From Streaking to Possible Sex Offender to Tragedy

Folks — This rnftriafsy
(also reported here) is tragic: A 15-year-old streaked at a high school football game, learned he could end up classified as a “sex offender” for doing it, and then hanged himself.

I don’t like to run stories about suicides because we can never know all the reasons behind this saddest of endings. I am putting this one on the blog only because it highlights the absurd overreach of our sex offender laws, which corral the silly along with the evil and, just like zero tolerance policies, see no reason to make a distinction. One reader who sent me this story — Brian from Ridgewood, N.J. — wrote:

This is the natural consequence when schools stop teaching and start prosecuting.  Streaking at a football game is funny and should be punished.  A suspension for a couple days should take care of things.  But then the school ups the ante and threatens legal action, maybe the sex offender registry.  You know, being naked means he is a sexual offender and he should be punished like a rapist.  The ramifications hit and the kid commits suicide.

When schools abdicate their responsibility to TEACH kids and instead punish them for juvenile acts, they cause unspeakable harms.  The result here means this was a troubled kid.  Schools should help kids, investigate root causes and teach consequences, not ruin lives before they start.

I agree. And am so sad. – L.

Sparkman High School

Sparkman High School


89 Responses to From Streaking to Possible Sex Offender to Tragedy

  1. christine October 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    I am begging EVERYONE to please learn about ALL the “sex” offenses which could label you for life. This is a tragedy and should have never happened. This young boy was doing something many of us did as kids or witnessed as kids. I remember when the Flyers won the Stanley Cup in 1974, I believe, there went the song, THE STREAK and many people were baring butts and streaking. It was amusing, stupid, and fun. But now you can be put on the registry for this, urinating in public, consensual sex, coming across child porn on peer to peer networks unintentionally, and many other offenses and you will find yourself on the registry. The registry doe NOT save any children because statistics are against that reality. All it does is label those who made stupid decisions as kids. Don’t get me wrong there are rapists and molesters on this as well BUT the majority are not those people. It is kids like Christian who did something stupid. Educate yourself. Fight for our kids. I will be happy to share links and information. I believe the government is out to gain control of all our lives. If they are allowed to keep stupid kids on the registry and ruin their lives what will be next, DUI’s, bad check writing, and many other non-violent crimes to let your neigbors and the world know you did something wrong. This needs to STOP.

  2. Mike in Virginia October 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    I agree with everything that Brian says except the part about this being a troubled kid. We don’t know that. He was probably just a class clown, and I think students, especially teenagers, who are forced to sit through a strict regimented environment day after day, while having a ton of pressures placed on them from parents and teachers, need to act out now and again. This isn’t disturbed behavior, it is normal. The “class clown” (and we all had them when we were in school) serves a function – to act out on behalf of the rest of us, and give us some relief. I bet most of the students attending the game that saw this streaker laughed pretty hard, and it takes some bravery to do what he did – bravery that might have served a positive purpose for him in later life.

    Of course schools have to punish class clowns to keep order, but I think if I was the school administrator and I saw this, I would have laughed, told the kid he had some guts, and then given him some detention. The last thing I would have thought is that this was a disturbed child that needed help, or, even worse, a criminal deserving of prosecution.

    So why is it that when we hear about “cyber-bullying,” we never think the victim was a disturbed child. We assume the victim was a normal person who was pushed over the edge by disturbed children, and we call for the prosecution of the bullies. In this case, the disturbed person is the adult administrators of the school, and I am calling for their prosecution.

  3. Bob in New Jersey October 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    I’ll agree with Brian that this was likely a troubled kid. If he was not troubled, he should have been able to deal with this situation in a better fashion. Some kids are fragile, some damaged, some resilient. This young man did not fit in the latter category. I do suggest that the school take a hard look at how they deal with discipline and mental health as this shows a problem to me.


  4. Eileen October 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Tragic story. I do think that watching the youtube video kind of hits home how it’s probably best for school administrators to say nothing. I didn’t like how it was spliced up/edited and whether the Principal meant to or not, it presents itself that he was commenting specifically on this kid’s situation.

    Very sad.

  5. marie October 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    I don’t know anything more about this than I’ve read here. Was the boy a “troubled boy”? I don’t know. Maybe he was. But maybe he wasn’t. Maybe he was just an ordinary kid, loving life and loving to make people laugh.

    And maybe the prospect of being labeled ‘sex offender’ with very little to differentiate him from the much more serious offenders on the registry was enough to trouble him. To MAKE him a troubled boy.

    The sex offender registry affects EVERYTHING. It would have affected whether he was able to get a job or go to school. It may have affected where he could live. What if his life’s dream was to teach or to be a pastor? Would he have been able to find a partner who was willing to to marry an SO and take on the challenge of living under all the SO restrictions? It could have affected his chances of babysitting nieces, nephews and children of friends.

    And the effects are forever. Suicide by sex offenders (during investigation, after conviction) is more common than it ought to be.


  6. Brooks October 11, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    This is just another sad saga in the criminalization of growing up. Pranks are now crimes and minor scuffles result in three or four police cars at the school. The fault lies in school administrators,boards and their attorneys who don’t stand up to the parents who demand the “do something” every time some little something happens that they don’t like, and us parents who don’t fill every school board meeting with outrage every time a new ridiculous policy is brought forth. It is absolute insanity.

  7. Eileen October 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    The streaking is really no different than any other ‘prank’ that takes place in that setting. A few years ago, at my kids’ HS (who had a VERY bad football team), some kids hunkered down at the adjacent baseball field (the baseball field parking/access was completely separate from the football stadium, so it was a perfect place to pull it off) and set up a few small fireworks. When the team FINALLY scored, 2 fireworks went up in the sky over the darkened baseball field. Everyone laughed and wondered how long they’d been waiting to set that fuse!

    Anyway, what they did was no different than this young man. No one was at risk from this boys streaking. From the comments I read at the articles, some people there thought it was hysterical and fun.

    I will say, when my kid played a JV sport, the school didn’t have a bus big enough to transport the entire team. One game he rode with a teammate and his Dad to an away game. At the encouragement of the teammate AND his Dad, he mooned another car transporting players (the Dad purposely drove past them on the highway) along with the mini-bus. The mother was SO offended that she strode out onto the field, confronted the coach, who benched him for the entire game. Later, the coach apologized to me (and my son). When he emptied the bus after the game, he found all sorts of crude signs the kids were holding up (“for a good time call: xxx-xxxx” using each other’s phone #s). He realized he acted too quickly w/o understanding what exactly happened. Lesson learned on all sides (except the mother who called to tell me how awful my kids was, even after I had him call to apologize to her and explain that she was NOT the target).

  8. brian October 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    Brian here–On the question of this being a troubled kid, my point is that anytime someone commits suicide there is a mental imbalance at play. They are vulnerable due to the underlying issue even if some specific event causes them to take action.

    Sane people rarely kill themselves, it is not a rational action in response to most circumstances.

  9. kimc October 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    I’m reading other accounts of this at the moment and I’m getting the impression it was the *media* coverage that really got the idea of the sex offender list involved.

