HERE IS MY COMMENT TO THE ANNISTON STAR:
This has to be the worst excuse of fear mongering and blind ignorance I have ever seen in an editorial. People are always saying we see "these kinds of stories" "every day," but statistic from the NCMEC show those high profile cases are extremely rare.
We're already spending more on costly prisons and security. We treat school children like prisoners these days with random pat downs, metal detectors, and heightened security. The only "epidemic" in this country is the epidemic of fear. We fear everything from Pig Flu to Y2K and Satanic Cults in Day Cares.
Like everything else we have grown to fear in our generation, our fears are based upon media sensationalism. Nancy Grace's bread and butter are "Tot Mom" and sex abuse cases. It is interesting to note her two favorite cases on her show, the Caylee Anthony and Sandra Cantu murders, were committed by people not on any public registry.
There are a lot of problems with the public registry. It gives people such a narrow focus on a small group of people, of which only 3%-5% of them will ever commit a new sex crime (there is such a thing as "rehabilitation"). The focus is so narrow we miss the 95% of new cases that will be committed by first time offenders, i.e., people not on the registry.
It has become obvious that these laws are based more on revenge than rehabilitation. The shame game, social ostracism, and denial of second chances has failed to reduce recidivism. Yes we need more education, but you have to include topics like sexual accountability to your youth.