That Sticker on My Car Is NOT Endangering Me!

Readers — Here’s an alarming idea with no basis in fact, as far as I can fathom. The idea:

Have a picture of little Bobby in his football gear and a “My Son is an Honor Student at Kelley Middle School” bumper sticker?

Congratulations, you just told the world and anyone who may want to harm your child, where they can find him.

sticker

Because otherwise, no predator could ever find a school football player at…a school? Possibly playing football? This smug reporter is  suggesting that:

1) Someone is out there who wants to harm your child specifically, for some reason, but

2) Simply could not figure out how to find him. Ah, but by reading the hieroglyphics on your bumper, he is set! I especially love the fact that a stick figure dog tells him that he need not worry, because it’s a “non guard dog” — a fact one can easily ascertain, thanks to the incredibly accuracy of stick figures.

“Congratulations” — author. You have just succumbed to Worst-First Thinking: Thinking up the very worst thing that could happen thanks to some dumb little stickers, and are now spreading this bizarre fear around. And what of all those predators who only pounce on honor students of the month? – L

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96 Responses to That Sticker on My Car Is NOT Endangering Me!

  1. CJ March 31, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    In internet parlance, this is called spreading FUD… Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

  2. Uly March 31, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    And if don’t use stickers, nobody will ever know that middle schools exist.

  3. Coasterfreak March 31, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

    Oh no! About a year ago I put some stickers on my car! They include an adult male, adult female, a late teenage boy, a preteen girl, a baby, a dog, a cat, and a goldfish in a bowl. All zombies. It’s all incredibly accurate, too! Well, except our oldest is a girl (24 years old), the middle is a boy (22 years old) and the youngest is a boy (15 years old – hardly a baby), our dog is small (not large like the zombie dog), and we have no cat or goldfish. About the only accurate thing is that the adult male zombie is taller than the adult female zombie, and I’m taller than my wife.

    Oh, and we’re all zombies.

  4. ChicagoDad March 31, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    No one can target your kids if no one knows you have them! Give birth at home (they might take your kid at the hospital), don’t file for a birth certificate or SSN (a paper trail that leads straight to your kids), don’t take your kid to the pediatrician (who knows who’s watching from the parking lot!), and homeschool so that no one can figure out your school routines. Have your groceries delivered, never leave the house, cancel the Internet so no one can hack your webcam. Subscribe to and keep huge numbers of newspapers so you can sift through the want-adds to find secret messages between the predators who are tracking your children. If you keep your kids, hidden, isolated, disconnected, sheltered and paranoid they’ll be safe!

  5. BL March 31, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    Ah, yes, the same species Lenore warned us about two weeks ago: “criminal masterminds who are driven in equal measures by rank evil and a love of intensive research”.

    Because everyone knows you can’t find children anywhere without intensive research.

  6. SKL March 31, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

    Yeah, I think if I woke up some morning wanting to go steal a school-aged kid, I’d know where to find him without sticker clues. The nearby elementary schools might be a good place to start. :/

    I remember many years ago, when people were advised to stop putting out balloons etc. to show people that there’s a new baby or baby shower at your house. Because that would increase the (already super high) probability that a loon wanting a baby would formulate a plan to steal yours (possibly right out of your womb).

  7. Uly April 1, 2014 at 12:15 am #

    You know, upon reflection this isn’t exactly worst first thinking. It’s magical thinking – the idea that there are a few simple steps you can take to avoid the boogeyman. Don’t put stickers on your car, and nobody bad will ever happen to see your child. Wear a little charm, and the evil eye won’t strike. Put your left hand on your right collar when you see an ambulance, hold your breath as you pass graveyards, and you’re bound to live a long and healthy life.

  8. Mark Davis April 1, 2014 at 12:55 am #

    Wow, this reaches new heights in pure lunacy. Just completely ridiculous.

  9. Jenny Islander April 1, 2014 at 2:14 am #

    I just ran across a common-sense reason to require presentation of ID when picking up a child.

    Here’s the scenario: 100+ children are taking a proctored exam (the same bubble tests everybody gets in third grade and up, but these are homeschoolers so they’re taking it at the firehouse). The school staff who are proctoring the test require that all parents present ID when picking up a child.

    Why do this in a town so small that you could put the whole graduating class on a 747 and have room for their siblings as well as the faculty and staff? Because one or more of those children is being fought over in the kind of divorce that requires files to be sealed. If Custodial Parent has notified the school that Non-Custodial Parent is in no way shape or form ever to take custody of the child, then requiring presentation of ID will positively identify him/her and bring the full force of the law to bear if Non-Custodial parent attempts to bluster his/her way into taking the child.

    It’s still annoying to have to present ID to somebody who’s known me for fifteen years, but at least I understand why.