  10. John October 11, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    The sex abuse counseling industry in this country is a huge lobby. Do they serve a good purpose? Of course. But they also rely on government funding in order to make a decent living. With that being the case, they’ll use children for leverage saying that more kids are being sexually abused than ever (Statistics say otherwise). Then they’ll push for tough, over reaching laws for the purpose of “protecting the children”. They’ll also proliferate the idea that any child who is sexually abused is “ruined for life” (Studies say this is NOT the case with a far majority of sex abuse victims). Worse yet, they’ll categorize ALL forms of sexual abuse under the same umbrella, meaning that a child seeing a naked adult or in this case, a naked teenage running across a field, is just as serious as being forcibly raped. To them there is no distinction which, in MY opinion, is completely devoid of common sense.

    Regardless, with that being the case, the whole premise behind these draconian laws is for the “welfare of children”. Because there were children in the crowd at this football game, they were assumed to be adversly affected from seeing this naked teenager streak across the field; therefore, he’s a danger to society and needs to be placed on the sex offender registry for life. Until some brave politician lobbies to reform these draconian laws and mentality, not only will this nonsense continue but it will continue to get even worse.

    These laws are knee-jerk reactions to Polly Klass and Jessica Lundsford. Terrible, terrible tragedies but this boy does not come close to fitting into the same category as the rapists and murderers of these two girls.

    Call me vindictive but I really really hope that these school administrators have THEIR lives and careers ruined over what they did to this poor boy!!!! Maybe then somebody will wake up.

  11. Warren October 11, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Think back a couple of decades, to when pledging a fraternity meant doing some crazy things, such as streaking. Now how many CEO’s, politicians, attorneys, judges, teachers, etc would be on the sex offender registry. For nothing more than an initiation prank.

    Seeing as how the registry can be for life, I dare all of those come forward that have streaked, flashed or mooned as a prank or initiation, and have themselves placed on the registry.

  12. Warren October 11, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Also, on the suicide issue. The only one responsible for his death is himself. It was his choice to take his own life. Unfortunately we are making folk heroes of teen suicides due to bullying and such, which is making suicide more attractive to the troubled.

    Suicides like this breed more suicides. We have to stop the media from glamourizing them.

  13. Ben October 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    I hope the kid’s parents give the school what they deserve and show them how it feels to be threatened with legal action. Causing the death of a minor is a lot worse than streaking. They won’t just end up on a registry, but hopefully be locked up for a very long time.

    Think before taking action. Probably what they tried to teach the kid, but definitely not in the right manner.

  14. Papilio October 11, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    My first thought was that he was rather early ending his life. He had no way of knowing just how bad the situation was – that makes it seem like a very impulsive action, which makes it even more tragic of course.

    I understand why Christine is warning people to look up what can get you onto the SOR, but it’s a sad idea that people should adjust to rules that are wrong to begin with.

  15. AR October 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    I completely agree that the sex offender list is NO PLACE for a child like this child and that the categories for inclusion completely lack context or common sense.

    That said, in my life I’ve known no less than four men and three boys who sexually abused children; two of them abused me. NONE of these seven people knew each other. One of the boys raped my two year old niece with a foreign object and with his fingers after exposing her to pornography. Because he was 13, he has no criminal record and now attends college in my town.

    If I think longer than four minutes, I’m sure I know more than 7 people who’ve sexually assaulted children or women. The boy who assaulted me is known as a date-rapist as an adult. While, like I said, I agree that the registry is not being managed well, I deeply resent 1) the implication that those representing victim’s rights and victims themselves are wrong for wanting some form of justice and 2) the idea that just because not everyone is raped or molested that it’s not something that routinely happens every day.

    Just because it didn’t happen to “you” doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Anyone who thinks they don’t know any sexual abuse victims is probably the type of person a sexual abuse victim would not trust to know their truth. Yes, knee-jerk legislation is more harmful than good, but the discussion of what IS really happening with sexual abuse needs to be louder not silenced.

    Ugh, I just thought of two more sex criminals, one is the son of one the first seven and is perpetuating what was done to him. It goes on and on and on in silence. I’m sad for this boy and what his school district did, but THAT is also not a good reason to be a knee-jerk and start attacking or minimizing people who are actual sexual abuse victims.

  16. oncefallendotcom October 11, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    “We’ve all seen escape artists risk death before, but tonight, I’m going to risk something even worse. Becoming a registered sex offender for life.” — TV Reality star/ Comedian Nathan Fielder performing a stunt on his show”Nathan For You,” that, if failed, would cause him to expose himself to an audience of children and thus be charged with indecent exposure.

    Is the sex offender registry worse than death? The words of Nathan Fielder echoes in my mind as I read this article about the suicide of a 15 year old boy facing indecent exposure charges for streaking during a football game.

    Streaking has come a long way from the days of the infamous Ray Stevens song. What was once a silly (but bold) thing to do will now place you in danger of having to register as a sex offender. It was apparent this teen was facing legal charges, but only the UK Daily Mail dared admit the charges would have landed him on the registry.

    If anyone doubts the state would have prosecuted the kid, I’d like to mention that the feds prosecuted a 10 year old kid for sex crimes on a military base. Assistant US Attorney Bruce M. Ferg stated this about that case: “My opinion is this is the best thing that could’ve happened to the kid…”It is not vague to say, ‘If you do this kind of activity, we don’t care what age you are, you are liable for prosecution.’ “”

    We have lots of juveniles ages 15 and younger on the registries.

  17. Michelle October 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    FWIW, there was a comment from someone on Reddit proporting to be a close friend of the young man who said that the whole “sex offender registry” thing was nothing but bluster from one assistant principal, and no one really took it seriously.

  18. christine October 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Brian — I am sure you don’t know what life is like living on the registry. Many people “kill” themselves then put them on a registry for something stupid and irresponsible. This does not mean this kid had “mental” problems. The fear of being shamed by public humiliation and have vigilantes watching your every move. The state controlling where you can go and what you can do all the time. They want to know where you work, if you can find a job, where you live so they can harass you, what school, etc. Hell, his parents may had to move due to him being put on the registry. Being put on the registry with child molesters and rapists is not good for anyone who does something like pulling a prank. Maybe you need to take a look at the statistics, see what the people on the registry has done, and see the killings they have endured from vigilantes as well. This was a young boy who did some stupid prank and he was going to be labeled with a Scarlett Letter for the rest of his life. This is what is shameful. There was just a kid who is 10 put on the registry for playing with other boys. He is labeled for life. There are kids as young as 8 on the registry. The thought of being put on the registry is a MENTAL breakdown in itself.

  19. Jenna K. October 11, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    I streaked with my friends when I was fifteen.

    I agree with what Brian from Ridgewood said. What a tragedy that this young man wasn’t disciplined properly. Our nation has things backwards. We shove sex at our kids from young ages in the form of entertainment and then when they do something like this, they are prosecuted.

    We are currently hosting a 17-year-old foreign exchange student from Norway for the school year. She is flabbergasted at these types of things here because they don’t happen in Norway. All of the frivolous, silly lawsuits and the bubble wrapping of our kids and everything this blog is against. She is just amazed at how silly so much of it is.

