Sunday, August 26, 2007

To Kill A Predator

Well, they've finally done it. The Dateline team that tempts, tracks, films, and then hands child molesters over to the police caused some guy to commit suicide as they were sitting outside his house.

I have to say I've been uncomfortable with the whole concept since I first saw the show. Something about reporters doing police work, and particularly the fact that they set these guys (and they are, of course, overwhelmingly, if not uniformly, men) up always smelled of pitchforks and torches to me.

Of course, no one wants to defend child molesters, so my guess is this will go nowhere, at least in terms of public opinion, but it should. According the article Dateline basically did all the police work, and the real police just showed up as bystanders to do the arrest once Dateline has gotten its footage. And while I'm totally for catching people soliciting children online, I'm uncomfortable with ascribing true intentions to everything the john says while the other half of the conversation is being carried on by an adult pretending to be a minor and egging this guy on to say something inappropriate.

This whole thing goes to a larger problem in our society, namely the crazy paranoia we've generated around the whole topic of child molesters. To watch Dateline or Bill O'reilly you'd think you're neighborhood is just crawling with people waiting for your children behind every bush, and that just isn't the case. To my knowledge, there's no evidence of a surge in these sorts of crimes; what has changed is that we're much more knowledgeable and open about these sorts of events.

In any case, just like normal adult on adult rape, I think we need to start distinguishing between different sorts and degrees of crimes, and stop acting like all inappropriate acts between adults and children are the same. Michael Jackson taking thirteen year-olds to his ranch and then giving them wine and a handjob, while immoral and illegal, is just not in the same league as sodomizing eight year-old boys. It's just not.

Of course, if you have sympathy for child molesters (maybe because they tend to be brutally murdered in prison), you're probably with the terrorists as well, so have fun in sunny, beautiful, Guantanamo Bay.

As you can see, I'm kind of straying from the China topic. Having three separate blogs has been annoying, some I'm going to try posting all of my thoughts on this one page, and see how everyone likes it.

Let me know if you love it or hate it.

1 comment:

davinmama said...

re: consolidating blogs -- sounds good! Saves me the clicks of going to each of them separately. ;)