A community in California has passed a law demanding that anyone convicted of a sex crime not be allowed to decorate their house for Halloween or pass out candy, even if someone comes to their door.
Well, whew. I'm glad all those convicted criminals won't be out on a night when children are incredibly unlikely to either be away from their parents, or away from a crowd of friends making mischief. How many kids do you see walking alone on Halloween? Dutifully going from house to house, collecting his candy so he can find his way home alone, and eat it?
Listen, I understand the need for parents to want to protect their children from people who cause them unspeakable harm. But if a sick criminal wants to hurt a child, taking away his Halloween candy will not prevent him from doing so. And not allowing someone to decorate their house because of a past crime seems completely off-base, and most likely -- unconstitutional.
I'm just as repulsed by someone who commits a heinous crime as the next mom, but if I trusted every pedophile to agree to turn out his lights and take down his jack-o'-lanterns, I'd also assume he would introduce himself to me and say, "You'd better keep your kids away from me, I'm a pedophile."
There's already a law, and a database, in place that identifies sex offenders in your neighborhood. (If you want a real scare, plug in your address and never sleep again.) But this "no Halloween" law feels like a wildly ineffective safety measure designed to give parents a false sense of security on a scary night, and little else.
Would you want this law passed in your community?
Image via coolmikeol/Flickr