  20. Emily October 11, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    I was actually sexually assaulted one. Fortunately, it didn’t progress to full-on rape, because I broke free of his grip on my wrist and ran away. Nevertheless, I still think it’s ridiculous to put teenagers who streak, and little kids who mutually decide to “play doctor,” and eighteen-year-olds having consensual sex with sixteen-year-olds, on the sex offender registry. Sexual assault is forcing or coercing someone into a sex act (not just penetration, but also kissing, fondling, oral sex, etc.), against his or her will. Streaking, mooning, childhood curiosity, or peeing by the side of the highway because there are no rest stops nearby, don’t fall into that category. When everything becomes an offense worthy of the “sexual offender registry,” then things devolve into exactly the situation that AR described–the people who’ve actually been raped, or sexually assaulted, don’t get taken seriously. I’m okay now, but it took a while, and I’m afraid that the “sex offender registry for every little thing” policy will create a “boy who cried wolf” effect, and people who’ve been through more serious things than what I experienced, will effectively be told to shut up and get over it, so as not to “ruin their tormentor’s life.” So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, sometimes, polar opposites can circle around and meet each other, with disastrous consequences. So, if the powers-that-be could just agree on a reasonable definition of what is and isn’t a sex offense, I think we’d all be much happier, and ironically, feel much safer.

  21. Emily October 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Okay, I can’t edit on this thing, but I meant to say, “I was actually sexually assaulted ONCE.” I promise, I’m a fully literate adult.

  22. christine October 11, 2013 at 9:36 pm #


    I am happy you are alright now and I am glad you got away from your attacker. I am most proud of your statement you made. You are the kind of people we need to fight these draconian laws. I am also a survivor and I cannot tell you how many stories I have heard from those like you and me who do not support the registry for offenses like this BUT do for those who rape, molest, and sexually assault someone. Like all laws they are made for AFTER the fact. There are so many statistics the registry does not work and putting non-violent people on there is only hurting them and allowing law enforcement to concentrate less on those who need to be watched. Thank you for your comments.

  23. AR October 11, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    I 100% agree with Emily & Christine.

  24. Emily October 11, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    Hey Christine, I’m just curious, are you a lawyer? You seem to know a lot about the laws surrounding sex offenses….I didn’t know that accidentally stumbling on child pornography on the Internet could make someone a sex offender. What if they clicked it off immediately? More to the point, what about the person who put it there in the first place? What if you find child pornography on the Internet, by accident, and then report it to the authorities? Would you end up on the sex offender registry for finding it if you report it? There are so many holes in that law, it’s crazy–and, I’m not at the top of my game right now, because it’s almost midnight, and I’m about to fall asleep.

  25. J.T. Wenting October 12, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    “.I didn’t know that accidentally stumbling on child pornography on the Internet could make someone a sex offender. What if they clicked it off immediately?”

    That’s the problem with zero tolerance laws, there is no margin, no motive check, no flexibility.
    You have seen it, for whatever reason or no reason at all, therefore you’re a pedophile.

    Which of course is a direct violation of anything the legal system stands for, as there is no intent check whatsoever (which is supposedly central to the US legal system and most others).

    And thus you can get arrested, thrown in prison, forcibly castrated (or neutered), and end up on “sex offenders registries” and “pedohunter” hitlists for the rest of your life by putting in an innocent search term in Google which ends up showing you more than you bargained for.
    It’s ludicrous, it’s extremely dangerous, it’s quite possibly unconstitutional, but as long as someone high up screams “it’s for the children”, “it’s for the environment” or “it’s for national security” they can do pretty much whatever they want and get away with it.

  26. Celeste October 12, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    I don’t like the way the video was edited either. It sounds to me like the school administrator was actually trying to comment on the fact that in general, kids do immature things and don’t consider that the consequences may be severe. Presumably the video was taken shortly after the boy ran naked across a football field during a game. What’s the principal supposed to say to the news? “Ha ha ha, boys will be boys”? Or maybe “no comment.” But showing the heavily edited video with the long preamble on YouTube, in the context of this boy’s tragic death – as if to say it is somehow the principal’s words that caused his death – is manipulative.

  27. Paula October 12, 2013 at 4:19 am #

    After the legalised mental abuse heaped on little Veronica Rose by matt and melanie Capiobiaco who are forcing her to call them mommy and daddy because she loved her real daddy and not them are you supprised at this? this case has legalised child abuse because if you can do that to a child you can do anything

  28. Donna October 12, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    @Emily –

    It would be highly unlikely for you to accidently click on porn and end up on the sex offender registry, but it could happen in very unlucky circumstances.

    Remember that once you access something on the internet, you leave a fingerprint but that fingerprint doesn’t say how long you stayed or whether you liked it. If you download an image of child porn, say you thought it was something else, even once you delete it, it stays on your hard drive until that memory space is needed again. However, unless you are the target of an investigation into child porn or some other computer crime, law enforcement is never going to seize your computer and find deleted images.

    Now accidently clicking on a site with child porn that doesn’t download any images to your hard drive is probably never going to be discovered nor am I certain that it is a crime since you don’t possess images. However, clicking on a link that results in images being download to your computer could potentially cause you trouble. Because those images remain on your hard drive even after you say “disgusting” and delete them, there is a very small possibility that someone else will find them and report it to authorities, say a computer repair person.

    Since intent is a part of every crime, “I accidently downloaded those images” is a defense, but a defense being given doesn’t automatically mean that you can’t be convicted of a crime. People (police, DAs, juries) have to BELIEVE that it is true. How successful that defense will be will depend on how many times you’ve accidentally downloaded images of child porn. For the average person, it will probably only happen once. For a person who frequently views porn on the internet or participates in sexual chats, it may happen fairly frequently. It is much harder to sell to a jury that you you accidentally downloaded child porn if you have 10 images on your computer versus 1.

    In theory, if you receive an email containing child porn or access a website believed to be innocent but containing child porn, you are supposed to report it to authorities. 99 times out if 100 that will be the end of it. However, innocent reporters of crime have been known to become suspects. Google the 1996 Olympic Bombing and Richard Jewel.

  29. Andy October 12, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    @Donna, @Emily “clicking on a site with child porn that doesn’t download any images to your hard drive is probably never going to be discovered”

    I would add that if you click on a site and see child porn picture on screen, then that picture was downloaded into your computer and is very likely stored somewhere on your hard-drive. Skilled forensics would almost certainly find it.

    The server hosting porn has also log file somewhere and your IP, browser description and plenty of other data are possibly stored there. So, if they go after the server, they may find you too. Basically that is what is happening when you hear about law enforcement taking down some ring and going after users.

    Even if the server does not keep log, your internet provider is also able to store you browsing history in various logs and law enforcement would be able to get those data.