  10. Bob Davis April 1, 2014 at 3:34 am #

    I think one of the problems with these worry-wart worst-first thinkers is that they seem to think that the average criminal is another Willie Sutton or Prof. Moriarty. Most “police blotter” news reports I see indicate that the typical “perp” is not too terribly bright, which often accounts for a life of crime. Many of these crooks can barely read and write, let along come up with the nefarious schemes some people worry about. The saying attributed to both Frank Zappa and Harlan Ellison: “The most plentiful things in the Universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity” comes to mind.

  11. BL April 1, 2014 at 5:20 am #

    @Bob Davis
    “Many of these crooks can barely read and write, let along come up with the nefarious schemes some people worry about.”

    And if there are any criminal masterminds, they’re stealing money, not children.

  12. Rick April 1, 2014 at 6:40 am #

    Better carry that car seat with you into the store along with your child, too, along with any spare cloths, wipes, children’s toys, books, etc.

  13. DEHausfrau April 1, 2014 at 6:56 am #

    When this showed up in my feed, I stopped to think about my car. My car says that we my family is made up of Jews, with bad teeth, who like the arts and esnd their kids to summer camp and public school… that makes me a needle in a haystack. Good luck local abductors!

  14. SOA April 1, 2014 at 7:02 am #

    Someone shared this on facebook the other day and I spoke out against it. I told them they can get just as much info from your liscense plate and you have to have that. So the little stickers are not going to make that much of a difference. With the internet you can find out pretty much anything you want about someone so I am not going to freak out about stickers on my car.

    We have a stick family and a thing with my son’s dance studio and his name and I don’t worry about it.

  15. Donna April 1, 2014 at 7:05 am #

    If only my clients were this intelligent and actually planned out their crimes this well.

  16. Ann April 1, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    This is one of the more bizarre things I’ve seen on here, but I have no doubt that tons of people will believe the hype of the sticker danger!

  17. BL April 1, 2014 at 7:41 am #

    Ban bumpers. It’s the only solution.

  18. Lin April 1, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    I checked their FB page and they claimed they had 30,000 shares of that post and numerous enquiries from media. Sigh.

    Also, if they’re that convinced that showing any “vulnerabilities” in those stickers puts you at risk, why don’t they advise you to plaster stickers of an insane looking dad with a shotgun in his rocking chair on the front porch, a mum built like a tank posing with a rocket launcher, kids showing signs of a highly infectious disease and massive guard dogs and perhaps a pet hippo. Wouldn’t that be the logical conclusion of their theory? The absence of such advice shows that they are not about solutions but only about fear mongering.

  19. BostonRed April 1, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    Sorry, ChicagoDad. You can’t have your groceries delivered. The evil deliverymen (never women, mind you) will see the diapers and baby food and chicken nuggets and fish sticks and will *know* this is a place to steal children. You will have to grow your own food.

  20. Warren April 1, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    Never did understand people that wanted to put damaging adhesives on the paint job of a major investment. Other than that this is absolutely insane.

    And again Dolly, where do you live, because here only law enforcement and the Ministry of Transportation can acquire any information from my license plate. And none of that info states my marital or parental status.

  21. Jennifer April 1, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    Well, if it will reduce the number of annoying stick figure stickers, it can’t be all bad, right?

  22. Donna April 1, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    “because here only law enforcement and the Ministry of Transportation can acquire any information from my license plate. And none of that info states my marital or parental status.”

    No, it’s not. If you think anything about your life is undiscoverable, you are incredibly naive. Some website out there will get just about any information someone wants for a price. Heck, the last time I looked up the phone number of a friend online, I also got all the people associated with him (wife, parents, sister) and their contact information too without even asking for it. Vehicle registration and marital status would be easy. Kids, especially young children without their own internet presence, may be less readily available, but certainly not impossible.

    The fact is that no one person is that interesting or desirable. Nobody is hunting strangers to kidnap their kids or do whatever it is people fear despite the fact that our whole lives is pretty much available online to people who know where to look.

  23. SOA April 1, 2014 at 8:48 am #

    You can find out names and addresses from license plates. You can also go on those websites that do info searches and find out all kinds of info.

    http://www.licenseplatesearchapp.com/?gclid=CI3kveSov70CFUtk7AodrD8ABA

    http://thelawdictionary.org/article/how-do-you-look-up-license-plate-numbers/

    http://www.peoplesmart.com/

  24. SKL April 1, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    Yeah, I try to stay way under the radar because of a vindictive ex. It is a pipe dream. Information abounds on the internet and I didn’t even put it out there, ever.

    I removed my name from LinkedIn and somehow it came back! Now that’s annoying.

  25. pentamom April 1, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    Dad is away a lot….

    or like our former neighbors up the street, Dad is a marine recruiter who comes home every night who you do NOT want to mess with.

    I’m surprised they didn’t come up with something for mom — “Mom gardens a lot. Her shovel could be taken away and used as a weapon against her, and she could be conveniently buried in her own garden.”

