And Then When They're Trapped in the DMV, We'll Lock the Doors and Set It On Fire

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If proponents get their way, sex offenders in the Midwest and South—the region I like to call the Unchecked Suburban Panic Belt—are going to have to get their cars fitted for special day-glo license plates.

Proponents in Wisconsin, Ohio and Alabama say the sex offender plates would be another tool to keep the public safe. Critics say the plates would lead to a false sense of security and unintended consequences.

"For too long child sex predators have been watching our children," said state Rep. Joel Kleefisch, a Wisconsin Republican. "It's time we have an opportunity to watch them back."

Children are color-coded and tagged? Wait, is that what all those parents are buying at Gap Kids?

USA Today gives over some column space to the plan's critics.

Carl Wicklund, executive director of the American Probation and Parole Association, said he isn't sure the license plate laws would make communities safer. He said they potentially could create a false sense of security.

Wicklund said the vast majority of sex offenses are committed by people the victim knows.

"What (lawmakers) try to get across to the public is sex offenders are these people who jump out of the bushes," he said. "That's much more the exception than the rule."

Wicklund also said many lawmakers are reluctant to oppose bills that crack down on sex offenders.

"It takes an awful lot of political capital to say, 'No, that's not the way to go,' " he said.

As all of these damn laws are, the pioneering Ohio law is named after a dead girl ("Kristen's Law").

Ron Bailey-style disclosure: I am not actually a sex offender.

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  1. Dave, an important dependant clause was omitted from your opening sentence: “If proponents get their way, . . . .”

  2. This seems so unfair. Wisconsin is the Arkansas of the north and it got in, but the Wisconsin of the south escaped!

  3. The Kristen of “Kristen’s Law” was abducted, raped, and murdered by a convicted sex offender.

  4. “The Kristen of “Kristen’s Law” was abducted, raped, and murdered by a convicted sex offender.”

    Hurry! Pass a law before your knee stops jerking!

  5. In keeping with what was said above about how most sex offenders are known to their victims before the crime, there is a branch of my family that has multiple kids who have been victimized by sex offenders. In one case, the offender was dating one of my cousins, and did something to my cousin’s daughter. In another case, the offender was a cousin of mine, and did something to his girlfriend’s daughter. (My cousin is out of prison now, and I have no idea where he lives, and a strong preference to never, ever, EVER see him again, so I probably won’t bother finding out where he lives.)

    The two cousins in question are siblings. One is scummy enough to do that sort of thing, and the other one quite predictably dates the sort of guy who would. That branch of the family is plagued by numerous other problems as well, and the bottom line is that it was not the sort of crime that will be solved by license plates (unless the offender is kept behind bars to make the license plates).

    There are basically 3 types of people on these lists:

    1) The rare exceptions for whom it’s intended, i.e. strangers who leap out of the bushes.

    2) The far more common cases of people who already know the victim.

    3) The tragic exceptions who don’t belong on the list, e.g. two people close in age but on opposite sides of the age of consent, or somebody who gets drunk and urinates in public and gets charged with “indecent exposure” rather than the far more appropriate charge of vandalism or littering or whatever.

  6. Why stop at license plates? Why can’t we just tattoo “SEX OFFENDER” is huge letters across their foreheads?

  7. Details on the Ohio proposal from here.

    Under the proposal, the worst sex offenders – habitual sex offenders, predators, and child-victim predators – would have to display the plate on their vehicle for five years.

  8. In Alabama the proposal only involves people who have committed offenses involving children under the age of 12. In Wisconsin the proposal is described as only targeting “the worst of the worst.”

    I’m not saying this is necessarily a good idea, but it would have been nice for all of this information to be in David’s post.

  9. Why stop at license plates? Why can’t we just tattoo “SEX OFFENDER” is huge letters across their foreheads?

    And to make the message clearer, maybe a large bullseye, too.

  10. Call me crazy, but if, um, they are deemed a threat to society why are they released from jail?

  11. “For too long child sex predators have been watching our children,” said state Rep. Joel Kleefisch, a Wisconsin Republican. “It’s time we have an opportunity to watch them back.”

    Kleefisch set up this sentence to make the two types of “watching” parallel, and I don’t think that’s a mistake.

    He wants the public to watch sex offenders the same pedophile rapists watch children – to set up opportunities to vicimize them.

