Ashamed to be from Ohio

Something happened to the residents of the Buckeye State since I left in 1981. People renowned for their common sense have lost their minds.
Case Study: Democrats have joined Republicans in Ohio’s infamously corrupt state legislature to sponsor a bill, the proposed Kristen’s Law, that would require convicted “violent sex offenders and child predators to place fluorescent green license plates on their cars.” Governor Ted Strickland, who makes me ashamed of my first name, says he’ll sign the bill if it passes the General Assembly.
Talk about a good inducement to force people to use mass transit! Of course, they’ll probably force the pervs to buy color-coded fare cards.
What’s next? Mandatory forehead tattoos?
Fortunately, there are people who get it–sorta. Representative Bill Seitz, Republican of Cincinnati and Majority Whip, says: “I certainly want to keep our children safe from sexual predators, but I worry about casting the scarlet A, instead of on Hester Prynne, around Hester Prynne’s family.” After all, it’s not just daddy perv who drives the family SUV. What if his non-perv son or daughter gets dragged out of the marked vehicle and beaten to death by vigilante neighbors?
But Seitz doesn’t go far enough. The real question, as I’ve asked repeatedly, is this: If sex offenders are dangerous recidivists, why release them? The answer, despite the political posturing, must be one of the following: (a) They’re not really all that dangerous; or (b) Keeping them locked up for life is too expensive.
I’m guessing the answer is a bit of (a) and all of (b). Many so-called sex offenders are really statutory rapists—19-year-old men with 17-year-old girlfriends. The system conflates these harmless “criminals” with the sickos who leap out of the bushes to attack schoolchildren after class. It’s more politically palatable to outsource the policing of these people to us ordinary citizens with stupid laws named after victims of sex crimes, like Megan’s Law, than to raise taxes for new prisons and mental health treatment centers.
Dangerous sex predators don’t deserve to find their windshields smashed every time they emerge from their Kroger’s. They deserve effective treatment and, if that’s not possible, we deserve to be protected from them—forever.

8 Responses to “”

  1. Matt Says:

    I’m glad someone else feels the same way I do about these laws. Sex offender registries are a tacit way of admitting that our Departments of Correction don’t even make a half-assed attempt to correct. And, it helps create a permanent underclass of ex-cons, who, even though they’ve paid their debts to society, are never allowed to rejoin society.

    Aside from that, does anyone really think this law will work? Like, if I want to molest an 8-yr old, I’m going to roll up in front of the school with one of these flourescent green license plates? Puhleeze.

  2. Matt Bors Says:

    Further making the lives of sex offenders worse is a great way for politicians to score points with people who don’t think–so it’s great for Ohioans. Conversely, no politician wants to defend against these absurd measures and be labeled “pro-kiddie sex.”

    There’s a reason Ohio has the highest rate of emigration of all the states. I’ve met many former buckeye bretheran and they all say the same thing: Ohio. A great place to leave.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    So now Ted supports child sex offenders. I guess for someone who hates the troops so much, this comes as no surprise. What’s next Ted? Free condos for serial killers? Tax breaks for convicted arsonists? Oh right, we should be going after the President. You’re nothing but a hate-filled liberal, and this proves it.

  4. Craig Says:

    “and be labeled “pro-kiddie sex.”

    And thus ‘anonymous’ spoke.

    That didn’t take long, did it?

    Of course, ol’ “I don’t have the balls to use my real name” misses the point entirely, but what else is new?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    The actual crime stats show that most sex offenders DON’T re-offend, and laws like that are hardly likely to encourage waverers to get/stay in treatment so that they can become a part of society again.

    People confuse CSI [Insert Locale] and uninformed newspaper punditry with fact.

  6. Rob L. Says:

    In fact, most sex offenders DO re-offend, anonymous. Crime stats aren’t very effective when you’re dealing with the most under-reported crimes…gotta use other kinds of studies. Most rapists/molesters/etc are serial offenders.

  7. False Prophet Says:

    Maybe the whole recidivism thing is exaggerated.

    Never mind that almost 80% of child abuse victims are victimized by their parents. Should we then not be targeting fuckers who rape their own children?

  8. Andy Says:

    Well, yes, but the most important thing is what laws like this say about our priorities. Let’s see, we’ve got an illiterate underclass, the national guard is playing offense overseas, politicians wait four years to visit a few of the wounded from their districts staying 5 miles from the capital in Walter Reed even as letters of mistreatment pour into their offices, but right those former child molesters THEY’RE GOING DOWN!

    One wonders what would happen if the 70% of our population that does vote decided to stop paying their taxes. Hey! Taxation without representation…

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