    “Parking pass — tells where you work or live.” That, and the fact that the car is parked at the office or in your driveway at the time Mr. Otherwise Unable to Figure Things Out Predator sees it.

  26. Anne Campbell April 1, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    They forgot “Mom has a shovel and knows where to bury your body.”

  27. pentamom April 1, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    “Better carry that car seat with you into the store along with your child, too, along with any spare cloths, wipes, children’s toys, books, etc.”

    Carry a custom kit in your trunk at all times to disguise the minivan as a smart car whenever you’re parked. I think Arthur Weasley might be able to hook you up with something like that.

  28. pentamom April 1, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    BTW, what is the proposed solution to avoid having a parking pass on your car? Just pay the towing fee every time you go to work or school?

  29. Havva April 1, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    @ pentamom,

    I don’t think the parking sticker is supposed to be of concern without the sticker of the kids. The wicked witch only wants to eat the tender and detectible children. Come to think of it the baby must be the target, as a boy who plays football would probably be too stringy.

  30. SKL April 1, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    I’m surprised nobody has yet recommended removing your street number from the front of your house, lest anyone figure out your address. LOL.

    Did I tell you guys about our library saga? Someone has been using my 7yo’s library card number to order books and returning them late, thus causing my kid to receive collection calls/letters etc. I called and they said, maybe someone stole your library card. I said I probably threw it away years ago, as I usually don’t keep the card if I also have a key fob. She said well, probably someone came and dug it out of your garbage, now you have to file a police report to get this off your kid’s credit record. I said, come on, you keep every card you ever receive, even if you will never use it because you have a key fob? She said yes, she has a shoebox full of them in her closet, and everyone else should too. :P I am dead serious. (PS, I actually found the card and she says I still have to file a police report. A rant for another day….)

  31. CrazyCatLady April 1, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Well, I guess the stickers on one of our cars says just the opposite. The first one says that we home school. Meaning that there are very likely to be parents home with the kids.

    The second is for the NRA. Enough said.

  32. Maggie April 1, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    Okay, following that line of crazy thinking, parents should:

    1-Never have swing sets, playhouses, basketball hoops, or anything on the outside of the house that indicates they may have children.

    2-Load the children in and out of the car with the garage door down, lest someone sees them entering your house.

    3-Drive a paneled van, or at least have the windows sufficiently darken that it’s difficult to see children inside.

    4-Never leave your curtains or blinds open in your house, lest someone see in and glimpse your child.

    5-Never shop at children’s clothing stores or ToysRUs, because pedos may lurk there in order to find kids, and they may follow parents home.

    6-Children are never, ever, allowed outside your house.

    I could go on……

  33. Warren April 1, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    I checked out your links, and they do not work for license plates up here in Ontario. As I said, that info is private up here.
    The one you provided is a private investigator. She would be obtaining that info from my plate illegally. And I guarantee you we would seek charges.

  34. Papilio April 1, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    Somehow I keep thinking the popularity of bumper stickers must mean a society spends too much time in the car…

    @BostonRed: “Sorry, ChicagoDad. You can’t have your groceries delivered. The evil deliverymen (never women, mind you) will see the diapers and baby food and chicken nuggets and fish sticks and will *know* this is a place to steal children. You will have to grow your own food.”
    No, you just have to stop buying specific kid products.

  35. SKL April 1, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    I just realized Amazon.com knows I have kids, based on my buying patterns. And they have my address. Oh crap. We’re doomed.

  36. Bose in St. Peter MN April 1, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    There’s about an equal chance that a casting agent who has handled Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt will see this car’s stickers and decide the kid is the perfect fit for the million-dollar role in a blockbuster movie that has to be filmed next week, eh?

    Or, that a soccer-hating roadrunner will see a youth team bumper sticker and drop a boulder onto the car.

  37. Donna April 1, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    Let’s see: Apparently a CarProof Vehicle History Report that includes registration details is readily available in Canada and all I need to know is the license number or VIN of the car. In fact, it is highly encouraged that I get one before buying a used car on many websites with a link provided. Don’t know that it actually gives out addresses, but I don’t need that to find you once I have your name.

  38. SKL April 1, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    I do have to say I find those stickers mildly annoying. Why do I care how many kids and animals a stranger has? I mean, I get that it may be fun to decorate your vehicle however you want, but that just makes no sense to me. It’s not exactly unique to have kids or dogs.

    I’ve never allowed a sticker on my car, and it’s not because I don’t have hobbies or opinions. And I find most other people’s bumper stickers annoying. Though some of them are funny. ;)

    That said, I do have a vanity plate. It annoys people who cannot figure out what it says. So I guess we’re even. :P

  39. MichaelF April 1, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    I’m going with – slow news day

  40. SOA April 1, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    Warren: It is super easy to find out info about people on the internet. I mean one poster already figured out who you were from facebook and you posting comments and then trace it here. So yeah, you are not as incognito as you think you are.