  12. More disclosure! How many Kristens do you know?

  13. I agree with Jaybird and AC

    IronChief, they are realsed from jail because there are judges that don’t take this crime seriously enough

  14. IronChief, they are realsed from jail because there are judges that don’t take this crime seriously enough

    Oh, that’s just BS. What, everyone who might be a repeat offender should get a life sentence?

  15. Ron Bailey-style disclosure: I am not actually a sex offender.

    Yes, but do you play one on tv?

  16. Wow. Now you can be a licensed sex offender!

  17. Re the disclosure, Dave, the question is do you own stock in any sex-offending corporations?

  18. Maybe the law should require that sex offenders be kept in custody until their sixty-fifth birthday, or until they consent to have their nuts chopped off. Or a lobotomy, in which case they could run for office.

  19. I think this kind of paranoia is one time you really can “blame the media”. The 24 cable news channels have taken every story of every kid abducted in this country and made it into a national news story instead of the local stories they should be. I work with very educated otherwise reasonable people and every one of them is convinced that if they let their child out of their sight for more than 10 seconds they will be grabbed by a child molester. It is outright insanity. No matter how many times I point out to them that the number of child abductions per capita is lower now than it ever was or that maybe 2% of all child sex crimes are either older teenagers screwing younger ones or committed by an adult the child knows, there is no convincing them otherwise. If a child is going to be molested, it is overwhelmingly likely that it will be his creepy cousin or his mother’s dirt bag boyfriend. The chances of it being a repeat sex offender who is out trolling in a park somewhere is miniscule.

    All this kind of stuff does is give people some kind of irrational feeling of doing something. I don’t know why we can’t just save time and money and sacrifice a few goats or something to the Gods. It’s the same principle and would do just about as much good.

  20. I’m of two minds on this one.

    On one hand, I tend to think that once a sex offender serves his time he should no longer be stigmatized as such as it prevents him from becoming a productive and law-abiding member of society again.

    On the other hand, sex crimes against children really are the worst possible offense that individuals can commit and so our society is not entirely unjustified in telling people that if they molest or assult children they can expect it to haunt them for the rest of their days.

  21. On the other hand, sex crimes against children really are the worst possible offense that individuals can commit

    Worse than murder?

  22. I wonder if they’ll have sex offender vanity plates now? You know, maybe “Every Life is Sacred,” or “Support Our Troops.”

  23. Why can’t we just tattoo “SEX OFFENDER” is huge letters across their foreheads?

    Oh come on! That’s absurd.
    A little serial number on their forearms would suffice.

  24. Re the disclosure, Dave, the question is do you own stock in any sex-offending corporations?

    IIRC he said on another thread that he was raised Methodist. So I think that puts him in the clear.

  25. Worse than murder?

    I think the argument could be made that the suffering from sexual assault is greater than that of murder, at least from the direct victim’s point of view.

  26. I say we experiment on Dan and get his feedback on which of the 2 is worse.

  27. If “Kristen” is who I think it is (a friend of a friend) then it’s worth noting that she wandered off at a county fair and never came back.

    I don’t see how a green license plate would have helped anything.

  28. If a criminal is dangerous enough to be required to constantly announce his status in public, the sentence for his initial crime wasn’t long enough. Life sentences for the actual molestation of pre-adolescents is not a bad idea completely, but as long as morons like Janet Reno can become prosecutors (as bad Gonzalez is, he never oversaw a witchhunt like Reno did in Dade County), it would likely result in wholly innocent people having their lives completely destroyed.

  29. I think the argument could be made that the suffering from sexual assault is greater than that of murder, at least from the direct victim’s point of view.

    I sometimes wonder about that. Some victims of statutory rape seem to be quite forgiving, even years and years after the fact.

  30. As long as they get their own special parking spots close to the mall, like the handicapped, I’m good with this.

  31. I sort of agree with you Dan T. The problem is the inconsistency. If you say that a child molester deserves 10 years in prison and then you parole him in five you create a legal situation where somebody has to monitor his behavior. It would help a great deal if we had logical sentencing that was proportional to the crime and then once you did your time, you were done.

    I believe that Jacob Sullum cited several studies over time that showed that once child molesters are released from prison, they do better at walking the straight and narrow than people believe.

    While there is some attention to this, it is really important to differentiate between sex crimes against actual children and the sexual activity of teens who sleep with adults (ie, the over 18 crowd).

