. Every child who walks to school or plays outside should be allowed to do so without being scared of each passing vehicle or person that walks by. Every parent should be free of fear to just let their kids be kids and explore. A child should be able to play outside with their friends and only worry about what time they have to come home for dinner. This is the type of world that I imagine and believe is possible if we all work together for the same cause...the children.
Are you mad as hell yet?