  41. Snow April 1, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

    My nephew posted that on FB recently. My nephew is a NY State cop. Sigh.

  42. Tom April 1, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

    Ban minivans, that’s a sure sign that someone has children ready to be snatched.

  43. john April 1, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    Taking this topic to the extreme in either direction is foolish. I would warn against the original reporter making people paranoid about bad guys “out to get them”. Yes, depending on the info on the bumper stickers… it could lead to a risk from would-be criminals. Saying “all my bumper stickers is perfectly safe” is just as bad as saying “people are definitely out to get me”. Prudence would not hurt in this area. You may not want to display how many members of your family and where they go and what they do to strangers. It is like the privacy settings on facebook. Maybe bad people will not get your info, but let’s just eliminate the possibility.

  44. Warren April 1, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Donna, all that does is give you a vehicle’s history, as far as being in accidents, because too many sellers were not disclosing such info. Also cars that had been written off by insurance companies were being rebuilt and sold.
    I have requested a few over the years. I think they also show if there is a lien, but not sure. Never seen a lien on any I have done.

  45. J.T. Wenting April 1, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    There’s a very good reason to not use bumper stickers, and it has nothing to do with stalkers or child abductors.

    It’s resale value. Cars with bumper stickers have a lower resale value than those without (which is the main reason many lease companies don’t allow them), so if you plan on possibly selling or trading in your car ever you might want to consider that.

  46. kurokami77 April 1, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    In general I roll my eyes at the unwarranted panic associated with a stick figure representation of what people can already see through the car windows. Furthermore, who really cares where your kid goes to school unless they are your own personal stalker? How many people have one of those? Come on, now.

    But there is one instance in which I do advise discretion in bumper stickers: yellow ribbons. Unfortunately, there are a decent amount of houses targeted because of hints about an absent military member. But this concern is less about who will see the yellow ribbon while you’re driving around and more about who will see it when your car is parked outside your house.

    It isn’t that anyone actively hunts for deployed soldiers’ family members, but if somebody walking down the street has a random opportunity for crime they’re more likely to take it if they have reason to believe the house has been left vulnerable in the soldier’s absence.

  47. J.T. Wenting April 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    Donna, Warren: if it’s like the Dutch “car passport” it gives mileage and date at every sale through a certified dealer.
    Mainly introduced here to stop people tampering with the odometer.

  48. CrazyCatLady April 1, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    Yellow ribbon warning? Nah, no more likely to be targeted than the kids. I could see potentially 10 different cars in my family with yellow ribbons (or even around trees at homes) for just one family member. The person targeting them would have a 9 in 10 chance of getting the house with the big dog and husband with a shotgun.

    Value of the cars – THAT is a good point. Though we only have stickers on one car and pretty much by the time we get done with ours they are ready to be parted out as the engines are the most valuable part. I love to get those “your car is not covered by warranty” because I ask which one: the 91, the 84, the 82, the 81, the 68 or the 55? They usually hang up on me.

  49. SOA April 1, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    With the invention of car magnets and the window stickers I think most car stickers now are easily removable.

  50. Virginia April 1, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    Oh, so that big building down the road is a school? I just made the connection. I always wondered why all those cars with “City Middle School” stickers were there at 8 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. Now I know where to pick up a kid (not that anybody would actually want a middle schooler)!

  51. Donna April 1, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    According to the website I read, there are different levels. One gives you basic information and for a greater fee, you get all kinds of information including full registration history. I’m not invested enough to order one to find out.

    The fact is that this information is not remotely difficult to obtain. Even if the average person can’t get it, many people can and some are willing to sell it. At the push of a button through very common legal research sites that are present in just about every law office in America and at every law library, I can know all property owned by a person, all vehicles registered in their name, all addresses they’ve ever had, criminal history, any lawsuit they’ve been involved in, and much more information. All perfectly legal. I never tried to find anyone in Canada, but the companies are international so I see no reason why the same would not be available there. I did look up a couple celebrities one day (I was bored) and was surprised that I could get information on them.

    And you can huff and puff about suing all you want. If (and that is a large if) you ever track down who provided the information and, if (another large if) that person is subject to your laws so that they can even be sued, and if (another large if) they have assets that aren’t hidden that can be recovered in a lawsuit, so? The damage is already done or you would never have known that anyone had the information to start with.

    But in reality, despite gads of information being readily available, nobody cares. You’re just not that interesting or special (You = everyone on the planet and not Warren specifically).

  52. Buffy April 1, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    “It’s still annoying to have to present ID to somebody who’s known me for fifteen years, but at least I understand why.”

    No. Just no. If someone has known you for 15 years they know you are not Nefarious Non-Custodial Parent. There is no reason they need to look at your ID.

  53. Casey April 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    LOL about the stick-figure dog!

    I have a lifetime of experience dealing with worst-first thinkers and I’ve learned that their safety tips are much more about their own psychological issues than about real safety in the world as it actually exists.

