These two articles are reposts that were on SOSEN a number of years ago, quite obviously they are still pertinent today as news media continues its Lies and Myths against the disfranchised of society. Nothing like the big bully local media picking on some poor soul who has already served their punishment and is now just trying to put their life’s back together again….
It’s Halloween again. It’s my first Halloween since being released from prison. and until Monday, I didn’t really care. Seriously, I didn’t care. I’ve never been a big fan of Halloween. It was always a pain-in-the-ass “holiday” where it’s socially permissible for kids I don’t know to bang on my door. Annoying. Go away. But if I don’t give them candy, I’m the asshole. And it wasn’t much better when I was a kid. I always felt like a mooch asking people I didn’t know to just give me candy. It was just one of those things I went and did just because it was the social convention. Blah. So as a grown-up and a father, when my wife Nicole offers to take our daughter trick-or-treating, I’ve always been totally fine with that. So as far as I’m concerned, I couldn’t possibly care less about Halloween.
However, that’s not how the fear-driven paranoid society we live in feels about Halloween, now that I’ve been branded as a “sex offender.” Halloween is now the “holiday” when it’s socially permissible for adults to go on television and online to scare other adults into being afraid of a problem that does not exist. The overwhelming fear is that, on Halloween, sex offenders prowl the streets looking for a victim to anonymously molest. And since that happens so often, we should all be horrifically afraid because this occurrence is so common, right? It happens multiple times every Halloween, doesn’t it? Aren’t there like dozens of kids every year who are molested by sex offenders while trick-or-treating? Because, with all the hype – with all the fear and media buzz – it would appear that it happens a lot.
But here’s the problem: It doesn’t. Actually, there has never – EVER – been a reported instance of a child being molested on Halloween by a sex offender. “Research shows no evidence of increased child sex abuse on Halloween and no evidence that a child was ever a victim of sexual abuse by a stranger while out trick-or-treating,” writes Emily Horowitz, Associate Professor of Sociology at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York. “This makes perfect sense,” she continues, “because government data shows the vast majority (about 93%) of sex crimes against children are not committed by strangers but by family members or acquaintances.”
So what is there to be afraid of on Halloween? Sure, it’s a “holiday” centered around fear and being scared and creepy things, all of which could easily be applied to sex offenders, but there simply isn’t any reality to support the level of fear being circulated by overzealous fear-driven paranoid parents and ratings-driven fear-mongering media. But we still need to be afraid of something, right?
How about this fictional situation:
Let’s say, between the years of 1990 and 2010, there were 115 children in the United States (under the age of 18) who were molested by a registered sex offender on Halloween Night. What would happen? I would venture to say that the reaction by the public, the media, and the legislature would be even more knee-jerk and reactionary. If, over a twenty-one year period, 115 children were molested by registered sex offenders on Halloween Night, sex offenders would be required to report to their local jail and remain locked-up until the next morning. Sex offenders wouldn’t be allowed to even be seen on Halloween, because, let’s face it, if over a twenty-one year span, 115 children were molested by sex offenders while trick-or-treating, there would be zero tolerance and no sex offender would be allowed anywhere near a bucket of candy on Halloween. Simply put, if, between 1990 and 2010, 115 children were molested on Halloween Night by a registered sex offender, I would understand the fear and the hype against sex offenders.
But here’s the thing: 115 children between 1990 and 2010 is a real Halloween statistic, according to a United States government research study. But those 115 children weren’t molested by sex offenders on Halloween; those 115 children were killed because they were hit by a car on Halloween. Between 1990 and 2010, 115 children were killed by people driving cars. Between 1990 and 2010, zero children were molested by sex offenders while trick-or-treating. Therefore, if you are driving your car on October 31st, you are more dangerous to a child than a sex offender. But for some reason, no one has thought to outlaw driving on Halloween. And yet, on Monday, I was told by my parole officer that I am not allowed to leave my house after dark, that I am not allowed to answer the door, and I am not allowed to have my porch light on. And why? Because nearly six years ago, I had a brief relationship with someone, whom I knew personally, never had sex with, and who was a mere two months from being of legal age. My actions were extremely and certainly wrong, but how does that makes me a risk to children on Halloween? And, of course, this assumption is based on the numerous cases of reported child abuse by sex offenders on Halloween, right? Or, wait, no, because those instances do not exist.
But fear-mongering media outlets who love to scare-up ratings won’t let you be swayed by those pesky facts and statistics when fear and paranoia are more likely to make you watch their broadcasts or read their website. KAKE-TV in Wichita is among the worst. Truth doesn’t matter when fear sells more advertising minutes. And truth doesn’t matter when people actually actively seek things to be afraid of because it gives them a sense of proactive security; finding (or inventing) a problem, and then thinking they can protect themselves against it, seems to give the ignorant fear-driven suburbanite self-important populous a false sense of power and control.
So, as KAKE-TV and other fear-mongering media want you to know, there’s a lot to be afraid of on Halloween, and the fear of sex offenders is every bit as justified as being afraid of the guy in the haunted house chasing patrons around with the chainless chainsaw. Both are equally as dangerous. So go ahead, check your local sex offender registry for sex offenders living in your neighborhood. Because, statistically speaking, those are the people who are least likely to harm your children. Think about that as you’re driving your car on Halloween.
Viewing Halloween Regulations from the other side.
In an article entitled : We are all sex offenders now. — Happy Halloween
A non-registered citizen puts in his two cents of what he thinks about the Halloween rules and regulations.
“One can almost bet that a politician is, right this moment, concocting some new stupid piece of legislation. And he will crow if he manages to pass the new absurdity into law — and the more absurd it is, the more likely it is that it will pass.”
He’s one of those people that just doesn’t get real thrilled about the Halloween holiday and would just as soon ignore it.
“Now I can’t. The morons who get elected to office seem intent on making it dangerous to ignore Halloween, perhaps even deadly.”
And his viewpoint on politicians from my point of view seems to be spot on.
“Politicians like to solve “problems” especially where there really is no problem after all. And Halloween gives them such an opportunity. In all the years of Halloween the scare stories are more scary than the real stories. In actuality one child has been abducted while going out trick or treating. That was 35 years ago. Only one case.”
“But the politicians in their campaign to rile up the public about sex offenders (a label that is given out easily and for some very non-serious issues — such as streaking, urinating at the side of the road, or sex between two teenagers) are intentionally fanning the flames of fear for their own personal profit.”
So now because of these laws people who would just as soon be left alone on this particular holiday are being put at risk and being forced to participate in it with the reasoning that is stated in the article.
“One can’t ignore the damn holiday without possibly getting accused of being an offender. For years I’ve safely ignored the holiday. Now, what will the neighbors think? Will they assume that the light is off because a sex offender lives here? Or will they just think an old grump who doesn’t care for being annoyed on Halloween is here? I don’t mind the old grump reputation — I’ve earned it. But damn, that sex offender thing upsets me. The only offending thing about my sex life is that there is damn so little of it. And that doesn’t seem to bother other people much — just me.”
You really need to read the entire article it is a hoot . But it is also very true!