    If I catch you with my 3rd grader I’ll stick a shotgun somewhere you won’t much like. If I catch with my 15 year old I am gonna be pissed (come on, I’m a dad). I might even kick your butt (as long as you’re not very big). Point being, it just isn’t even close to the same thing at all. Teens may not make the best choices some times but a six year old pretty much lacks the capacity to understand what consent means and how to integrate the idea of consent with the consequences of consenting. To anything.

  32. I sometimes wonder about that. Some victims of statutory rape seem to be quite forgiving, even years and years after the fact.

    I do think we should better differentiate between the various categories of “sex crimes”.

  33. This idea doesn’t sound to me like it’s really about “keeping the children safe.” Remember the third Die Hard movie, where Bruce Willis had to go stand around in Harlem with that sign? I think that is what the proponents of this law are really after.

  34. “I think the argument could be made that the suffering from sexual assault is greater than that of murder, at least from the direct victim’s point of view.”

    Then why don’t sexual assault victims just kill themselves? That is horseshit. You could maybe say that it would be better to be murdered than maimed and left a quadrapolegic, but sexual assault? No way. You can overcome being the victim of rape. Yeah, its hard and rape is a horrible crime, but murder is a bit harder to overcome.

  35. Oops, I’m not really Bubba Gump’s Buddy.

  36. Then why don’t sexual assault victims just kill themselves? That is horseshit. You could maybe say that it would be better to be murdered than maimed and left a quadrapolegic, but sexual assault? No way. You can overcome being the victim of rape. Yeah, its hard and rape is a horrible crime, but murder is a bit harder to overcome.

    I was talking about suffering, and murdered people don’t suffer.

    The real victims of a murder are the friends and family of the deceased, that’s who actually suffers.

  37. I think the argument could be made that the suffering from sexual assault is greater than that of murder, at least from the direct victim’s point of view.

    By taking this stance, you incentivize sex offenders to kill their prey.

  38. Under the proposal, the worst sex offenders – habitual sex offenders, predators, and child-victim predators – would have to display the plate on their vehicle for five years.

    To echo what others have said: if they’ve already been proven to be that much of a threat, why aren’t they locked up? Seems to me, something’s missing in this equation — as in, the necessary proof that the individual question poses the threat that’s being claimed.

    Reminds me of the “warrantless wiretap to catch the turrists” debate: the administration says that (a) we know these people are terrorists, but (b) we don’t have probable cause to get a warrant. If you know they’re terrorists, then in order to know that, you’d already have sufficient information to establish probable cause, and get your warrant that way. The very fact that the government needs the warrantless tap establishes that it’s original claim — “we know they’re terrorists” — has to be false.

    So back to this: if you know they’re violent sex offenders — enough to tag their cars — then how could you simultaneously release them into society? Lengthy prison sentences are already available to people whose crimes match the “habitual/predatory” label. So either the people they’re targeting aren’t that type after all, or else, someone has decided that specialized license plates work better than jail.

    Oh and also, I hear tell that sex offenders can do things like walk, take the bus, borrow cars, rent cars (oh! better close that loophole!), take the subway, and ride bikes.

  39. I think the argument could be made that the suffering from sexual assault is greater than that of murder, at least from the direct victim’s point of view.

    It is certainly true that the suffering in some rapes is worse than the suffering in some murders, but “suffering” is not the only criterion in determining which crime is “worse.” I vote for murder’s being worse, since the victim has no opportunity for revenge a la I Spit On Your Grave.

  40. err… last sentence, paragraph 1 should say: “individual IN question…”

  41. “JW | May 3, 2007, 10:10am | #
    As long as they get their own special parking spots close to the mall, like the handicapped, I’m good with this.’

    Worthy of the Vox Pops section of The Onion!

    Well challenged!

  42. Let me put it this way: murder is worse for society, sexual assault is worse for the victim.

  43. Should also add, per the headline to this post: I do agree with Dave’s DMV-torching proposal.

  44. Clarification,

    What I meant was that I sort of agree with Dan on this:

    I’m of two minds on this one.

    On one hand, I tend to think that once a sex offender serves his time he should no longer be stigmatized as such as it prevents him from becoming a productive and law-abiding member of society again.

    On the other hand, sex crimes against children really are the worst……assult children they can expect it to haunt them for the rest of their days.

    I don’t necessarily think it’s worse than murder, which John points out is hard to overcome, but I do know someone who was repeatedly abused as a child and I can assure you, she has tried to kill herself a number of times and her life is a shambles, filled with misery and psychosis. Easy to say she should get over it but the shrinks, the drugs, and the church have all had exactly the same effect. Zero.