    The problem for everyone else arises when worst-first thinkers have a platform for sharing their anxieties with the rest of the world. That stuff can be contagious.

  54. anonymous this time April 1, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    The only bumper sticker I was ever advised against slapping on my car was a pro-choice one. Back when I had just emerged from university and was a hot-headed activist on all sorts of fronts, my wonderful father, who was never one to be a nervous Nellie about anything, really, advised against me putting that pro-choice view out there. He figured some nutcase might do damage to my car, or, possibly, to me.

    But this stuff about advertising your gorgeous snowflake to the world and then worrying someone will snatch them? How many flavours of crazy are there, anyway?

    “Security” has become like an imagination game in a creative writing class. Really, people need more creative outlets in their lives instead of sitting around trying to dream up the most fantastic criminal scheme and then behaving as if it were likely to happen in their neighbourhood, or anywhere else.

  55. BlueCollarCritic April 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    I’m going to be the dissenting voice on whether or not it’s a bad idea to put a child on board or similar sticker on your car.

    1) A COB (Child On Board) or FOB (Family On Board) sticker on your car does not guarantee that said On board individual is on board at that time nor does it guarantee they are ever on board for the car may have recently been sold and the new owner has yet to remove the sticker.

    2) If you do have 1 or more children and you put a COB or FOPB sticker on your car you are advertising this to anyone who may see your car and the sticker(s) on it . But this was the intent behind the stickers inception in the first place, to let others know you have an X on board be it a baby or child or other life form including zombies.

    3) The horrific crimes portrayed on popular TV serials like Criminal Minds are not representative of your typical criminal or even of your typical murderer. That said, these violent and twisted individuals are not just the imaginations of some tv show writer. In the case of Criminal Minds, every episode is based on a real life case. The shows cast/creators have said in interviews that they normally have to soften the material as the real life case is too much for TV even for the later time slot that Criminal Minds occupies. One actress said she had trouble sleeping for the first few weeks after she started on the show.

    Realty is that there are sick people in our world who have no moral issues with kidnapping children or worse. They are very few but they do exist. I think it’s foolish to presume that because the odds are in your favor that your child will never fall victim to one of these criminals that you should take a care free attitude towards their safety. You also can not live a life where you are obsessed with their safety You have to find a happy middle ground if you wish to have a normal and enjoyable life.

    Unfortunately the government run education system is but a reflection of the government in its use of extreme case scenarios as justification for what it does. The government frequently uses extreme case, highly unlikely scenarios when justifying its actions that violate Americans rights, freedoms and civil liberties. In Westbury NY a special task force of law enforcement is being assembled to perform warrantless and unscheduled house searches. This is being done in the name of reducing violations of the housing code where one or more persons are illegally living in some ones house. The first though that comes to mind is that this is a flagrant violation of the 4th amendment but that alone is not going to stop the government because it has for too long learned that it can do just about anything so long as it does this is mall increments and will lie to the public and tell us that it’s for our own protection from the bogeyman.

    In closing, you need to maintain a balanced life and that means providing a safe environment for your children without going overboard and making everyone miserable. It’s impossible to prevent every possible accident but it’s equally as bad to take a care free attitude and worry not about anything and let your children be as they want and do as they want without any restrictions. It takes only 1 tragedy to destroy a parent. Don’t be an ever worrying guardian but also don’t gamble foolishly with your child’s safety simply because you believe the odds are too long for your child to ever become the victim. Life is about balance.

  56. Buffy April 1, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    “Realty is that there are sick people in our world who have no moral issues with kidnapping children or worse.”

    But do they REALLY have no idea where to find a child other than through stickers on a car? They can’t use all the places that have been mentioned above, like schools, parks, playgrounds, houses with toys littering the yard and/or a swingset in the back yard? Not to mention stores, libraries, daycares, kid-themed restaurants, roller skating rinks, and so on.

    Sorry, but I can’t buy into your thesis at all, unless you are advocating eliminating all evidence of children (somehow) at all of the above locations as well.

  57. SteveS April 1, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

    I saw this on FB a few days ago and immediately thought about this site. I am unaware of any research that suggests criminals target victims based on bumper stickers. Besides the resale stuff, I have heard of studies that suggest people are less likely to assist a stranded motorist if the bumper stickers on the car are “politically opposite.”

    As for the NRA or gun stick figures, I have heard more than a few gun owners suggest that having gun related stickers would attract thieves who were looking to steal guns. Apparently, unfounded fears are not just limited to a specific group.

  58. Amanda Matthews April 1, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    “Never did understand people that wanted to put damaging adhesives on the paint job of a major investment.”

    What would be the point of NOT? The car is still going to go down in value even if you don’t. Might as well enjoy the car as you like. You can always repaint that little part if you sell it later. Anyway I thought BUMPER stickers are suppose to go on the bumper, not the paint?

