by Judith Evans Thomas
Yesterday, one of our members posted a website for monitering criminals in our neighborhoods. My initial reaction was … great. How nice. I logged onto the National Sex Offender Registry. A cute little bulldog … well the spike collar was a little weird/ugly but got the message across. We were dealing with ugly stuff. At least the dog wasn’t drooling.
In a fit of curiosity I typed in my daughter’s address in Philadelphia. She is newly pregnant and I was curious. Not expecting much I sat back in my chair sipping tea. The web server took a little longer than usual to connect and then I saw a map with lots of squares. Each one marked a different item. One color indicated schools, another logged predators. To my shock/ horror, there were over fifteen men within a five mile radius who had been arrested for rape, child molestation, indecent exposure and other crimes. I ran to my gun closet to get out the AK47 and Glock. Whoops. They were only in my book. I had no real weapon with which I could protect her from these perps.
Half an hour later, I found myself knee deep in print outs of these (mostly 40’s-50”s) amorphous grandfatherly types. What was I going to do with this information? Could I post it all over her home in case one of them appeared at the door delivering pizza? Could I set up cameras monitoring her front door? After an agonizing moment I realized there was nothing I could do. These people live among us and are maybe trying to rehabilitate themselves and maybe waiting for the next victim. There is no way to know or protect ourselves. Fiction is fun. This is reality. What would you do?