I read an interesting article regarding NJ Rep. Chris Smith, author of the International Megan’s Law ,which has just completed it’s first year in existence.
According to Smith who met with a delegation from Thailand which included Ambassador Pisan Manawapal and representatives for the Royal Thai Police, gratitude for the law was expressed. Purportedly 160 convicted sex offenders tried to enter Thailand during the past year. Worldwide 1,780 notifications of “pedophile travel” were sent to 64 countries, particularly those known to be destinations for child sex tourism.
Now, my first issue is with Mr.Smith’s terminology. He seems to believe that all sex offenders are pedophiles and then, to stir the pot even more, has drummed up a scary new term, “traveling pedophile”.
I would think one needs to be somewhat educated to be a state representative, but Mr. Smith may prove me wrong here.
How many times must we explain to those in government that not every sex offender is a pedophile? Has Mr. Smith bothered to look up the DSM-V definition of pedophile? Or does he just assume that any sex offense must have to do with molesting children?
A “traveling pedophile” that’s a new one! Is that like a traveling salesman?
The Rep. makes no mention of what types of convictions the 160 sex offenders who tried to travel to Thailand had been convicted of. I suppose if he had to divulge that information, it might alter the facts a bit.
Before Mr. Smith and his International Megan’s Law came along, I doubt that Thailand was worried about a public urinator or skinny dipper entering their country? Did they have a problem with high school seniors who had sex with their high school junior girlfriends entering their country? Did accidental or inadvertent downloading of CP cause them some international incident?
No. Thailand did have some problems, but they were with a particular type of sex offender, those who were involved in sex trades and trafficking. The idea to ban any and all sex offenders who wanted nothing more than to travel and visit foreign countries, just like any other normal person, started with Mr. Smith’s pea-brain notion that every sex offender is the same and then convincing other countries to go along with his beliefs.
And what of the 1,780 notifications of “pedophile travel” sent to 64 countries known to be destinations for child sex tourism? I’m certain lots of people travel to those countries for reasons other than sexual gratification. Perhaps they just want to travel. Is that idea so far-fetched? What were the crimes committed by those 1,780 people that got them on the registry to begin with? Certainly they weren’t all pedophiles. But Mr. Smith doesn’t want the public to know that, he wants the public to believe they were all pedophiles seeking out children so that he could justify his International Megan’s Law.
Rep. Smith makes the comment that “this legislation allows governments in the U.S. and around the globe to know when convicted pedophiles on Sex Offender Registries are traveling to other countries.” But Rep. Smith’s legislation does much more than that, it takes away the rights of everyone on the registry to travel to certain countries, regardless of what their crime was.
I find it dishonest, mean spirited and quite shameful for this country to provide a list of registrants to other countries, registrants who may have never had any inappropriate contact with children and to portray them as “traveling pedophiles”.
Mr. Smith’s last sentence “information is power and the interest of protecting children remains at the core of both federal and state Megan’s Law’s” is quite ironic since he appears ill-informed when it comes to definitions and appropriate terminology. In his zealousness to protect children, he seems to have forgotten about the children of offenders (who have, incidently, served their time) who will never get to travel with their offender-parent thanks to his ill-conceived law.
Yes, I guess he has proved me wrong about educated state representatives.