There is an unexpected trend beginning to emerge in America. The public registry of criminals.
It began with the Sex Offender Registry. Every sex offender was required to registry with local authorities upon release from prison and ever time they change residence. Names, address, photo and nature of the offense is publicly available online. The idea is to allow parents a better means to protect kids because of the high rate of repeat offenders. Also, it ensures previous offenders are not too close to schools and day cares where they will presumably sit in their front window and leer at kids all day.
As a father of two girls, this always seemed like a pretty good idea.
But now some communities are taking this to a new level. The “gun offender” registry is coming online in Baltimore in January. Purportedly a key component in the crime-fighting plan, a new bill requires gun offenders to register their address every six months. Offenders who don’t register, or who don’t report a change of address, could face up to a year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
The bill is justified in the local paper because, “Police say about half of suspects arrested on homicide charges have prior gun convictions.”
I read this a few days ago but waited until I had some time to think about it. After much mental wandering interspersed with brief moments of clarity and logical thought, I have concluded that this is the greatest idea I have ever heard! My only question is, “why have we done so little with this registry thing?”
Here are some more great registry ideas that should be implemented ASAP:
- National Registry of Drug Related Offenders: It is well known that drug users are not to be trusted. Even reformed “clean” users are just one slip away from slipping back to their old ways of crack cocaine and B & E. Why risk your home to a neighbor who might be barely teetering on the edge drug induced insanity and lawlessness? Plus, this is another way we can spend our taxes on the ever popular War on Drugs!
National Registry for Speeders: Just ask the insurance company, people who speed are a risk to others and are more likely to be in an accident. If my kid is going to play near the street or ride a bike, I should be able to know who is the “risky” driver in the neighborhood. Maybe a GPS tracking and alert system would be helpful.National Bad Credit Registry: Maybe this would help us all get along if it was a easy to use online database to see which neighbors might want to borrow money. Even more important, who is less likely to pay you back. All sorts of fights (crime) break out over small personal debts. Having this quick reference could help stem the violence.
National Registry for Over Due Library Book Offenders: How great would it be to know which neighbor you can loan books to and which ones are gonna forget to return them? I wanna know!
So there you have it. A fool-proof plan to fix all our troubles and keep track of all the undesirables in our communities.
One issue… after all this is implemented, most people will probably be scared to leave their home. That creates a new problem. If everyone is staying indoors, there will be no way to weed out the minority types (another risky neighbor) from lowering property values. So lets add one more, a National Ethnicity Registry. And then we can all be safe.
…or we could all just mind our own business.