    Lastly, NSA has probably your browsing history somewhere, but they are not likely to share 🙂

  30. christine October 12, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    To all those who are asking about clicking on the wrong link for child pornography it happens more times then you know. Young kid and young adults get on to peer to peer networks and look for music, videos, and pornography. You get a bunch of titles and you click on different things and it does not matter what your looking for and you can come across child pornography. And YES you can click off it real quick BUT it stays on your computers hard drive no matter how quick you click off of it. There are certain images which are “tagged” by law enforcement and if you unintentionally click on the wrong link and even if you delete it the police will be at your door charging you with possession of child pornography. The next thing you know there can be hundreds of pictures because on these peer to peer networks like LimeWire, Frostwire, etc all links are downloaded to your hard drive automatically. Next thing you know you are in prison and on the registry. I have investigated this and found it to be true. Law enforcement is watching what you do on the computer. And usually young kids and adults look for FREE stuff. Unfortunately it gets them in a whole host of legal trouble. The only way to get this totally off your computer is to clear your whole computer in which the young kids have no clue they did anything wrong especially when they delete or ignore the pictures and even be honest with police.

  31. christine October 12, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    Now I am not saying there are not those who purposely download child pornography. But a majority of the cases are unintentional, they are looking for other pornography but come across this. Some were curious because it is talked about and wonder “what is child pornography”. This is a normal question when you hear about it all the time. But that is not many. These young kids and young adults are stupid, irresponsible and don’t understand because it is on the internet.
    Then you have the adults at the Pentagon who PAID for child pornography and was found out and honestly and nothing really happened to them. I personally have a problem with those paying for it, having thousands of images over long periods of time NOT the young adult (under 25) and teens who had it on their computer over a week or two. That does not make them evil monsters. So please watch your teenagers, young adults because they WILL be put in prison and worse of all on the sex offender registry for having been stupid.

  32. Donna October 12, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    Andy – All that is true, however it is also HIGHLY UNLIKELY to be discovered or prosecuted. When law enforcement “take down” the people on those websites, they focus on the repeat users or people who show up on several different websites and not the one-time wonders. There are simply not the resources to arrest and prosecute the large number of people whose sole history is a single access to a single child pornography site. You may very well end up on a watch list. In some circumstances, you may even end up with your computer seized, but if there is nothing else there it won’t go any further.

    Christine – STOP. Prisons are absolutely not filled with people who accidentally accessed child porn. In fact, prisons are not filled with innocent people. Prisons are filled with people who CLAIM that they innocently accessed child porn and people who CLAIM to be innocent. Half my clients insist that they are really innocent when it is clear that they are not. While innocent people do occasionally get swept up in the system, the vast majority of people in prison for child porn or otherwise are guilty.

    In 10 years as a criminal defense attorney in 2 states and 1 territory, I have ONCE been told by a client that the child porn images were accidentally accessed. And his claims were suspect since the child porn was not what he was currently charged with (federal charges were coming); he was charged with sexually explicit chats with a police officer pretending to be a 14 year old girl. In keeping with this post, he killed himself rather than face prison so I don’t know what would have happened with his accident claims at trial.

    Yes, if you access a lot of porn on the internet and engage in sexual-related chat groups, you do run a risk of accidentally viewing child porn and getting caught up in a sting. The more you do this, the higher the risk. But teens and adults are not regularly getting caught up while downloading music and other innocent stuff on the internet. If you do want to view porn, stick with reputable pay-sites and stay away from anything free. And don’t open emails from sex chatroom buddies.

  33. Emily October 12, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Donna–Thanks for clearing that up. I keep forgetting that you’re a lawyer, because you don’t mention it very often. I guess I’m not going to go to jail, because I’ve never deliberately accessed child pornography, but again, there’s always the chance of finding it accidentally, or someone deciding that a picture of, say, a little girl at a public swimming pool or beach in a string bikini (because they make those for kids now) is “child pornography.” I was thinking about a previous thread where parents weren’t allowed to take pictures of their own kids at a school swim meet, and I was thinking about zero tolerance in general, and how it’s been applied to toy guns, keychains that look like guns, and Pop-Tarts chewed into the shape of guns (or capital letter L’s, depending on how you look at it). So, if kids can be suspended/expelled from school over L-shaped breakfast pastries, I figured that adults could be sent to jail for accidentally clicking on “child pornography” (or even just a picture of a child in a bikini or whatever) while looking for something else…..and Donna, thanks for refuting what Christine said. Since she said she knew so much about child pornography and the sex offender registry, I thought she was a lawyer too, so the things about people going to jail for clicking on the wrong link and seeing porn HAD to be true.

  34. Donna October 12, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Emily, I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen. It is like kidnapping – a rare occurrence. I am simply refuting Christine’s claims that it is happening left-and-right and that the majority of people in prison for child porn are there innocently. Nor do I think that intentionally seeking out child porn for curiosity sake makes you innocent.

    I also don’t think prison is necessarily the place for people who view child porn. My client who killed himself had issues. He was a virtual sex addict. He was never going to molest children. He wasn’t even interested in children particularly; he was interested in ANYTHING related to sex. He needed therapy and a life outside of the computer, not prison. The guy who had thousands of child porn images and did molest children, deserves to be in prison (and, yes, he claims that he is 100% innocent and his conviction will be overturned on appeal even with a video of him raping his own daughter).

  35. Andy October 12, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    @Donna Arent appeals in USA procedural only? I mean that they are not supposed to evaluate evidence, only check on process?

    I’m asking because if that is not true, then overturning is outrageous. If it is true, then it may make sense in that justice system (will there be a new process?).

  36. Donna October 12, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    Andy – Appeals in the US are largely procedural. It is possible to have a conviction overturned based on “insufficiency of the evidence,” but it has to be extremely insufficient. You basically have to show that the jury must have been on crack because there is no way reasonable people would have found this person guilty. If there is any way to justify the conviction, it will stand. The appeals court will not determine someone was lying or that something couldn’t possibly have happened the way someone said it did, but will consider whether all the evidence, when viewed in the light most favorable to the prosecution, proved the charges. It is extremely rare to win an appeal this way.

    As to whether a new process is had, that will depend on the error. Sometimes errors result in a new trial and sometimes they are fatal to the entire conviction and you get a get-out-of-jail-free card.

  37. CrazyCatLady October 12, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    I find this whole thing to be stupid and contradictory. After all, the school actually WANTS all the kids to get naked, together with their own gender, every day after gym and sports practice.

    Not that, when I was a teen, many girls actually DID take showers, but I know that most of the boys did. I assume that that is still probably the case.

    I feel very sorry for the family of this boy, who was acting silly, and acting his age.

  38. Shana Rowan October 12, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    For those interested we have set up a memorial page dedicated to this boy’s memory. As someone who’s been involved with this issue for years now and lives with someone who is on the registry for a crime committed as a minor, I can assure you that this is not an isolated incident. Even those who don’t take their own lives still suffer in horrendous ways long after the offense is committed.

    As a disclaimer, I want to make it clear that in no way do we seek to absolve offenders (juvenile or adult) of actions that hurt others. Punishment is appropriate and necessary with severity based on the nature of the crime. However, justice and healing for victims need not be equated with lifelong punishment of the perpetrator, and research shows that our current methods do not prevent re-offense. Too many people on both sides of the issue are getting shafted by the media and lawmakers who refuse to publicize the widely documented problems with the registry.

  39. Steve S October 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Schools can’t prosecute or place people on the sex offender registry. I am not excusing the schools actions, but it is up to the DA/Prosecutor to press criminal charges and they don’t need the permission of the school.