  45. I’ve nothing but gratitude for the 38 year old lady who “molested” me when I was 13. That was 25 years ago, I’d still love to see her again just to thank her.

  46. I say we experiment on Dan and get his feedback on which of the 2 is worse.

    That was uncalled for.

  47. Is there any reason why someone required to use special license plates on cars they own would not arrange for a friendly person or legal entity to own their primary vehicle? What about those who use public transportation (or private mass transit)?

    Perhaps it would be more effective to require them to wear or prominently display some kind of badge? A triangle color coded to the nature of their sexual deviancy, displayed on the left shoulder maybe?

    Does anyone have any idea what the breakdown of the numbers is, in terms of the distribution of perp/vic age combinations, and the ratio of consensual to non-consensual sex crimes?

    BTW, a friend of mine recently had a lady knock on his door and warn him that a man had been seen sitting in a car watching kids go to and from school in the neighborhood recently. A quick check of the Washington State Sex Offender Information Center finds that about 300 yards away from where that friend lives lives a guy convicted of raping a child. The information center will happily show you a photo and simple ID for any “class II or class III sex offender” in whatever region of the state you care to search. It shows photo, gender, ethnicity, height, weight, age, hair & eye color, the name and degree of the crime convicted of, the jurisdiction, and “RCW” whatever that is. And address. The address has the bottom two digits of the street number Xed out, so it’s only precise to one block, which might, possibly, deter the most casual of Lawrence Trants or Stephen Marshalls.

  48. Uncalled for, but taken in stride. I was pretty much asking for that one!

  49. Fast-forward 10 years of Liberal rule:

    “So I’m passionate about young persons, who are in no way any less of a person than an adult and therefore should not be treated differently. If there’s nothing wrong with a man and woman, or man and man, to make love, why is it so wrong for a man and girl/boy? We Lovers of Children (and who deosn’t love children) are being persecuted for our lifestyle and demand equal rights! We will no longer stand by being illegaly monitored and labeled and treated as second-class citizens and criminals. If you are against us, then you hate children. See you at the Child Love Day Parade!”

  50. If you’re going to experiment on Dave, you have to do the experiments in the proper logical sequence. Just sayin’…

  51. …and also if you’re going to experiment on Dan.

  52. On the other hand, sex crimes against children really are the worst possible offense that individuals can commit

    True, but people that talk at the theater are just as bad.

  53. In the NYC metro area, John Gambling (a morning talk-show host w/ a fairly big following) has suggested that all people convicted of a sex crime should be sentenced to life because “these people never change.” The quote is part of the bumper promo for his show.

  54. Dan T. — I’ll give you this, you’ve got balls.

    What you’ve left out of the calculation is the murder victim’s lost period of living. You have to ask whether someone would prefer to have more life even though burdened by physical pain / traumatic memories / depression / etc. That burden has to become pretty heavy before most people would rather not have more life.

  55. IronChief, they are released from jail because there are judges that don’t take this crime seriously enough.

    …or we have a justice system based in part on the belief that people can learn from even their most heinous transgressions and reform their beliefs and behavior.

    Let me put it this way: murder is worse for society, sexual assault is worse for the victim.

    This belief is just based on the low response rate of victims in post-murder studies.

  56. I guess the question of whether or not murder is worse than sexual assault, etc. is kind of sidetracking from my main point.

    That is, I can’t say it’s entirely a bad thing that we treat sex offenders like we do, but it may still be counterproductive.

  57. Here in Orlando there have been a number of suburban towns which have decided to ban sex offenders from living there. Last year there was a big stink raised about a sex offender (who was apparently elderly) that was living in a house located on a busy road in one of the towns where their presence had been banned, and people went out and put up signs saying “a sex offender lives here” in the medians of the road pointing towards the house. On other days there were people out picketing in front of his house to get him to move, which he eventually did.

    Personally, I think we shouldn’t just assume all sex criminals will be repeat offenders. The current system (banning them from living in towns, mandatory monitoring, license plates, etc.) assumes all sex criminals will be repeat offenders. Perhaps they are more likely to repeat than other offenders, but I personally feel our society would be better if you really got a clean slate after you left prison so that you could really, if you wanted to, get back into regular society (no public criminal records, no watch lists, etc.)

    That being said, I’m a believer that people who really ARE repeat offenders should have the book thrown at them. For a sex crime, I think on your second offense you should either face mandatory castration or life in prison.

