Saturday, July 5, 2008

Chris Hansen is my hero.

OK, maybe not my hero, but he is a pretty good guy. Ever seen To Catch A Predator or whatever it's called? Well, there is a marathon on MSNBC right now, and Chris is busting these pedophiles left and right. Now, I personally believe that he is doing a great public service. These guys need to be off the street.

Here's where I have my problem:

I'm torn between the idea of getting creeps off the street and the idea of arresting someone for something that they haven't done yet. Trust me, I'd rather err on the side of caution and lock all these guys up, but part of me wonders how it's possible to charge someone for attempting to do something. It makes me think of Minority Report and other similar "thought police" situations.

Attempted murder is a criminal offense. Drunk driving (even if no harm or damage is done to person or property) is a criminal offense. In this case, attempted sex with a minor is the charge being levied against the predators. Great, fine by me, all of these things are horrible things. Just make sure that we don't set a dangerous precedent. There needs to be a line between charging someone when we are 100% sure that they are going to commit a crime, and arresting someone for thinking out loud. Or maybe a person plans to commit a crime, but later changes his mind and does the right thing. There have been times when I've gotten into my car after drinking and started it up. I sat there, and as the world spun around me, I leaned my head back and closed my eyes. The conclusion that I quickly came to was this: "Man, you're wasted, get back inside and get some sleep." So I shut the car off, crawled inside, passed out, got a penis sharpied on my forehead, and everyone was happy and safe. Technically, I committed a crime. Apparently, even starting a car classifies as operating it under the influence.

Here's what I'm getting at. Please catch the murderers, the rapists, the robbers, and the pedophiles. Just take care not to hurt the small fish who are far from hurting anyone, and are just trying to figure out how to do the right thing. Thinking about committing a crime is not the same thing as setting up a crime or actually committing one.

And Chris? You get them damn pedos. Rock on brother.

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