  40. J.T. Wenting October 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    “Even if the server does not keep log, your internet provider is also able to store you browsing history in various logs and law enforcement would be able to get those data.”

    Every server keeps logs, only the duration they’re kept is not constant (and most of them keep logs for months or years, until the disk is full or replaced in fact, and even then they’re often on backup tapes.

    So the FBI (or whomever) finds a server hosting child porn, confiscates it, and goes through its logs.
    Now every IP address in there is a suspect, and ISPs are contacted to provide name, address, and their logs (and by law they’re required to provide, afaik even without a warrant).
    Now you’re a suspect in a child porn ring even though you never willingly visited that site (heck, if the server was a rental you might even have visited it in the past when it hosted something else).
    And because of the nature of the crime, you’re branded and hung out to dry in public by the police, media, and politicians before you’re even charged.
    As it’s impossible to refute that you are a pedophile (after all, how can you prove a negative? Maybe you’re just very good at hiding it) you’re guilty before you’re even charged, convicted on the altar of righteousness and “protecting the children” without any need for a trial or bringing of evidence.
    Your life is ruined, your chances of ever getting or holding a decent job (or any job) are destroyed, your neighbours will shun you and try to drive you out of your home and town, and anywhere you try to settle after the same will happen.
    Shortly, you’ll have only 2 options open: change your identity, undergo massive plastic surgery to change your appearance as well, OR commit suicide.
    Unless you’re exceptionally wealthy suicide is often the only option.

  41. SKL October 12, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    While I 100% agree that this was not a sex-offender-registry-worthy act, I would be very reluctant to blame a suicide on this or pretty much anything other than mental illness.

    The idea that young people can’t handle difficulties is supposed to be one we oppose on FRK, right? I mean, clearly there are kids who can’t handle big ups and downs, but most can. I wouldn’t want schools or anyone else to handle teens with kid gloves just because you occasionally come across one who is at the end of his rope.

  42. J.T. Wenting October 13, 2013 at 12:19 am #

    “While I 100% agree that this was not a sex-offender-registry-worthy act, I would be very reluctant to blame a suicide on this or pretty much anything other than mental illness.”

    yes, blame everything you don’t like on “mental illness”. That’s what they did before they invented the “sex offenders’ registry”. And then the locked those people up in “sanitoriums” and “mental institutions” for “treatment”, usually electrocution, psychedelic drugs, waterboarding, things like that. Nothing fatal, just make sure their brains are permanently screwed.

    They still do that here. Can’t get a long enough sentence for something, add some “mandatory psychiatric treatment”, which is effectively a life sentence as there’s no set end date, and you’re locked up until the doctors decide you’re “cured of your criminal tendencies”, which of course never happens.

  43. J.T. Wenting October 13, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    “Schools can’t prosecute or place people on the sex offender registry. I am not excusing the schools actions, but it is up to the DA/Prosecutor to press criminal charges and they don’t need the permission of the school.”

    fallacy there.
    Police are required to come when called, there’s no doubt a law against public nudity (“decency law”, usually) on the books, and that law no doubt includes mandatory inclusion.
    The evidence is overwhelming (school officials, police, security cameras, and hundreds of people recording it on their cellphones all saw it), so open and shut case.
    Of course technically the school doesn’t do the entering on the registry or the legal proceedings, but it was their discretionary decision to call the police (which they deliberately made non-discretionary by their “zero tolerance policy”) that caused charges to be pressed, therefore they are responsible.

  44. Donna October 13, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    @SKL – There is a difference between handling difficulties expected at age 15 and handling the possibility of life on a sex offender registry at 15. Many adults have trouble dealing with it and it is, in fact, a major life-changing event. Regular high school would be done as he couldn’t be on campus. Traditional college would be done as he wouldn’t be accepted, and there is a high likelihoid that he wouldn’t complete high school. He would have likely had to move out of his current home as it wasn’t selected with a sex offender in mind, thus causing his entire family to be uprooted or him being separated from his family. If he has any younger siblings, he would have been unable to be alone with them and may have been forced to live in a separate residence from them. He would have had limited ability to use computers, cameras and reading material. His job prospects would have sucked. His residential choices severely limited for life. His likelihood of ending up homeless extremely high. And through it all, he would have been vilified, threatened and treated like the scum of the earth.

    There doesn’t need to be a specific mental illness when you are talking about someone experiencing a major negative life event who commits suicide. The event itself may be enough to push someone, who was perfectly content before, into a deep depression and a mentality that they are better off dead than the life currently on the table, especially at a young age with very limited life experience.

  45. Donna October 13, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    JT Wenting –

    First, every high school football game I’ve ever attended, including those in my high school days in the 80s, had police officers assigned to work at the game so the school likely didn’t call anyone. A cop was already present when the incident occurred.

    Second, the DA has vast prosecutorial discretion. The DA can choose to dismiss the warrants taken by the police and not prosecute. Happens in many of our cases.

    Regardless of the warrants taken out by the police, the charges against a person are 100% at the discretion of the DA. If the DA was insistent something needed to happen here, they could have chosen to prosecute him for disorderly conduct or something else that would not result in registry. DAs in my area do consider the sex offender registry and alter charges to get around it when they don’t think the person needs to be on the registry.

    Most courts have alternatives to formal prosecution. Defendants are allowed to do some community service or take some classes or pay for damages and, if they do so successfully, the charges are dismissed. No conviction, no registry.

  46. Andy October 13, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    @J.T. Wenting If you call the police to help handle minor problem and they blow it out of proportion, then the fault is on the police.

    It is perfectly ok to ask the police to remove nude boy from football match. It would be perfectly ok to make the boy do some community service, give him warning or one of those no jail time but under condition punishment.

    You know, the whole punishment fitting the crime thing. The situation where people are afraid to call cops in fear of overreaction is not good.

  47. Daniel October 13, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    I confess that I am old. I grew up back in the days when the YMCA still required everyone to swim nude (depending on the location, the YMCA still had nude swimming into the late 1970’s). If there were molestations going on at the Y, I never heard about them. Likewise, we had streakers as a fairly common occurrence and Ray Stevens’ hit song The Streak topped the Billboard charts in 1974.

    But now we have redefined the human body into something pornographic. In the eyes of the law, this lad exposed himself to the little children sitting in the bleachers and therefore needed to have his life ruined. It was harmless when I was his age, but now we have new laws. These laws were passed “to protect public morals”. Does anyone seriously argue that we have higher moral standards today as a result of these laws?

  48. Randy October 13, 2013 at 10:08 am #


    I guess if it makes you feel better to think that he couldn’t have killed himself unless he was mentally ill, that’s fine. I’ll be honest with you, though: I’m fairly successful, had a good childhood, have a great job and wonderful wife and generally love life. But if I was going to face the horrors of the S.O.R. on top of a potentially lengthy prison sentence and the loss of the people and things I love in life, I’d put a gun in my mouth tonight.

    I know it’s a sample size of one, but obviously I’m not alone.