    It can help to identify your car in a parking lot if you have a common car.

    Though personally when I do get a bumper sticker or window decal, it’s going to be something advertising my own business, not someone else’s business or school. Because it never fails that I’m looking at someone’s sticker or decal at a red light and thinking that I’m wasting an advertisement opportunity.

  59. Backroads April 1, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    I recall looking at this a week or so again after a friend (who I had long thought was more sensible than such) posted a similar article. I had heard there was no actual correlation between those stickers and crime and commented as such, then browsed the internet for the actual statistics (there were none, what I had earlier was correct) and came upon this exact little image.

    Any criminal who wants to get at you, your house, or your family will be using other things besides stuff on your minivan.

  60. SOA April 1, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    I put the stickers on my car to make it easy to identify in a crowded parking lot. I drive a popular boring very common car so the stickers really do help it stand out.

    I don’t do political or smarmy bumper stickers. Just a stick figure family of us in Disney gear because I think its cute and I worked a long time to have a family so I don’t mind letting everyone know about it. Then for the dance studio sticker and my son’s name I am proud of his studio. They are national champions so I am proud to make it known we go there.

    Now I realize no one gives a heck about any of that and that is fine. As I said it is for my benefit because I like it and it makes my car stand out. I am always like Hey there goes someone from my son’s dance studio whenever I see one of the stickers or I know whom I am behind if I recognize their stick family.

  61. pentamom April 1, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    I saw a vehicle with this kind of sticker this afternoon. Dylan is a member of the “Bulldogs” football team, Gabby is big into hockey, and Nick apparently has taken a shine to the theater.

    Those poor, poor children don’t know what danger they’re in.

  62. pentamom April 1, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    “Realty is that there are sick people in our world who have no moral issues with kidnapping children or worse. They are very few but they do exist. I think it’s foolish to presume that because the odds are in your favor that your child will never fall victim to one of these criminals that you should take a care free attitude towards their safety.”

    None of that has anything to do with the ridiculous contention that predatory criminals, who were already fully aware of the existence of children, schools, football teams, and martial arts schools, are gaining any information whatsoever that will facilitate them in the commission of any crime because of the presence of a sticker on the back of the car that indicates that you have a kid, who likes a certain activity.

    You don’t have to presume your children are at zero risk to understand that that risk has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH whether you have a sticker on your car.

  63. pentamom April 1, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    “It isn’t that anyone actively hunts for deployed soldiers’ family members, but if somebody walking down the street has a random opportunity for crime they’re more likely to take it if they have reason to believe the house has been left vulnerable in the soldier’s absence.”

    I think that’s pretty speculative. What person assumes that because one member of a family (who may not be a member of the household anyway) is not currently in residence at the home, that makes it safer to burgle? How do they know it’s not the son or daughter who moved out, while Dad, Mom, and other kids are around as consistently in any other family. Maybe it’s Dad’s sister or Mom’s brother who wouldn’t be around anyway. “My family has an absent member” is not a useful piece of information to anybody looking to do harm, by itself.

  64. Scott April 1, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    put a gun in mom’s hand

  65. Michelle April 1, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    My teenage daughter is going to be on a poster advertising a women’s self defense clinic at her karate school — presumably, they’re going to post these all over town. With her picture, AND the name and address of the school. Some psycho could find out what time the classes are…and that she’s quite capable of throwing a guy who’s considerably larger than her over her shoulder.

    I don’t think I’m worried about anything but whether or not I get a poster. :-)

  66. Amy April 1, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

    We were thinking of doing those stick figures, me pg with number 8 and all of our kids, about 12 head of cattle and a bunch of chickens and a cat. But then cattle rustlers might attack and throngs of kidnappers might follow us home, so maybe l could add a huge, slobbering mountain lion as a deterrent. Maybe dripping blood from its fangs so ppl know it’s not a non-guard lion.

  67. Lori April 1, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    Based on that really I am a target…because I am a middle aged woman driving a mini van… so follow me and you will know that I go to the elementary school and pick up a child and the middle school and pick up a child. Take them to football practice, swim practice. Really not hard if they are going to target me.

    Sometimes I think they want us to live in fear!

  68. Amy April 1, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    Oh, and Lenore, do you have any thoughts about the firefighter stickers in kids’ windows? I remember way back when folks were freaking out that it was an invitation for kidnappers. What are the odds of them helping vs hurting? A house fire vs a kidnapping?

  69. Dee April 1, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    In addition to Worst First thinking, this is also incredibly self-centered. It’s the idea that someone is targeting YOUR specific child. Not children, because those are easy to find. Your Bobby or Sue. Your stick figure.

    Granted, this IS true for the majority of predators who stalk the children THEY KNOW. But that’s not what this spot is talking about.

    People just aren’t happy unless they are up in arms over something.

