Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rearranging bus stops on the Titanic

Rearranging bus stops on the Titanic

Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. I guess we all do it sometimes, but when government does it (and we therefore pay for it) it is worse than pointless- it is actually harmful.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department is considering moving school bus stops around Albuquerque in an effort to "avoid registered sex offenders". This has so many things wrong it is hard to know where to begin.

First off, not all "registered sex offenders" are actually a danger to kids or anyone else. Many are registered for doing perfectly non-violent consensual things that the State just happens to prohibit. The "list" is a bad joke that destroys lives while it protects no one.

Second, most real, dangerous sexual predators are probably not registered, or even known. To feel otherwise is placing a lot of faith in a flawed process.

Third, people don't necessarily stay in their own neighborhoods, where they are recognized, when they are intent on causing harm. Only a fool robs the bank next door to his house, where he is a regular customer. The same applies to sexual predators. Plus, the kids still have to get to the bus stops. Who knows what lies along their path? Just moving the destination changes nothing.

Fourth, parents need to teach their kids to be aware of their surroundings and to be prepared to defend themselves. Yes, because the children and other students are headed for a government facility it makes carrying an effective self defense tool a "crime". They still have potential improvised weaponry with them at all times and should be taught how to use them. Yet another reason to separate school and state.

Shuffling bus stops will only create a false security at best. False security is more dangerous than the paranoia that precedes it.