  49. Marty October 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Oh, so very sad. The pressure by know-it-alls is so very deleterious to all of us! I was truly saddened to hear of this sad story. His parents must be devastated. Everyone knows that young boys – especially – are kinda dumb in some areas. Let them be kids. I remember when my boys were teenagers – it was as if they had a target on their head – so many people were afraid of them and just assumed they would do bad things. Teenage boys are our precious resources. Teenage girls, as well are precious resources and we’ve got to figure out a way to support them as they blossom into great twenty-somethings.

  50. Warren October 13, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    “First, every high school football game I’ve ever attended, including those in my high school days in the 80s, had police officers assigned to work at the game so the school likely didn’t call anyone. A cop was already present when the incident occurred.”

    Why the heck would you need or want law enforcement working a high school football game? That in itself is just ridiculous. If you had them working games 30 years ago, that just proves how paranoid, fearful, your society is. It just blows my mind that anyone would even want a police presence, let alone think they were needed.

    And if they are needed, then your society is pretty much beyond help. What is everyone so afraid of?

  51. Steve S October 13, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    JT Wenting

    I do a fair amount of criminal defense. As Donna pointed out, prosecutors have a great deal of discretion and do not simply charge someone just because someone else wants them to. They can decline based on any number of reasons. Given that a football game is a major public event in most towns, it may be that more than a few people may have contacted the authorities.

    Regardless, it is ultimately the decision of the prosecutor to file charges and they should receive any outrage and anger in regards to any charges.

  52. Donna October 13, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    Warren –

    Your question is about on par with why should a town have police officers.

    As Steve S said, high school football games are major public events in many towns. Where I went to high school (the 1st one anyway), the high school game was THE place to be on Friday night, student or not. The police have someone working the area for the same reason that the police hang out at any other major public event — to keep order in large crowds.

    And, yes, several minor incidents occurred every year – underage drinking, drug sales, fights, obnoxious drunks, harassing the opposing team, throwing things at buses. Other than a couple drug deals, I don’t recall anyone ever being arrested, but the police escorting someone out of the game was not uncommon.

    Before you ask, sure the school could have simply paid people to do the same thing, but why when the police were more than willing to do it and it is kinda their job?

  53. oncefallendotcom October 13, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    As a former resident of Alabama, I would have been surprised if Alabama did NOT pursue charges.

    Prisons are big business in that state. As we say down there, “Come on vacation, leave on probation, come for a stroll, leave on parole.”

    The best part of that state is the northbound I-65 because to takes you out of North Alabama.

  54. Steve S October 14, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Donna, I also recall a local cop at most high school football games. This was in a pretty small town (one murder every 30 years or so) with little crime. As police are also part of the community, it seemed to make sense that someone from the department would be present at a significant public event.

    Are Canadian police so elite and detached from the community that they do not come to things like games, parades, and fairs? Wow, I am glad I don’t live with snobs like that. 😉

  55. Emily October 14, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    About the “police presence” thing, we had police officers at our high school dances; although I don’t remember if they attended football games too, because I didn’t go to very many of those. Anyway, that was the way it was for grades nine through eleven, and then, when I was in grade twelve, we had police patrolling the school on a day-to-day basis, because we had new administration (one principal, two VP’s) come in, and they decided to “crack down” on “discipline problems,” of which I’d been pretty much unaware until that first day of grade twelve. What the new VP’s did, as far as I recall, is, they spent a lot of time really annoying the “good kids,” by “cracking down” on us for minor infractions, or even non-infractions, like sitting in the halls during our spares. Anyway, as for the police, they pretty much blended into the scenery, they didn’t interact with us unless we initiated it, and they didn’t get involved in any disciplinary disputes, unless the teachers or principals asked them to. So, on one level, it was just normal to have police officers around our school, but on another level, it just felt really…….not normal. I could never really put my finger on why it bothered me, because it wasn’t me or my friends who the school didn’t trust (since we were all “good kids” who were well-liked by peers and adults, got good grades, and participated in extra-curricular activities), but it just didn’t sit right. A lot of people think that teenagers “need structure,” but they get “structure” conflated with “rigidity,” and “micromanaging,” and that can do more harm than good. I have many positive memories of high school, including grade twelve and OAC, but morale took a big hit when the new administration, and the constant police presence, came in. Our school had always been viewed as a “good school,” and I think that having the police around was embarrassing to those who took pride in that–we didn’t want to be the school that had to be patrolled by the cops.

  56. Ian B October 14, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    While the schools, boards, and governments have their knickers in a twist about preventing bullying, they’re conveniently ignoring the fact that with this zero-tolerance insanity when it comes to weapons, the naked human body, or anything else, the school administrators themselves are some of the biggest bullies in the school.

  57. Donna October 14, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    @Steve S – I wonder what these Canadians are up to that they are so bothered by members of the community, who happen to be police officers, present at community events. The Sheriff (his son was on the team) and every deputy on the force were present at most of my high school football games, whether on duty or off. Most graduated from that school and/or had family members currently attending, and, frankly, there just wasn’t much else to do on Friday night. It did not create an oppressive atmosphere of fear, although it probably kept a few in line because they knew Sheriff Finch was going to call their daddy if they acted stupid.

  58. Eileen October 14, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    @Warren I’m pretty sure that police were at my HS football games 30 years ago. They most certainly at every HS game that I’ve attended in the last 10 years (with my own kids). Most times they aren’t needed, but I can name 2 large fights that occurred at games we attended, including one where 2 groups of kids arranged to meet at the adjacent practice field and fight.

    Various other reasons…unruly (and unhinged) parents that want to confront the referees, kids intoxicated, escort the box office staff with money to the school office, etc.

    The games we attend have 1000s of people there, so it’s not surprising to me at all. We also saw 2 medical situations last year where it was convenient to have the police there to direct the EMS when they arrived, control the crowd/traffic.

    Anyway, the police being present is an interesting thing…it doesn’t sound like he was arrested at the time.

  59. Warren October 14, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    Donna and Steve, you can shove your snob/elitism comments up your paranoid american assess.

    And for the record, I played highschool football, hockey, baseball. Any cops present were there as parents or other family. Not in an official capacity.

    There is a difference between attending an event, and working an event. If you need law enforcement to work a highschool event, it only goes to prove that americans are lowlife rednecks with no self control, that need a police state just to have them behave. Your arrogance is great, but very misplaced, as it seems that normal civil behaviour depends on police presence.

    Basic difference between the states and Canada, we know how to act appropriately, and do not need armed officers there to enforce behaviour. If you cannot go to a highschool football game, and enjoy it safely with out armed officers working the game, then there is something fundamentally wrong with your society and community.
    No wonder your country is so screwed up.

  60. Donna October 14, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    Warren – Interesting that you think Canada is sooooo much better than the US since Emily is from Canada and the only one reporting a police presence at school dances.

  61. SKL October 15, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    Ever since I’ve been acquainted Warren on here, I’ve been convinced that Canadians have a huge advantage over the US when it comes to civility.

    Police officers are part of a community. When I was in high school, having a cop at an activity was a positive thing, not because we were afraid something bad was going to happen, but because it showed the cops were spending quality time with the folks. Granted, I lived in “redneck” land, where violent crime outside of domestic disputes was extremely rare.