  70. EricS April 1, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

    News Flash: If someone…anyone, really wanted to get to your kids, there is NOTHING you or anyone can do about it. And if someone is that bent on taking YOUR kid, he will obviously know what he’s doing to do so. They don’t need “free advertising”. In fact, they will no everything about, no just your kid(s), but you as well. The good news is, these types of people/strangers/predators or what have you, are so few and far between.

    Parents teach their children to stay away from these people. But they never teach their children to actually watch out for what they REALLY need to know and watch out for. And a big part of that is knowing what to do if someone they already know does something inappropriate or wrong. There so much stigma with “strangers”, that many people forget that most of the bad things that people do to children are NOT done by strangers. They are committed by people the family already knows, and probably trusts. Even family members.

    It shouldn’t matter whether kids advertise and tell people they don’t know their names, or what school they go to. That information is easily found out. What should matter is that kids know what to do when they are put in any situation that may jeopardize their safety and well being. We all know this, the best way to protect children, is to teach them to protect themselves. Some parents just need to get over their fears and insecurities. And not project those to their children. You only put them at more risk when you do.

  71. JJ April 1, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

    Careful too of your OBX static sticker or you 26.2 car magnet. A criminal mastermind might become obsessed with you upon seeing you loading groceries and camp out at the Outsr Banks all summer hoping to catch you at the Tastee Freeze or train for and participate in local marathons hoping to sidle up to you as you run another. You are that special.

  72. SKL April 1, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

    Well, all they need to do is interview convicted child rapists and see how many of them started out by seeing a sticker on the back of their victim’s mom’s car.

    But, it’s nice to know that since I don’t drive a minivan and I don’t have any stickers on my car, I can go about life without a care in the world. My kids are totally safe.

  73. EricS April 1, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

    @ChicagoDad: Even then, they are not guaranteed to be “safe”. They can fall down the stairs, or slip in the bathtub. Choke on a carrot stick. Hey they may even just not wake up one day. Other than the old school ways of rearing children, the only ways to truly keep children safe is 1. Don’t have them. What’s the point in having children when all your ever going to do is panic and fear constantly. Or 2. put them in a cryogenic pod, and freeze them in a secured secret vault, deep within a mountain. And never let them out. They will be free of deceases (as long as they didn’t have any health issue prior to being frozen), they will never grow old and die, they will never know disappointment, or the parents’ fear of being kidnapped or assaulted. They can make them as they’ve always wanted…a little doll, all wrapped and packaged, never to be opened to the elements of life. They can’t fear one thing and not another. They either fear and succumb to ALL of it, or they fear, and over come ALL of it. Fear is a natural state of mind for people, giving into it is not. If it were, I don’t think we would have gotten to 4.6 billion people on this planet. As a species, our biggest advantage, is that we overcome and adapt. That is how our ancestors survived, that is how past generations have survived. And it’s the only way children today can truly survive.

  74. Fred April 1, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

    Look on the bright side, maybe this will prevent people from putting these obnoxious stickers all over the back of their car.

  75. Michelle April 2, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    I love the dog part. I have two identical “robot dog” decals on my car. One represents my daughter’s little yip yap Chihuahua mix dog. The other represents our territorial German Shepherd, who wouldn’t even let our best friend in the house to feed him while we were away. The stickers don’t come in “guard dog” and “ankle biter.”

    PS, our family decals are all robots, so anyone trying to break in to our house should be wary! Maybe bring Spider-Man along to protect you from the mechanical menace that is my family!

  76. Michelle April 2, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    I can totally believe that burglars might see a yellow ribbon and think, “This house is an easy target.” But only because most criminals are pretty darn stupid.

    All a yellow ribbon tells you is that someone in this family is not always home. Big freaking deal. My husband is not military, and he’s away from the house all day every day — which anyone could figure out simply by watching him drive away every morning.

    Here’s what it DOESN’T tell you. It doesn’t tell you WHO the missing family member is. Is it the husband or wife? Or is it the homeowner’s sibling, uncle, cousin, parent, or child? Does the service member even LIVE in this house? It also doesn’t tell you who is HOME. In one of the military families I know, the other parent is a stay-at-home-mom. Not exactly formidable, but always home. In another, it’s the adult child who is away, and both his father and step-mother are very physically fit and well armed.

    Also, do people only put out those ribbons while the military family member is deployed, and bring them in when that person is home (even temporarily)? I don’t know, but I would sure feel sorry for the guy who breaks in while a Marine is on leave.

    Nah, no I don’t. :P

    Also, as for resale value of the car, just stick your stickers on the windows. They come right off with a razor blade and a little glass cleaner. No damage.

  77. Charlie April 2, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    And a Prius with an Obama sticker also tells a criminal that you are not armed and cannot defend yourself from an attack or robbery.

  78. Gary April 2, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    here is another fb page, not active in almost four years though.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/108072382562734/

    And here is the page of the woman who ran/runs it…

    https://www.facebook.com/jcox33

    Has some real cute pics of her kid, plus she was at the outback Steakhouse in Asheville NC on March 29th with her friend Wanda.

