29 May 2015

Who lives next door?

     Who lives next door?  So the guy living next door to you is a registered sex offender.  This is horrible you say.  We can't have a sex offender living next door to us.  Call the sheriff and see if he can do something about it.  Our kids won't even be able to play in the yard now. Oh woe! What do we do?  The guy has kids too; he might be attending school events where other kids will be.  We need to call the school right now.

     These are remarks one often hears from people speaking about sex offenders.  The remarks come from people ignorant of what the sex offender did to qualify as a sex offender.  Most, if not all the sex offenders I have represented are pretty harmless folks.  One has the opportunity to get to know the people he represents and I can assure you that I have not conceived as a threat the possibility any that I have represented living in my neighborhood.  

     Who would you rather have living next door to you:  A burglar or a sex offender?  I'll take the sex offender.  Maybe we should make burglars register also.  We could institute a 2,000 foot rule from any residential area which would cause them all to move to some place like Nevada.  And how about speeders?  I really don't think a person who has multiple speeding tickets be allowed to live in a residential neighborhood where there are kids playing on sidewalks, streets, and intersections.  It is too high a possibility of one being hit by a car driven by an habitual speeder to allow them to reside anywhere there might be kids.

     It is too late for the legislature to address any of these issues, but for all party activists, it is not too early to begin thinking about the agenda for next year.  Its time that the legislature begins taking care of us decent folk and quit coddling criminals.