The Most Popular Safety Laws (That Don’t Work)

Hi Folks! This is an amazingly smart piece from, of all places, Cracked magazine. Remember Cracked? Used to be the also-ran to Mad? (And, okay, I used to write for them. A lot. And all my friends thought I was writing for crack, and shook their heads. So now you know.)

Anyway, now Cracked seems to actually be fact-based and this piece  gives just fantastic insights about the failure of the Sex Offender Registry and Zero Tolerance laws in school. Enjoy! — Lenore

20 Responses to The Most Popular Safety Laws (That Don’t Work)

  1. Blake October 22, 2009 at 6:53 am #

    I’ve been very impressed with Cracked for the year or so I’ve been visiting the site. I can usually find back-up for their assertions in their articles, even though they’re not written to provide fact, but entertainment. You can actually learn quite a bit by checking out their stuff (though much of it is not meant for children).

  2. Nicola October 22, 2009 at 7:24 am #

    Loved Cracked. Love their article here, too.

  3. progressboink October 22, 2009 at 7:25 am #

    I’ve been going through their archives to alleviate my boredom for the last three days, so when I stumbled upon that article I was like, “WHOA, no way!! Someone else sees how stupid those things are too???”

    I agree Blake, their articles have continued to impress me…and not just because they give me an excuse to procrastinate my history paper. 😉

  4. Uly October 22, 2009 at 7:34 am #

    Yeah, Blake. It’s sad, but I learn more from than I do from reading the Times every day. And it’s such a stupidly addictive site!

  5. Merinda October 22, 2009 at 8:55 am #

    You might want to change the link so that it goes to the first page. But yes, Cracked is great. That and Mental Floss are my two favorite reads.

  6. Heidi October 22, 2009 at 9:40 am #

    That was a very interesting article. I had never really thought about the stupidity of speed bumps, but when they put it that way. . .

    I’m glad there are a more people out there that see how stupid all of those things are. I’d never really given 5-3 so much thought, but I’ve been fuming about #2 and #1 recently. I think I’ll need to keep on my list of reads.

  7. Jon Swerens October 22, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    Here’s the link to the beginning of the article:

  8. Lara Starr October 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    We LOVE at our house (have you seen the 25 most baffling toys) this is a great article

  9. Lara Starr October 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    We LOVE at our house – this is a great article.

    If you REALLY want to be frightened for well-being of children, check out the 25 Most Baffling Toys

  10. Stephanie October 22, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    It’s hard to quit reading Cracked whenever I land on that site. Too much funny stuff, and they’re generally right.

  11. owen59 October 22, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

    I recently heard a forum in which an ex-high court judge in Australia cautioning against “Megan Law’ approaches as driving sex offenders underground. In the same breath the representative of a victim group (VOCAL worried that sentences were poor, rehabilitation services were light on. Others thought prisons just put offenders together as a negative support network with after prison consequences. All ‘experts’ recognised that there are no easy answers to stop re-offence regardless of prison time. There is a real public policy problem here that prevents focus of resources on the small numbers of very dangerous people in our communities because 90% of prisoners are not a real danger to the community so probably shouldn’t be in a prison. (Not to be misconstrued as not having a sentence but that’s another issue)

  12. Mae Mae October 22, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    I loved the pictures for the broken window theory. Very funny. I have never heard of this site but now I can’t wait to go back and read more.

  13. Siphoneuphoria October 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    I LOVE!

  14. pentamom October 22, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

    I think the article’s generally good but the argument about speed limits was a bit flawed. I definitely agree with him about the national maximum speeds, but you can’t tell me that reminding law-abiding people to go 25 instead of 35 or 40 through a residential neighborhood (which even the best of us might be inclined to do at times f it “seems safe”) doesn’t promote genuine safety. His case is good as he makes it but making it a critique of *all* speed limits and suggesting that there’s no value to setting it low in some areas for the sake of those inclined to obey it is where it is a bit weak.

  15. pentamom October 22, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    But this article does remind me of a slogan I’d like to propose for FRK: “We believe in safety, not in ‘safety.'”

  16. Michele October 22, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    Wow! What a great website. Thanks for turning me onto crack!!!

    The one thing about the sex offender registry is that these are the folks, that:

    A. have actually been arrested for the charge and
    B. have been convicted in a court of law

    It takes a lot to get to those 2 stages.

    Think of the bazillion men out there who are active, repeat sex offenders who have not been caught/arrested yet, much less, actually been tried AND convicted AND who are not on the list. We focus so much on this small sex offender geographical list when they are only “deck chairs off the titanic.”

    Not very free-range of me I guess, but that is reality.

  17. KarenW October 22, 2009 at 11:30 pm #

    Michele, take it easy. There’s no reason to believe there are “bazillions” of sex offenders, caught or uncaught.

    And count me as another huge Cracked fan!! I love how they can come up with such funny stuff without having to make anything up. It shows that there is no limit of stupidity in the world.

  18. Tom Accuosti October 22, 2009 at 11:31 pm #

    You wrote for them? Okay, I’m squeeing like a fangirl.

    My respect for you has gone up another 10 points.

  19. Jacqui October 23, 2009 at 2:36 am #

    Hey, that is a smart article. When I was 10, my birthday money went into a four-year subscription to MAD. I think nerdy people are the best people.

  20. Wacky Hermit October 23, 2009 at 11:35 am #

    I guess CPSIA didn’t make the top 5, although I’d put it among the top 10.