  58. As long as they get their own special parking spots close to the mall, like the handicapped, I’m good with this.

    More likely, they’ll only be allowed to park in special day-glo green spaces. Two such spaces will be provided under a bridge somewhere.

  59. I’d reference another time and place when government required certain people to set themselves apart, but someone would probably invoke Godwin’s Law.

    I’d jokingly suggest they should require all sex offenders to similarly wear a scarlet letter, but the people of the panic belt don’t need any new ideas.

  60. Let this be a warning to all once and future sex offenders:

    kill your victims.

  61. I suppose I’d feel better about laws like these too if I knew it was only the serial child molesters who were being branded for life. …rather than some twenty-something kid who didn’t realize that “no” meant “no” or some kid who just turned eighteen and was found under carnal knowledge with his barely underage, high school sweetheart.

    It seems like there’s a difference.

    …and why are so many apparent serial child molesters being released into society in the first place?

  62. Obligatory comedy-sketch-becomes-reality link:
    http://danwho.net/mp/index.php?id=mrshow_rapist

  63. I’m of two minds on this one.

    OVERSTATEMENT OF THE DAY

  64. My mother never let me go to camp when I was a little kid, because she thought I’d be scared to get undressed in front of little boys.

    Well, I’ve changed a lot, ’cause I kind of like it now.

    That’s not true. I like it a lot.

    That’s not true. I’m not a senator.

  65. That was uncalled for.

    Cranky again today T?

    What’s uncalled for is the idiotic idea that it’s better to be killed than raped, just because the victim doesn’t have to think about it later and get all verklempt.

    I don’t have a problem with Freakonomics-type ideas and their moral implications of decision making, better to have only 1 million killed in an unavoidable calamity than 1 billion, but Dan’s point has no point. (I sound like I’m surprised.)

    I suppose I should be happy that he at least went beyond simple-minded trolling for a change.

  66. I’d jokingly suggest they should require all sex offenders to similarly wear a scarlet letter, but the people of the panic belt don’t need any new ideas.

    How about a big, red “S”?

  67. How many parents will now be grateful for the opportunity to entertain their young children on long motor trips by addressing the new questions these plates will raise!

  68. Let this be a warning to all once and future sex offenders:

    kill your victims.

    How does that make sense? So they can go to prison forever on a murder charge, instead of being set free and only having to put up with having a stupid license plate?

  69. In Terry Jones’ film Eric The Viking, Eric stops a rape by spearing the rapist but the spear goes all the way through the attacker and gets the victim as well.

    The victim’s dying words were something like, “Thank you for saving me from a fate worse than death.”

  70. Somehow, NoStar’s comments for a thread like this are perfect for comment #69.

    Somehow…

  71. Not withstanding the ineffectiveness of it all, would the tagged offender have a right to sue the state for all the damage inflicted on their automobile?

    If no, what happens when they can’t get auto insurance? What if they take the plates off? Are they ticketed or is it back to prison?

    Seems pretty hare-brained to me.

  72. VM,
    Part of me wishes I had the foresite and timing to have done it purposefully. Another part of me appreciates the serendipity. And yet another voice in my head thinks it creepy to be associated with post 69 in a thread about sexual predators.

  73. NoStar:

    The irony in that scene works well for #69!

    (and now we shall sing the song that goes “tom tom te tum tum”)

  74. What if a sex offender rents a car?

  75. “Call me crazy, but if, um, they are deemed a threat to society why are they released from jail?”

    I imagine they need the prison space for painkiller-prescribing doctors and other social menaces.

    Dangerousness should be a factor in sentencing, but a key factor should be the gravity of the wrong. Sex offenses against children are up there on the scale.

    Predicting future dangerousness is not an exact science – the justice system has enough problems figuring out who’s committed crimes in the *past,* much less predicting who will commit crimes in the future.

  76. You know, there’s another variable to consider here: While I appreciate the importance of protecting the community, if you decide to let somebody out from behind bars you can only go so far before it becomes impossible for him to earn a living lawfully.

    Once it’s impossible for somebody to earn a living lawfully, he’ll either take to unlawful occupations or just re-offend to get himself back behind bars with “3 hots and a cot.”

    Think carefully about the incentives here.

  77. VM | May 3, 2007, 10:20am | #

    Oh, and VM, thanks!

  78. I think this kind of paranoia is one time you really can “blame the media”. – John

    I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone when I tell them that Rep. Kleefish, before he got involved in electoral politics, was an on-air reporter for Milwaukee’s WISN-TV (Channel 12.)

