Can Someone Explain How This Would Work?

 Delaware Right - Moving Delaware ForwardThe following was part of a press release from the Republican Caucus of the Delaware House of Representatives.

House Bill 265 would make it a crime for any convicted sex offender to reside or loiter within 500 feet of a “licensed child care center.”  The law already contains the same protective buffer zone


around Delaware schools.

State Rep. Kevin Hensley, R-Townsend-Odessa-Port Penn, said he sponsored the bill after receiving a phone call.  “A constituent called me expressing concern that there was a registered sex offender living a couple of doors down from a licensed daycare center in my district,” he said.  “I had assumed that daycares fell under the definition of ‘schools’ in the Delaware Code, prohibiting such an arrangement.  However, I found this was not the case.  H.B. 265 merely includes licensed daycare centers under the school definition, prohibiting sex offenders from being within a 500-foot radius.”
   This is arguably a tough topic. We naturally want to protect our children from sexual predators. However, how will such a law be enforced?
   It seems easy to say that a convicted sexual offender cannot live near a school, and now a licensed daycare. This would obviously mean that these sexual offenders could not move into a neighborhood which contains either a school or said daycare.
   But what takes precedent in the case of a convicted sexual offender who has been living in a community for any amount of time, which then receives a request of a daycare to open and be licensed?
   Does the sexual offender have to move if such a request is made? Or is the request denied? In fact this could also happen if a new school were to be proposed for a new location. What if there are convicted sexual offenders already living within the prescribed radius?
   Look, as I said, we want to protect our children, but it is this type of reactionary legislation, seemingly without any real forethought to the unintended consequences, simply because one citizen called one legislator, that has led to voluminous laws.
   Should people who have been convicted of shooting someone be banned form living within a certain distance of a gun factory? Should drunk drivers not be allowed to live near an auto-factory?
  As I said, this is a tough topic because it concerns the safety of our children. If this law passes, I would recommend that every community come together and apply for a daycare license, just to keep out the predators.
   But maybe someone else has an idea of how this will work.

5 Comments on "Can Someone Explain How This Would Work?"

  1. Anon says:

    Sounds like the guy is up for re-election to me and is looking for a hot button issue to place on his campaign literature.

  2. Fish Bites says:

    It’s just “junk food” politics. Your child is most likely to be molested by someone working IN the daycare center than by some person living down the street who wouldn’t have a chance of actually getting anywhere near your child under supervision.

    But, sure, why 500 feet? Why not a thousand? Why not a mile?

  3. Rick says:

    Your child is most likely to be molested by someone working IN the daycare center than by some person living down the street…


  4. Fish Bites says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to expand on rare agreement with Rick.

    The counter-argument to what I said is “Oh, but they do criminal background checks on daycare workers” as if that is some way of ensuring a child molester who, thus far, has gotten away with it couldn’t possibly be employed by a daycare center.

    Do they do criminal background checks on the boyfriend of the daycare worker who shows up everyday to pick her up from work, and hangs out waiting to pick her up? No.

    Of course background checks make sense to flag prior offenders, but it’s not as if they keep out molesters who haven’t been caught yet. There’s a first time for everything.

    I mean, if I read the news correctly, the best way for a high school kid to have sex with a woman in her 20’s is to attend high school. To think of all that time I wasted in my youth delivering newspapers, shoveling snow, and doing yardwork for potential cougars, when all I had to do was stay after school.

    The incidence of complete strangers molesting children is NOTHING in comparison to family members, school workers, coaches, religious figures, etc. who get to know the family circumstances, groom the child, and assess the likelihood of getting caught. Any “stranger living down the street” who shows up looking around at a daycare center is going to attract immediate attention and response. It’s not as if kids just wander off the premises, and it’s not as if other people can just wander onto them.

    But, hey, let’s make it 100 miles. That way, the guy who got caught peeing drunk in an alley or by the side of the road, and is now a “sex offender” for an indecent exposure charge, has to move out of the state.

  5. Rick says:

    I agree with you again. It is utterly ridiculous- and an egregious injustice- to mark someone as a “sex offender” for peeing in the bushes.

    That reminds me of an old product of mine; “Pee N’ Pants.” Unlike disgusting “undergarments,” “Pee N’ Pants” consisted of a “penile tube” and an “ankle reservoir and strap.”

    The TV ad showed a trucker, sweating and in misery, looking out his windshield at a sign saying “rest stop 67 miles.” The next shot showed the trucker standing beside his trailer under an overpass, with a state trooper pulling up behind with his emergency lights flashing…

    “Don’t let this happen to you!…”

    “And as a bonus, if you order Pee N’ Pants within the next ten minutes, we will include at no extra charge, “S**t Britches.” Yes, with “S**t Britches”….”

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