What should we do to save our children?

Weir Thinking About It

Have you ever scared away imaginary monsters so your child can go to sleep? How about the real monsters who snatch children off the street or from their bedrooms in the middle of the night?

On a recent MSNBC program, 'Scarborough Country,' the host talked about the epidemic of child abductions and violence against women. The host, and every guest, demonstrated their disgust for the despicable people who prey on children and women. In addition, they proposed a new federal law and a larger database for authorities to use in locating possible pedophiles and rapists known to be in the areas where the crimes were committed.

All of the above measures are important, but they hardly represent anything new in the fight against the depraved predators who live, work, and walk among us. Passing another law is not the answer, it is merely a public palliative that takes the place of substantive action. When it comes to crime, we don't act, we react; that's why our prisons are filled to capacity.

Our senseless justice system allows the inveterate criminal to treat prison as a home away from home; a rendezvous with his malevolent colleagues who, from time to time, gather together like members of an antisocial fraternal organization. The simple fact is the criminal has no fear of the law.

What our judges and legislators refuse to admit is that all the laws in the world can't protect innocent people from criminals who are willing to risk capture because they've been there, done that, and are no worse off from the experience.

Take the case of Richard Allen Davis, the California rapist—murderer of 12 year—old Polly Klaas in 1993. Davis had been in and out of prison several times for crimes against women before that awful day when he kidnapped little Polly and ended her young life. When he was arrested, he played with the police interrogators, scoffed at the grieving parents, and gave a vulgar sign with his finger to the jury when he was found guilty. Now, this monster sits on Death Row in San Quentin, but has a web page in which he exhibits his 'artwork,' an assortment of painted wooden craft items which he updates regularly, in between answering love letters from demented women who want to marry him.

How many other creatures are lurking in our neighborhoods, waiting for the chance to run off with a child whose mother or father has momentarily looked away? Why are these predators not afraid of the punishment they would suffer if caught? Because, to these cretins, what we call punishment is laughable.

We must, as a society, recognize that criminal types are not like us. We fear incarceration, loss of liberty, the shame of an arrest record, and the company of criminals in close proximity while in prison. Those who have already destroyed their future may feel they have little left to lose.

That makes them very dangerous, and if we don't do something to make them fear the law, then we may as well admit that the safety of our children is not as important as the coddling of pedophiles and child killers.

We live in an era in which the mere mention of harshness toward lawbreakers causes loud gasps among the demonstrably civilized. Yet, how civilized can we be if we are unwilling to take the necessary measures to protect our children from the lustful eyes of murderous brutes?

It's been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It should be painfully obvious that we're not preventing violent crimes by using the same ineffective laws. Those who have been raised in an atmosphere of violence are not impressed by niceness and civility; it's viewed as weakness, something to be exploited.

Somewhere along the line we must come to grips with some hard facts of life. If we could save some of our children from a horrible experience and/or death by placing rapists and pedophiles in morbid fear of pain upon conviction, would it be worth it?

I'm sick of hearing excuses about why people become criminals. I don't care about their childhood poverty, their parental abandonment, or any other implied justification for their acts of depravity. Our most important responsibility is the protection of our children. If we're too cowardly or squeamish to take appropriate steps to scare away the real monsters, we don't deserve to be called parents. 

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com

Weir Thinking About It

Have you ever scared away imaginary monsters so your child can go to sleep? How about the real monsters who snatch children off the street or from their bedrooms in the middle of the night?

On a recent MSNBC program, 'Scarborough Country,' the host talked about the epidemic of child abductions and violence against women. The host, and every guest, demonstrated their disgust for the despicable people who prey on children and women. In addition, they proposed a new federal law and a larger database for authorities to use in locating possible pedophiles and rapists known to be in the areas where the crimes were committed.

All of the above measures are important, but they hardly represent anything new in the fight against the depraved predators who live, work, and walk among us. Passing another law is not the answer, it is merely a public palliative that takes the place of substantive action. When it comes to crime, we don't act, we react; that's why our prisons are filled to capacity.

Our senseless justice system allows the inveterate criminal to treat prison as a home away from home; a rendezvous with his malevolent colleagues who, from time to time, gather together like members of an antisocial fraternal organization. The simple fact is the criminal has no fear of the law.

What our judges and legislators refuse to admit is that all the laws in the world can't protect innocent people from criminals who are willing to risk capture because they've been there, done that, and are no worse off from the experience.

Take the case of Richard Allen Davis, the California rapist—murderer of 12 year—old Polly Klaas in 1993. Davis had been in and out of prison several times for crimes against women before that awful day when he kidnapped little Polly and ended her young life. When he was arrested, he played with the police interrogators, scoffed at the grieving parents, and gave a vulgar sign with his finger to the jury when he was found guilty. Now, this monster sits on Death Row in San Quentin, but has a web page in which he exhibits his 'artwork,' an assortment of painted wooden craft items which he updates regularly, in between answering love letters from demented women who want to marry him.

How many other creatures are lurking in our neighborhoods, waiting for the chance to run off with a child whose mother or father has momentarily looked away? Why are these predators not afraid of the punishment they would suffer if caught? Because, to these cretins, what we call punishment is laughable.

We must, as a society, recognize that criminal types are not like us. We fear incarceration, loss of liberty, the shame of an arrest record, and the company of criminals in close proximity while in prison. Those who have already destroyed their future may feel they have little left to lose.

That makes them very dangerous, and if we don't do something to make them fear the law, then we may as well admit that the safety of our children is not as important as the coddling of pedophiles and child killers.

We live in an era in which the mere mention of harshness toward lawbreakers causes loud gasps among the demonstrably civilized. Yet, how civilized can we be if we are unwilling to take the necessary measures to protect our children from the lustful eyes of murderous brutes?

It's been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It should be painfully obvious that we're not preventing violent crimes by using the same ineffective laws. Those who have been raised in an atmosphere of violence are not impressed by niceness and civility; it's viewed as weakness, something to be exploited.

Somewhere along the line we must come to grips with some hard facts of life. If we could save some of our children from a horrible experience and/or death by placing rapists and pedophiles in morbid fear of pain upon conviction, would it be worth it?

I'm sick of hearing excuses about why people become criminals. I don't care about their childhood poverty, their parental abandonment, or any other implied justification for their acts of depravity. Our most important responsibility is the protection of our children. If we're too cowardly or squeamish to take appropriate steps to scare away the real monsters, we don't deserve to be called parents. 

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com