    We ought to make up our minds as to whether those who act on their urges to commit sexual acts on minors are fit to remain in society or not. If their recidivism is inevitable and a cure for their condition unattainable, then they are more properly treated as incurably mentally ill than as criminals. The Supreme Court has approved laws that have allowed the states to extend supervision over these people even after their sentences have been fully served, brushing aside complaints that those were punisdhments added ex post facto. If our government won’t sentence these offenders to life without parole, nor civilly commit them to mental institutions, at some point they will be released into society.

    Some of my fellow Cheeseheads have suggested that, since nobody wants these folks in their neighborhood, we should build an artificial island in Lake Michigan and exile them there. (Somebody might have read Heinlein’s Coventry, or be nostalgic for Botany Bay.)

    Kevin

  79. Some of my fellow Cheeseheads have suggested that, since nobody wants these folks in their neighborhood, we should build an artificial island in Lake Michigan and exile them there. (Somebody might have read Heinlein’s Coventry, or be nostalgic for Botany Bay.)

    Couldn’t we just leave them all on Ceti Alpha V?

  80. KHAAANNNN!!!!!

  81. The prison ships won’t be able to launch until we get the spaceport up and running.

    Kevin

  82. …and why are so many apparent serial child molesters being released into society in the first place?

    To make room for the pot smokers?

  83. I realize I have a long post here, but it is extremely important. No matter HOW your views on sex offenders are (I tend to lean toward wanting them segregated in colonies if not in prison), hear me out.

    First let me say that I have no love of sex offenders, and I do believe that they are a special type of criminal that needs certain extra-Constitutional restrictions placed on them. However, I would like to say that pervo-marked license plates on vehicles is a VERY BAD IDEA.

    Before I go on, I wish to state a disclaimer: I am taking care of a relative who was paralyzed in an incident involving a road rage assault. She was a pedestrian when a car ran another car off the road into her. The reason? The guy in the first car had flipped off the assaulter. Neither of them were hurt, but my aunt is living with the consequences in pain for the rest of her life.

    Without a doubt, when most people associate “sex offender” with “child rapist murderer”, or at LEAST that association comes with regard to their own children. Therefore, by putting a license plate on their car signifying them as such, you will CLEARLY create a VERY DANGEROUS situation.

    First, let me say that most people, when they see a car with a sex offender plate, their heart immediately races and their adrenaline goes to town, so right off the bat, their driving control will be affected. Now note: I said when they see a car with a plate, NOT if they see a sex offender!! You see, sex offenders may have families who also need to drive the car, and they have children whom are also going to be passengers in the car. So right off the bat, those people will be in JUST as much danger as the sex offender.

    To continue: I don’t think the legislature understands the concept of “road rage”. That is, simply, a situation where people whose adrenaline has been affected by bad drivers, where they react, usually subconsciously and without thinking, by responding to the bad driving event with one of their own. Perhaps speeding up to tailgate, or to pass and cut off, or any other form of retribution that can endanger not only the drivers and occupants of both vehicles, but of OTHER vehicles and pedestrians in the area.

    Do you see where I am going? Put together the fact that most people’s blood will race when they see something that represents a very conscious threat, a sex offender, with the fact that road rage usually results from said responses to threat.

    Result: Many cars will be run off the road, and many people will be hurt or die. While most people would not complain and actually cheer the death of an offender in this manner, and perhaps exonerate the road rage driver in a court of law, what would happen if INNOCENT people were hurt or killed? (I’m using the term “innocent”, by the way, to differentiate the offender from non-offenders; technically, the offender is just as “innocent” as any other citizen, but I’m splitting hairs).

    I’ll be honest: if I see a car with a pervo plate myself, I don’t know WHAT I’d do. If I, a rational person with a healthy interest in maintaining safety for my own children and family, can be brought to the edge by such a sighting, what would happen if the person ALREADY unstable, or perhaps former victim, decides (or reacts) to run the car off the road?

    I’m not even talking about the obvious things, like vandalism, because many people wouldn’t care if this happened. I’m strictly talking about the actual safety of the other drivers and pedestrians themselves with regard to the law.

    I’ve been long winded here, but I hope I’ve given food for thought to other people. Do we truly want to risk the lives from PROVABLE cause (road rage)? I mean, what is the TRUE upside of having a license law for sex offenders that can justify those provable risks?

  84. the region I like to call the Unchecked Suburban Panic Belt

    Aren’t you from said area Weigel?

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