Tuesday, March 15, 2016

surprised by WAR: "it takes a moment to digest that such a group exists"

The Daily News (TDN.com) out of Longview WA ran an opinion piece expressing shock at an email they received in response to an earlier story about a vigilante "sex abuse sting." After telling the reader,
Let’s be clear, The Daily News does not support vigilantism, we think local law enforcement does a great job and we should stay out of their way 
...TDN goes on to explain which vigilante operations they do support.
There have been all types of vigilantes throughout history. Some romanticized in fiction like Robin Hood, Superman and Batman. And then there are groups and individuals like the Guardian Angels and John Walsh.
No one can dispute the amazing work of people like John Walsh from his television program “America’s Most Wanted” and we aren’t going to start. Nor are we going to weigh in on the pros and cons of what Curtis Hart did this past week.
True to part of their word, they do not weigh in on the cons of what Curtis Hart did.
What we are concerned about is what happened after we ran the stories.
We received an email from a group called WAR, Women Against Registry.
And then...the belly laugh:
It takes a moment to digest that such a group exists, a group that defends the privacy of sex offenders and is against a national registry.
It takes a moment. Really? A whole moment??
Their entire organization is about educating the public as to how the sex offender suffers after they have been convicted of a crime of a sexual nature and stopping laws that are put in place to protect society from sex offenders. On the homepage of their website, the group tag line is “Fighting the Destruction of Families.” 
We found this quote on the brochure emailed to us, “We, the members of WAR, feel that it is time to stop the cruelty. It is time to reform the registry for the good of the over three million family members of registered sex offenders who live under the invisible punishments of the registry every day.” 
So it appears, at first glance that this group is claiming that it’s the registration of the sex offender that’s harming the offender’s family, not the act they are found guilty of committing.
WAR is also against the reauthorization of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.  
Once they loosened their grasp on their pearls, it seems they did read the email from WAR and absorbed what it said. Until...

In the midst of a re-telling of the Adam Walsh story, they lose all sense of perspective. After detailing the gruesome crime:
The details of the crime are disturbing, yet sadly, not uncommon.
Not uncommon? After discussing the decapitation of a child, they pronounce it not uncommon.

No wonder they are shocked that anyone could oppose the registry! They are completely disconnected from reality.
Women Against Registry are opposed to the Adam Walsh Act. They claim this law harms the offender and their families because they might not be able to keep or find a job, they are threatened by members of the general public, the offenders suffer from depression, anxiety and are teased.
 Teased. Yes, sex offenders are teased. They are also murdered right there in Washington state.
We don’t agree with the public harming, harassing, assaulting, either verbally or physically.
They don't agree with tormenting sex offenders in the same way TDN "does not support vigilantism."
But what about the victim? What about the family of the victims?
If TDN is concerned about the family of the victim, have they considered what it must feel like for the family to hear details of the child's death over and over again?
Is society better served by the public knowing where these predators are living? [My emphasis.]
Now, there's a question a good journalist would love to dig into. Is society better served knowing where these predators are living? Much research has been done on this question, leaving us to wonder which studies will be cited to answer it. Their answer:
We thinks [sic] so and, as parents, we appreciate these laws.
Oh, TDN! You think so?

If that's the best they can do to answer a question easily answered with facts, then it is time for WAR to fire off another email.

Maybe this time TDN will absorb all of what WAR says.

You think so?

1 comment:

Shelomith Stow said...

Good piece; I also was outraged by that article. I wrote a rebuttal piece, contacted the online editor of TDN who agreed to consider it, and sent it to her. No printing of it yet; I will contact her today. If they don't print it, I will put it on my blog and offer it to WAR for their blog.