Finally! Someone in a position of power made the perspicacious point that, in 96 percent of Kane County children sexual abuse cases, the child knew their attacker. State’s Attorney Joe McMahon cited this statistic in an effort to raise awareness during Child Abuse Prevention Month.
And it’s a critical insight too! Because while we regular folks cling to the myth that this heinous crime only comes at the hand of nebulous outsiders, the truth is, the vast majority of sex offenders “groom” their prey right under the parents’ oblivious noses.
But instead of coming to terms with this stark reality, we create things like sex offender lists, which not only fails to address the problem, but make it worse because parents have an amazing capacity to be secure in doing absolutely the wrong thing.
For example, when they caught a man with child pornography in my subdivision a few years back, the neighbors’ response was to have the nearby school bus stop moved. Yeah! That’ll fix it.
The reason we believe random child abductions is the norm is, generally, that’s the only thing the press reports. And while those kinds of things do happen, as our State’s Attorney duly noted, sex abuse is almost always the result of a family member, relative, friend, or neighbor – in that order.
So our only defense is the kind vigilance Joe described:
“The vast majority of children are being abused in the home by somebody they know. As a community, it is all of our responsibility to speak up when we see something.”
Child sex abuse actually does occur in a vacuum, so let’s keep our eyes open.
But I don’t always agree with our State’s Attorney and our biggest bone of contention is No Refusal Weekends. These “events” may not be as bad as “Roadside Safety Checks” because they actually require probable cause, but pulling people over for a probable DUI and obtaining a “search warrant” to draw blood from any recalcitrant drivers ain’t the way America’s supposed to work.
And anyone with half a brain knows it!
Of course suspects can refuse the blood draw, but then they’re charged with felony obstruction which falls just short of strapping them to the gurney and inserting the syringe anyway.
And the fact that a series of judges have determined the practice to be constitutional, doesn’t mean squat! Slavery, beating your wife (the rule of thumb!), segregation, anti-women’s suffrage, child labor, and child abuse were all upheld by the men in black for decades.
The end – getting chronic drunk drivers off the road – is laudable. The means – abridging the Constitution – are not. Red light cameras, Roadside Safety Checks, and seeking a search warrant to get blood, are blatant violations of that hallowed document and a judges propensity to side with law enforcement doesn’t change this Fourth Amendment reality one bit.
What’s far worse is, when police officers and prosecutors circumvent the law to enforce it, they lose credibility. If you really want to get repeat DUI offenders off the road, CHANGE THE BLEEPIN’ LAWS. There are no chronic drunk drivers in northern Europe because they’re all in jail.
And the ugly
Look, I’m sad to see Haeger’s Pottery in East Dundee close their doors for no other reason than I never want to hear that any business is throwing in the towel. These things tend to have nasty ripple effect too. But by the endless newspaper rending of garments comments and social media gnashing of teeth posts you’d think the local target had run out of blond hair coloring.
One hundred forty-five years in business? How many entrepreneurial enterprises can claim that? All I can say is, that’s one hell of a run.
As I read of the dire commentary regarding NAFTA, our nefarious black President, and the goddam commies, I wanted to ask all these folks one thing. How many of the 500 or so who weighed in on this conversation actually purchased something from Haeger’s in the last five years?
But I didn’t ask the question, because I already know the answer. Zero, zilch, nada, нуль, bupkis, nil, nobody, and zip. External market forces didn’t kill Haeger’s, it was our decision to shop elsewhere that did them in. If just half of those finger waving, foot stomping social media shills bought just one pottery item every three months, Haeger’s would be doing just fine.
Don’t get me wrong! Choosing not to patronize a business for bad service, bad food, a bad attitude, and bad products is certainly the appropriate response. But passing Heager’s by because you could get it cheaper at Home Depot? That’s a conscious choice my friend! If you don’t like NAFTA then, by all means, show you distaste by paying more for an American-made product.
So if you really want to see the only reason Heager’s business’s demise, please avail yourself of the bathroom mirror.