Out of Ft. Myers, Florida comes a news article that I need to comment on.
Effective October 1, 2017, all moving companies in Florida must notify customers if the moving company they’ve hired has a convicted sex offender working for them on a customer’s property. The penalty for failure to notify could be as much as $5000 per day.
According to William Jensen of Affordable Transfer Company, Ft. Meyers “If I was a customer, I’d want to know if someone coming to my house was a sexual predator.”
How did we jump from “sex offender” to “sexual predator”, Mr. Jensen? That’s what I want to know.
For the umpteenth time, all sex offenders are not sexual predators! All registrants are not sexual predators!. Some sex offenses are totally non-violent, non-contact offenses! Some sex offenses don’t even involve another person! “Sex offender” is a blanket-label that covers a myriad of offenses.
Sex Offender, by definition in most dictionaries, is a generic term for persons convicted of crimes involving sex, including rape, molestation, sexual harassment and pornography production and distribution. But those of us in the trenches, fighting the fight, know that that definition encompasses a whole lot more when it comes to the law. Sex Offenders become Registrants. Registrants can be on the registry for public urination, skinny dipping, under-age teenage sex, sexting, receipt of pornography, the list goes on.
Sexual Predators on the other hand, are defined as persons convicted of or having pled guilt to a sexually oriented offense and who are likely to “commit future offenses”.
So why the new law requiring notification if an employee is a convicted sex offender? Why not an all inclusive law for anyone who was ever convicted of any kind of offense? Wouldn’t the general public want to know about them too?
Wouldn’t customers want to know if an employee was convicted of DUI ?. (Lock up the liquor and medicine cabinets!.)
Wouldn’t they want to know if an employee was a convicted thief? (Hide that jewelry and money!)
What about a convicted murderer?. (Better pack those guns and knives away yourself.)
How about someone convicted of assault? (The potential for violence is still there, right?)
Why is such a discriminatory law that singles out sex offenders, allowed to pass? Who’s to say their crimes are any worse than any other crimes?
Is the public really more uneasy about someone’s conviction for a “sex offense” than they are for other offenses? Or is it “subtle brain-washing” by politicians who rely on the label “sex offender” scare tactics and laws disguised as “public safety” laws, that we should be uneasy about?
This witch-hunt for registrants has got to stop. Politicians who pass these discriminatory laws need to educate themselves instead of carrying the pitchforks that prevent registrants from obtaining or maintaining employment. Why aren’t the politicians who sponsor these laws talking to their constituents about the low recidivism among sex offenders? Why aren’t they focusing on the facts that these people are now ex-offenders, they’ve served their time, paid for their crimes and deserve a fair shot at a job just like anyone else. Why, instead, do politicians strike the low blows that they do by passing unnecessary laws that will leave more registrants jobless and homeless?
Sure, we all want to be safe. We all want to know who we are letting into our homes when we hire any kind of company not just moving companies. But we shouldn’t be passing new laws that discriminate against one particular class of people, registrants.
Who’s to say that someone who hasn’t been convicted of a crime won’t commit one while on a moving job or doing any other kind of job in your home? There’s no guarantee folks despite what the politicians would have you believe, anything can happen no matter how many new laws are passed.
If there are registrants in the moving industry who lose their jobs because of this discriminatory law, I hope they can challenge it and win in the courts.
The discrimination has to stop somewhere, and I move that we stop it now !