No question, this is a hot button issue and I doubt that in my life time there will ever be a rational discussion of the subject. However, got to say that Roger N Lancaster gives it some perspective in his article within the opinion pages of the New York Times.
He points out that are current paranoia is not new but just another version of a long history of sex crimes that rest more in the minds than in reality. “During the Colonial, antebellum and Jim Crow eras, white Americans were preoccupied with tales of sexual dangers to white women and children. McCarthy-era paranoia, stories of Satanic ritual abuse and other sex panics stirred pervasive anxieties about lurking strangers. Sexual predators play a lead role in the production af a modern culture of fear.”
He goes on to point out that statistically, a child’s chances of being killed by a stranger who is a sexual predator is comparable to being struck by lightning.
He closes by pointing out that the laws that have come on the books to control the movement and activities of sexual preditors have and are being expanded as models for other domains.
His closing is that laws designed to control sexual offenders are expanisive, costly and ineffective.