    I don’t think US folks are arrogant in relation to Canadians. Mostly we feel like you guys are about the same as us. Apparently this is not mutual . . . .

  62. Warren October 15, 2013 at 12:18 am #

    Well Donna, I hate to burst your bubble, but Emily did not attend the only highschool in Canada.

    I was a student at one, went to dances at more, played team sports at schools accross the province, and my brother attended the catholic one, in town. My three kids have gone to different highschools than I, and there is no police at games or dances in any of these.

    You really do not want to debate which country is better, as you are already starting from a losing position.

    So you continue using the police to ensure that people act civil. We will just do it on our own.

    And no offense to Emily, but her limited life experience is nothing compared to alot of us. Hell she is barely out of highschool. Give her a few more years.

  63. hineata October 15, 2013 at 5:10 am #

    Well, speaking of police at football games, couldn’t resist this….

    Seems even refs aren’t immune to arrest, LOL! And when they talk about a chain gang, do they mean an actual bunch of prisoners who would usually be chained together? Or is it some kind of nickname for sideline refs?

    Good on the police for hanging out at games, sounds like a good community-building exercise. We usually just have the St Johns volunteers, and occasionally Maori wardens.

  64. Donna October 15, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    At least we learn how to spell “high school” correctly in the US. It is actually two words.

    I’ve known enough Canadians who are not Warren to know that they are delightful, civil people. Which is good because otherwise I’d have to believe them the most obnoxious, unpleasant people on the planet, but clearly Warren is an anomaly.

  65. Donna October 15, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    Hineata – Although Louisiana has been known to still use prisoner chain gangs, I don’t they take them to football games. This chain gang appears to be a nickname for the people who mark the yard (the US measurement version of yard) where the ball starts and ends and where they get the first down. The refs disputed their marks. And none of that makes any sense if you don’t understand American football.

  66. Donna October 15, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    While I don’t think overall country civility should be determined by one issue nor do I think one country is better than another – all countries have both good and bad parts -let’s look at this:

    Civility – American cops, in general, are thought of in a positive light and are considered an integral part of the community. We usually don’t mind having them about unless we are up to no good or they are. In fact, we’ve been known to speak to them and otherwise treat them like the community members that they are, even when they are on-duty, and they’ve been known to be friendly, respectful and even helpful at times. If Warren is to be believed (which I do about as often as I believe a politician), Canadian cops are intimidating, make you feel as if you are in a police state by their mere presence at a large community event and should be avoided at all costs.

    Intelligence – American cops have figured out a way to be paid to watch football and socialize with their community (and people don’t care unless crime is going undetected because see “civility”). ‘Nough said on that one.

  67. Eileen October 15, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    @Warren, I imagine there is some point that is reached where law enforcement in Canada decides to show up at a large gathering. Is it 2000 people? 5000 people? 10000 people?

    It’s also a little difficult to look down your nose at American public behavior when a small subset of the Vancouver community decided to destroy part of their own city after losing the Stanley Cup (Vancouver 2011).

    There are idiots everywhere…even in Canada.

    The whole point of bringing up the police was just to point out that they were likely there in the first place.

  68. Eileen October 15, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    And not that this is necessary, but it takes about 5 seconds to google up violence at Canadian sporting events.

    A Jr hockey game in Ontario:

    And one from Winnipeg

  69. Steve S October 15, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    I have been to Canada numerous times for business and leisure (mostly hunting). I also went to law school with a fair number of Canadians. For the most part, I like Canadians. Warren reminds me of the Winnie the Pooh character Eeyore. He is perpetually depressed and never misses out on an opportunity to whine or complain about something. It would seem to take a lot of effort to be that much of a depressing, obnoxious, prick.

    Firearms law is one of my areas of expertise and I occasionally have clients that are planning a trip to Canada. I am certainly not going to get into an argument over what country is better, but your gun laws stink. While not perfect, at least this country has some semblance of respecting personal liberty. Don’t even get me started on laws related to “free speech”.

  70. Warren October 15, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Just how do our gun laws stink? Because we realize you do not need automatic weapons to hunt deer? Because we understand that Rambo wannabees from the states do not know how to respect firearms, so we are forced to police them?

    Reports have it that one of the cops on the sideline in Louisiana, had a son on the losing team, and engaged the game officials first. Then things got out of hand, and the cops made arrests. So much for having a calming effective police presence. LOL

    As for Vancouver, there is no excuse, for the canadian citizens involved, nor the dozens of americans arrested during that riot either.

    And Donna, you really are a piece of work. Typical lawyer crap, twisting words. So for Donna, one last time…….I will say it slowly as to not confuse you. Are you ready?

    There is a difference between attending an event as a spectator, family member or friend and attending the event in an official capacity as security. If you cannot understand that, then I suggest you hand in your Mexican law degree, and return to school.

    You really want to compare, then travel the world. In most countries a canadian is welcomed with great hospitality, and is respected. The same cannot be said for americans. Now some of that is because of foreign policy, but it is also a result of the american attitude when travelling. Americans have been known to put canadian flags on luggage/backpacks, just so they are treated better.

    Let’s face it, you are all in support of having police everywhere, and then get upset when they make arrests. Now that is stupid. As for cops figuring out they can use their badge to get into places free………well there are conduct codes that actually prohibit that activity. So Donna, I guess it is okay for the cops to break that rule, then don’t get upset when they trample your rights to. Such arrogance and stupidity Donna should not be mixed.

  71. Helen October 15, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Not sure if our US friends have heard of Michael Stanley, but he has been all over the news in Canada lately after he managed to ditch his ankle bracelet and go on the lam. This man’s victims have ranged in age from 15 months to 82 years – he has raped boys, girls, and women. He is the type who should be on a sex offender list. However, he managed to make it to the US border, where he crossed without difficulty because he is a US citizen. Now the police in the US don’t know his whereabouts and he is free to do as he pleases. Why is a truly dangerous man free to do as he likes while this teenager and others like him are sentenced to a life on this ridiculous list? Here’s a link to a story on Stanley on the CBC:

  72. Kay October 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    This story just saddens me greatly.

    I’ve seen people say that politicians won’t do anything about the overreaching sex registry because it would seem they are soft on crime and pedophiles.

    If there was national exposure to these accounts, like a Dateline or 60 minutes for starters, it might bring more public awareness, attention, and outrage. Only then might the lawmakers make changes accordingly.

  73. Steve S October 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Warren, yes, your gun laws and failed registries do suck. I don’t own any automatic weapons, so I ca’t comment on their use for hunting, though I would agree that they are probably not needed. Those types of guns have been heavily regulated for almost a 100 years. In that time, there have been less than 10 incidents involving lawfully owned machine guns. You would really have to be paranoid to believe that you need the government to protect you from this.

    Your government doesn’t respect you. If they did, they wouldn’t make you get permission to own a firearm and they wouldn’t make you register them. That being said, I honestly don’t care. If you guys are happy with the way things are, then it really isn’t any concern of mine.

  74. Steve S October 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    Americans pretend to be Canadian while travelling? Bullshit. Though purely anecdotal, I have never had a problem with the way I have been treated overseas. To think, I could have pretended to be Canadian and I would have probably gotten discounts and “special” treatment.

