Friday, October 15, 2010


Apologies again for putting up a second Post in one day. But I came across this just a few minutes ago.

A Suffolk County on Long Island in the State of New York is now going to put convicted animal-abusers on a Registry.

Those convicted of animal abuse will have to pay a $50 annual fee for the Registry’s (they are calling it a “watch list”) upkeep. It will be interesting to see where that goes legally. Names, addresses, head-shots will be publicly accessible online.

The SO community is familiar with the general scheme.

In a classic example of a bad idea ‘migrating’, one animal rights activist draws the connection clearly: “We love our animals as we love our children”.

The “next logical step” will be to prevent registrants from buying or adopting animals.

Of most concern is the way that the advocates of this gambit are trying to surf the crest of the current Regime waves: legislators – no doubt fed speaking points by the advocates; I can’t believe they sit around the county seat thinking these things up – point out cheeribly that this may well help prevent – wait for it – “domestic violence or other violent crimes against humans”.

This is so because, as somebody identified as belonging to the local SPCA asserts: “Most serial killers begin as animal abusers. It’s a known fact: people who hurt animals hurt people too”.

Being familiar with the SO Mania and having read wayyyy too much of the Findings and court Opinions and Decisions supporting it, my whiskers twitch like alarm bells whenever I hear ‘everybody knows that’ or ‘It’s a known fact’. Anyone who has been following my Posts on that 1986 Victimology book by Robert Elias has also seen just how much everybody was so sure they ‘knew’ in 1986 that now doesn’t seem so true any longer; ditto those Daddy-abused-you books that were so big in the 1980s and 1990s.

The SPCA guy’s comments require some careful looking-at: Is there actually legitimate evidence that serial killers start off by abusing animals? I’m always open to new information but I can’t recall coming across anything to that effect, and it seems like something the media would have picked up on.

And where is it established that a person who will hurt an animal will hurt another human being? Is this just another example of the old SO Regime ‘knowledge’ that persons who expose themselves will ‘graduate’ to rape? Or – more relevantly – that persons who have sex with an animal will most surely graduate to raping people? Or that anybody who has sex with anybody or anything will eventually want to have sex with children?

You get uncomfortably close to urban-myth in this sort of thing, and it’s disturbing in the extreme when you realize that laws are going to be passed.

I certainly don’t want to see animals abused any more than I want to see people abused; but why not increase the penalties and require – if it legitimately exists – therapy? I’m wondering if in the absence of public monies for jails and prisons, legislators are going to turn to ‘registries’ as some sort of substitute to show that they are still ‘standing tall’ against crime.

The Sex Offender Research site actually left a comment on one of the linked articles, linking to its own piece. SOR makes the excellent point that it’s not just the cost of initially setting up a ‘registry’, but the vast underwater bulk of expenses that loom like an iceberg: on-going costs, especially if there is a sudden surge of ‘registrants’; the police resources tied up in monitoring (and let’s not forget the ‘fugitive’ registrants); and the expense of paying cottage-industry private services that will take over the tracking or monitoring or what-have-you. And then there’s the software development and hardware acquisition and … so forth.

It’s interesting to see what the comments are like, if you follow the links in the original article. There are some short ones to the effect that this is a great idea and everybody should do it. But there are a couple of longer, more thoughtful ones.

One commenter notes with sarcasm that they should be thinking of GPS, residency restrictions (can’t live within 2000 feet of a pet store or exercise park, and has to turn and walk the other way if encountering pets on the street), and then goes on to note how children can wind up suffering in school because of relatives on such a registry (perhaps, I submit, an anti-bullying registry will help prevent that).

Also, and I have to quote this comment: “This kind of regulation is an example of crusading by a small and unbalanced advocacy group trying to feel good about themselves by punishing others. It should be rejected.” I would not say that the insight completely describes all such concerned folks, but there’s wayyyy too much truth in it for comfort, as far as I am concerned.

The idea of a representative democracy is that legislators will consider seriously but also prudently just what is being proposed (or – if the advocates are operating on the Alinsky Rules – demanded) and not simply consider themselves oath-bound to be ‘sensitive’ and yield to whatever pressure is brought on them.

If you are going to ‘register’ any offensive form of human misdeed that causes pain (and it’s now gotten to animals, bless them) then most of the species is going to wind up on a registry and the government is going to wind up having just about everybody on a registry of one sort or another. NOR is this type of registry, based on a criminal conviction, merely the same sort of thing as being registered for a motor vehicle or a driver’s license or an MD’s license (which is kind of a status symbol that anybody would be pleased to have associated with their name).

In the olden days, mature adults realized that EVERYbody is on a Registry ‘up there’ and that awareness induced a kind of healthy humility. But in a Flat world, with no ‘up there’ that folks can reliably believe in, and with a God who seems to let wayyyy too much pain-causing behavior go on without immediate punishment, a lot of people have gotten into the bad habit (I’d call it) of figuring that the government will have to fill in for an insufficiently-sensitive God. Or, in the alternative, that ‘registering’ – like democracy-bringing through military invasion – is something they are Deputized by God to do.

Legislators – perhaps out of some combination of political calculation and the enjoyment of Deputy status – seem happy to take on the job. And it’s a lethal temptation for any government: to exercise the sovereign power in ever intensifying ways.

But Hobbes didn’t call his sovereign government “Leviathan” for nothing. He knew what was going to happen.

For that matter, Jesus apparently did too: it was precisely to keep folks from trying to express their belief by running everybody’s life down to the “merest jot or tittle” that He informed them that God’s approach was more patient.

This ‘registration’ concept is now migrating.

I say again and again and again that I do not support any infliction of pain on any human being or any living creature. But you can’t take a democratic republic down this road.

Yes, from a purely ‘strategic’ point of view it will probably serve to lessen the monstrous impact and significance of the SO Mania Regime. But the SO community must also be concerned for the larger common-weal: this country is embarked on a dangerous path with this entire Registration Mania and it cannot end well.

Whatever can be done to help the common-weal, even in the midst of the suffering caused by the Mania, is what has to be done.

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