If the supporters of a California ballot initiative get their way, Jim Crow will once again be alive and well — this time in the Evil Empire’s most populous state. The proposed ‘Jessica’s Law’, named after Jessica Lunsford, a Florida girl raped and killed by a sex offender in two thousand five, would introduce one of the most restrictive regimes in the nation for regulating people listed on the registry of sex offenders, making an Ohio New Jim Crow statute look downright liberal. The proposed California statute has three major provisions: a prohibition of any registered sex offender living within two thousand feet of any school or park, lifetime GPS monitoring of sex offenders who have committed felonies and the possibility to indefinitely detain offenders in mental hospitals.
The Iowa statute, which has so far passed constitutional muster, created an exclusion zone of only one thousand feet and only from schools. This two thousand foot provision virtually excludes registered persons from most cities and towns! Where is one to find lodging that is not within a half mile of some school or park? Only in remote, rural areas is such a thing possible. Not only this, the new law applies not just to those convicted of rape or murder, but also to children who have engaged in consensual sex play but been branded sex offenders. Now, these children will not only be relegated to the fringe of society, they will be forced to wear the scarlet letter for their entire lives, broadcasting their whereabouts for law enforcement to see day and night.
Whilst I am appalled by cases such as Jessica Lunsford, it would do us all well to remember how rare such cases are. There are only about one hundred fifteen cases of this sort in the Evil Empire each year. A child is many times more likely to be struck and killed by an automobile than to be abducted and killed by a stranger. We must also be mindful of the fact that sexual abuse makes up only ten percent of all child abuse, that almost all child sexual abuse is carried out by the child’s family and friends and that eighty-one percent of all child abuse (all forms of abuse) are carried out by the child’s own parents. So where is the real threat to children? From the unknown sex offenders who are being targeted by this legislation? Try again. But it is easier to make them the scapegoat for society’s ills than it is for society to look into the mirror and ask itself how it has become so violent towards the very children it pretends to try to protect.
In California, of course, such a law would have a difficult time passing in the heavily Democratic legislature. In fact, attempts to pass this bill there have failed. So the knee-jerk reactionaries who want this law launched a fear campaign amongs the general public, successfully scaring the living daylights out of ordinary citizens until they got enough signatures to put this directly on the ballot in November. If their fear-mongering bears fruit in November, a truly dark age will have begun. If California, often a trendsetter in the Evil Empire, enacts such a law, we can expect similar laws to spread like wildfire throughout the rest of the country.