  75. Warren October 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Poor misguided Steve. The long gun registry failed because we beat it. We fought the gov’t and won.

    So are you telling me that anyone in any state can just go and buy a firearm, no permit, no waiting period, no gov’t permission? Bull!

    And yes please give us the same rights as americans to amass small caches of weapons, so that we can be just like you. Yes please, we want more guns running around. For the majority, no one cares that sidearms are difficult to own. We are not insecure minions that believe that we need firearms to live in safety and peace. I much prefer the life we have, where we can still not think about locking the doors at night or even when we leave to go out.

    Steve it is not just storytelling. Canadians are more widely welcomed around the world than americans. And many travellers to europe and australia have used the maple leaf to make travelling more enjoyable. Seen it done. My brother has supplied american friends with patches and emblems when travelling with them. Your pure arrogance is one of the reasons why they do it.

    Anything else you need to know? Am more than happy to keep educating you, since your school system could not.

  76. Andy October 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    @Steve S Some people prefer to live in a country with low rates of deadly shootings, even if it means the guns are controlled. Low rates of deadly shootings include also police shootings and people killed by police.

    It is also disputable whether Canada not allowing guns is really that much worst then me having to leave hands on steering wheel so traffic cop does not shoot me. Just compare how often American cops start unneeded shootings on unarmed citizens vs how often Canadian cops start that.

    That “government is disrespecting you” talking point is nothing but nonsense.

  77. Andy October 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    @Warrent Most foreigners can not tell the difference between Canadian and American. You guy look too similar to us. Unless you wave you national flag in which case you are considered obnoxious nationalist.

    If an establishment treats Americans badly, then it will get exactly what it deserves: less earnings.

    Just for the record, worst kind of tourists are British boys travelling here to get drunk. Alcohol is cheaper here and England bars close soon, so they come to get seriously wasted.

    Americans are actually usually ok.

  78. Steve S October 15, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    I can’t speak for every state, but in most places, people can buy firearms without any permits or waiting periods. FWIW, there are more than a few studies that show that waiting periods have no influence on murder/suicide rates.

    As for people that want to buy an “arsenal”, that is their prerogative. If they are law abiding, then what difference is it to you. For someone that harps on people for being paranoid, you sure are scared of someone that is most likely a collector.

    Andy, as for disrespect, I don’t know what else to call it. Maybe mistrust or magical thinking would be a better term. The vast majority of the research shows that strict gun controls do little or nothing to lower violent crime rates. Apparently, it makes some people happy and they aren’t worried about laws having any causal connection to reality.

  79. Steve S October 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    Again, if other countries are happy with their gun laws, it is not really my place to tell them to change.
    On the other hand, the laws in most places don’t seem to lower the number of shootings.

  80. hineata October 16, 2013 at 1:44 am #

    Actually, Warren, when I lived in Malaysia everyone assumed I was American. If you are white, you must be American. Same goes across much of Asia I gather, and probably other non-white areas of the world. Usually it’s not a problem, though I felt a bit unsafe when George Bush was imposing his bizarre ideas of diplomacy on the world.

    It is pretty impossible, without an obvious maple leaf, to tell the difference between Americans from the northern states and English-speaking Canadians. Therefore if anyone sounds like an American not from Mississippi etc, I always ask if they are Canadian. In my experience, Americans are not insulted by this, whereas Canadians tend to be upset when one asks if they are American. So more diplomatic to go with Canada first.

  81. hineata October 16, 2013 at 1:48 am #

    Sorry, Steve, check the stats for the UK vs. US. The UK has 60 million odd people, and a few hundred gun murders a year if that. The US has five times the population and 11,000 gun murders. While it’s absolutely your prerogative to do what you want, there is definitely more gun deaths per head of population in the US than in the UK, another relatively populous nation without the ‘right’ to hold firearms.

  82. Steve S October 16, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Hineata, you are absolutely correct. My argument was that gun laws do little or nothing to lower crime rates. As for the UK, where are you getting your stats? Most of what I can find, says otherwise. The gun crime rate doubled in the decade following a ban on handguns. In addition, the number of illegally held firearms doubled in that time. From what I can tell, the UK only counts convictions when they compile gun crimes, so anything unsolved is not counted. This is not true in the US, where all gun crimes are reported.

    Over the last century, the British crime rate was largely unchanged. In the late nineteenth century, the per capita homicide rate in Britain was between 1.0 and 1.5 per
    100,000. In the late twentieth century, after a near ban on gun ownership, the homicide rate is around 1.4. This implies that the homicide rate did not vary with either the level of gun control or gun availability.

  83. Warren October 16, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    You are missing the point. As a whole the people of Canada do not feel the need, nor the desire to own handguns, or assault rifles. We are happy with our hunting rifles.

    We are not scared living in our homes. Thinking we need a .357 on the night table.

    My rifles are useless to anyone that steals them. Because they are secured in such a manner that they would be rendered inoperable.

    I do not need a gun to keep my business or home safe. That is why it is great to live in Canada.

  84. Steve S October 16, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    I do get it. I hadn’t realized that Canada was a magical, crime-free, place. If it isn’t, then I am sure your thinking you wouldn’t ever need to defend yourself or someone else is enough to prevent any kind of tragedy.

  85. hineata October 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    @Steve – just from Wikipedia, that fount of all knowledge, LOL! And I am currently in the process of failing post-grad stats in a fairly spectacular fashion, so I could certainly be completely up the pole. However according to one table I could find, the rate of gun-related deaths (that’s all gun-related deaths, not just homicide) was 10.3 per 100,000 in the US (2011) while in the UK (2010) it was 0.25. So 40 times the rate. Interestingly I saw NZ had a rate of 1.45, and we have strict controls too.

    Everyone trailed Ecuador I think it was, where the rate was something like 65……

  86. Jayce October 16, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    The best part is, it makes the sex offender registry completely useless for its purpose; that is, warning people of who might be actually dangerous.

    The sex offender registry has literally become about as useful as a list of people with parking tickets, as far as indicating dangerous individuals.

    Thanks, irresponsible prosecutors. You’ve done us all a great service.

    That the rest of them do not regularly and vocally condemn the members of their trade who abuse this does not speak highly of them as a group.

  87. Warren October 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Okay Little Man,

    In comparison to most of the states, Canada could be considered almost crime free. But it is not, as you well know. But we don’t walk around thinking about it. We don’t feel the need to prepare for a gunfight.

    Tell you what, why don’t you come on up. I can show you how we defend ourselves. Ever heard of the 12 foot rule? Anyway, keep your guns, they go hand in hand with your paranoia, your insecurity, and your need to compensate for physical short comings.

  88. Warren October 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Oh Steve,

    Just read an article. Toronto, Ontario, Canada ranked 2nd Most Reputable City. Not one american city in the top 10.

  89. SteveS October 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    I have heard of the 22 foot rule.

    In my paranoia, I have trained with a variety of weapons besides firearms, so I feel as prepared as I can be. 😉

    I am sure you overwrought internet bravado is more than adequate for defending yourself. Little man, that is a good one. Are you in middle school?