Monday, August 13, 2007

Giving up liberty... for what?

Sorry for the long absence. Vacation followed by another computer crash, but at least the "password issue" was better in hand this time and I am back.

Listening to the radio today, it sounds like the region I live in today is about to undergo big attempts to implement the laws that have been failing or worse, elsewhere in the country. There's no doubt that a lot of folks will be lured into such counterproductive measures.

No matter how much liberty they give up in the process, in exchange for the false promise of a little more security.

For example, if it is legal for a locale to arbitrarily zone out convicted sex offenders, why can it not also zone out convicted drink-drivers (there aren't many arterials where I live, so the probability of encountering some may be increased)? Murderers? Thieves? Meth-makers? Speeders? Car-thieves (victim of that more than once, and once is Too Often!)? Many landlords might like to advertise to potential occupants of their rental units that the units are in a Convicted-Offender-Free Zone!

...with the appropriate disclaimers in the really fine print, and woe the poor sap who buys into it. Just like the victims, their husbands, parents and boyfriends who buy into the promise of "sex-offender non-residency" laws.

As I've said before on this blog, these law only create "target-rich environments."

(Hm! On a hunch I revisited the Bureau of Justice Statistics Report "Sex Offenders and Offenses" and on Table 2, printed page 21, it turns out that of those imprisoned in state prisons for "rape and sexual assault" 48.2% are black, 48.1% white, 3.7% "other". Given the study results in "Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 1997", the same year as the previous study, one finds the race breakout: black = 42.0%, white = 40.6%, hispanic = 15.7%. It seems obvious that Hispanics will be lumped in with white if their category disappears, therefore the sex-offender laws are disproportionately racist against blacks. Or at least there might be those who would argue such.)


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