    She was at the Cheddars in Asheville a few weeks ago with Wanda too, boy she and Wanda are close!!

    How is it again stick figures on your car make your kids vulnerable?

  79. hineata April 2, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    @Charlie – because, of course, one cannot defend oneself with anything other than a firearm….

    OMGosh, have spoken about guns again. Better go and shoot myself! :-)

  80. Snowe April 2, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

    I drive a Prius. That little car can go a lot faster than people think, but I never see Prius drivers pulled over because not even that cops think it’s possible to go as fast as we can go! It’s a ‘get out of jail free’ type of car!

  81. BL April 2, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    @hineata
    “because, of course, one cannot defend oneself with anything other than a firearm….”

    They’re easier than cannons to carry around.

  82. hineata April 2, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    @BL – so true :-). But personally I find a length of chain and a tire iron adequate, or an ice pick for close-in work. All perfectly legal, and environmentally friendly options.

    And my sticker of Obama is just so much more attractive than that of the rather ugly Texan that proceeded him. Personally I would like you all to vote in a Hispanic person (is that the current correct terminology?) next time…..or possibly Eric Schweig. As long as they look dropdead gorgeous, and know where, say, large countries like India are….

  83. hineata April 2, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    Oh, stuff and nonsense, just recalled Eric Schweig is Canadian – so he should definitely know where India is, but I guess he doesn’t qualify. Maybe Adam Beach as an alternate?

    Anyone who’ll look hot on a bumper sticker…

  84. SKL April 2, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    I know a Prius owner who regularly gets her license suspended due to speeding and other violations. So no, it’s not a ticket-proof car. ;)

  85. SOA April 3, 2014 at 7:03 am #

    Oh so now we can call Presidents “Ugly”. Well I think Barack and Michelle are ugly. So what now?

    That is a childish way to have a political argument.

  86. Tim April 3, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    And by the logic of this sticker my house is populated by Daleks (robots with death-rays), so we’re like all safe… unless he [the baddy] IS a research genius that surely he must be, and somehow contracts Doctor Who to put a hit out on us…
    Great stuff as always Lenore!

  87. Corinne April 3, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Thank you for this post… I keep seeing my FB friends posting this, and have had to hold my tongue. It’s ridiculous. Thanks.

  88. Papilio April 3, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    @Hineata: I take it you want to use USA president bumper stickers to actually *decorate* your car? :D

  89. Amy April 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Sigh. They just talked about this on a radio show I listen to. I would also love to see statistics of people getting robbed, kidnapped etc because a criminal found out information based on their stick figure family. On the facebook page of the radio station, the comments were crazy. It was suggested not to put your child’s name on a banner in your yard for a birthday or graduation party. Sigh again.

  90. Tsu Dho Nimh April 3, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    OH NBO! We have ski patrol stickers on BOTH cars.

    We’re doomed all winter long :)

  91. hineata April 3, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

    @SOA – please, develop a sense of humour. You come across as much too intense. I was just picking upon Charlie’s rather funny statement about Obama supporters being unable to defend themselves.

    Though, sadly, because the US is in reality a major world power, who you elect does effect the rest of us, and we can do nothing about it. (I suppose we could try what the CIA did to Gough Whitlam in Australia, but I don’t rate our chances). Internationally Bush was a complete disaster – there really wasn’t anything Obama could do to top him, short of invading the UK, so the man’s had a relatively easy ride, from my perspective. But I totally digress…. :-)

    @Papillio – Yep, that’s the one :-) .But all in all, I really would rather be looking at Eric Schweig, so maybe I’ll can the presidents altogether and plaster his face all over my rearview mirror. Though, possibly, that might actually BE dangerous :-).

  92. Glennda April 4, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Thank you! I thought that was the most asinine fear mongering I had seen in awhile. I thought what idiots people are to buy into this. And then my friends started acting as if it were a real fear! Thanks for once again expressing what I think.

  93. oncefallendotcom April 4, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    I’m more concerned about the people who come up with this folderol. It is obvious a lot of criminal minds work at these kind of places.

  94. oncefallendotcom April 4, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

    PS: Here’s my “family bumper sticker”:

    http://www.oddee.com/_media/imgs/articles/a106_s2.jpg

  95. Erin April 5, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    For years I’ve thought this was dangerouse. Not so much the pictures but the names involved with the pictures. “Hi “Bobby”, your mom “Megan” said she was running late to pick you up and asked me to help her out. Hop in my car and I’ll drive you home. You live on Marber street right?” Some might say that thier kid would never fall for that, but many people, and kids, in today’s society are taught not to “make a scene” and even if thier gut say’s “NO”, they may get into the car because this “stranger” know’s thier name and thier moms name and where they live. Get rid of the names of family members!