By R. L. Morgan, Guest Blogger . . .
Every year, while thousands of families will be enjoying bobbing for apples, wearing favorite costumes, and going door-to-door trick or treating, many of the 800,000 persons on the sex offender registry will be unable to participate in any type of Halloween activity. In most states, those who have been placed on the sex offender registry have to endure some very harsh restrictions, especially on October 31st. Some of these restrictions include early curfews outside the normal purview of their registration, a requirement to submit to warrantless searches, a mandate against turning on any outside lights, and even, in some places, a requirement for registrants to place a sign on their houses or in their yards stating they can’t participate in trick or treat activities.
All of these ridiculous restrictions serve no safety purpose as there is no correlation between sex offenders and Halloween; research verifies no increase in sexual assaults at Halloween. These only serve as a panacea to soothe the media-induced hysteria related to those who are required to register. In fact, statistics and data show that the public registry itself does not serve a public safety function. So the question is why we continue to waste precious resources and tax dollars to enforce heavy restrictions against those for whom there is no documented danger or threat.
We all know that being hard on registered sex offenders is easy political capital, and it is virtual political suicide to stand up and acknowledge the uselessness of the registry and the burdensome restrictions that local law enforcement agencies can and often do place on registrants. Society paints all those on the registry with the same brush, failing to make any distinction between “Romeo and Juliet” type cases and those who may pose an actual public threat.
If law enforcement can add extra restrictions and burdens upon citizens for Halloween, what’s to stop them from adding them for other holidays, birthdays, or other celebrations? What about those registrants with children? Must those children suffer not being able to celebrate a holiday simply because of a fear that is totally lacking in evidence or proof? How will those who are trying to put their lives back together and move forward do so when society and law enforcement continue to throw their legal past in their faces?
This is the real “trick or treat.” It’s a trick to think that throwing all of these extra hurdles and restrictions at those registered will enable everyone else to enjoy Halloween activities without fear of the “monsters.” The only ones who enjoy the “treat” aspect are those politicians and those businesses gaining political favor and financial gain from these egregious regulations. Maybe these politicians, law officers, and uninformed citizens have been wearing their “costumes” for too long and it’s time for them to come off. Let’s work together and work wiser, avoiding the reactive and the fear mongering. Ultimately, regardless of all the restrictions placed on registrants, the truth is they are not the ones to be worried about. Trick or treat!
2 Thoughts to “Trick or Treat?”
I have to agree with your article 100%. All these people that are worried about the people on the registry need to realize that it’s Uncle Bill, or Aunt Susie or the guy next door…the one who hasn’t got caught, that they need to worry about, not the ones that are on the registry. If you watch the news, 99% of all the reports of abuse are by someone who has never been caught abusing someone, looking at photos or having sex with their 17 year old girlfriend This society is worrying about and protecting against the wrong group of people.
My opinion is that once a person has served their time for a crime of this nature,the last thing they want is to return to prison and if they are a serial rapist, no registry,law or restriction is going to protect anyone…period.
All the resident laws and most all restrictions are an illusion of safety, “feel good” laws to make people fee they are safe or protected, when in reality, no one is truly safe from any evil that is “lurking in the shadows”…that’s funny to say because that’s exactly how the media portrays the Convicted Sex Offender with no mention to watch out for those closest to you and your family. Wake up people,the danger is in your own social circle, the ones you hold closest and have a “FEELING” of safety with, not the one you know about.
Does anyone believe that Sex Offenders (SO) are to 21st century America what Frankenstein was to 18th century Switzerland? What Count Vlad, AKA, Dracula, was to 12th century Romania? What Witches were to 13th,14th & 15th century and the Warewolf of the17th century England? In my opinion yes. Point is, the world has always had something or someone or some group it needed to hate to revile to destory. And SOs are that group today. They are the modern day equivalent of Frankenstein, Dracula and Witches of old lurking in dark shadows with blood shot eyes, sharp teeth, fang like fingers, slobbering, watching, waiting for an innocent child to steal away, then molest, then kill. And, according to your local media, local law inforcement and politicians, “All Hollows Eve” is the time SOs emerge from hidden places to commit such heinous acts. Never mind the nine months before this time SOs worked their jobs, took care of their families, attended church, school and generally pursued honest endeavors. But on All Hollows Eve this person suddenly goes mad, completley in sane with a thirst for blood, a childs blood. Then miraculously on November 1st, the SO is back to working his job, taking care of his family, attending church, school and generally pursuing honest endeavors. Amazing!!!