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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Edmund Burke

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Some interesting statistics about dangers to children

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The laws enacted to monitor and control sex offenders are extraordinary. I think we can all agree to that. The general public believes these extraordinary laws are justified. The faces of murdered children, killed by sexual predators, are flashed on the TV urging us to "consider the children." And who could resist? Who would want to? Surely it is justified to face the threats to our children.

But what are those threats really? Is there a way to know?

Actually, yes...

- U.S. Department of Justice, National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Throwaway Children.

Link #1

This report states that in 2002 an estimated 1,325,600 kids went missing. 797,500 were reported as missing.

628,900 of these children were identified as runaway/throwaway kids.

Of the other 528,100 children their parents didn't even bother to file a report.

Yet the we hear the constant scream of "if it saves one child". Oh, there are so many more than that who need to be saved so letís look at where the danger lies.

Out of 1,315,600 missing kids 115 were snatched in the sense that everybody is worried about. And that includes kids that were snatched for ransom, and kids that were snatched by a disturbed or distraught person who wanted a child of their own, so how many are left that were snatched and killed by the sex offenders that are hiding behind every tree? That's what we're really worried about, right? Actually, the report tells us that number is 40 but letís be generous and use the entire 115 who were snatched out of the 1.3 million who went missing.

You will find that less than 1/100th of 1% were snatched but the number that people care about and are willing to spend our resources on is much lower. To qualify for an outcry there must be a combination of sex, violence and death.

Page 11 of the report states that "Ö40 missing children who were stereotypically kidnapped and killed (an estimated 35) or were still missing (approximately 5) at the time of the study." Yes, that is too many. But are we going to ignore all the others to concentrate on less than 1/200th of 1%?

Now, it is a sad fact that there are more children who die each year than just these 40. Many more. How many more and how are they dying?

Center for Disease Control

Link #2

A quick look at Top Ten deaths in minors in 2002 shows that there were 17,759 kids who died (excluding infant mortality).

Of those:

1296 were shot to death by someone,
145 were stabbed to death,
89 were strangled,
37 were burned alive,
17 were poisoned,
603 shot themselves,
559 hung themselves, and
6132 were killed in traffic accidents.

This tells us that in 2002:

Your child was 1400% more likely to hang themselves than be snatched and killed by a sex offender.

Your child was 1500% more likely to shoot themselves than be snatched and killed by a sex offender

Your child was 3200% more likely to be murdered by firearm by someone besides a sex offender.

Your child was 4000% more likely to be shot, stabbed, strangled, burned alive or poisoned than snatched and killed by a sex offender.

Your child was 15300% more likely to be killed in a car crash than snatched and killed by a sex offender.

We find more information here.

The American Journal of Psychiatry

Link #3

- Among children under age 5 years in the United States who were murdered in the last quarter of the 20th century, 61% were killed by their own parents: 30% were killed by their mothers, and 31% by their fathers

- Compared to other developed nations, the United States has the highest rate of child homicide

61% of murdered children under age 5 were murdered by their own parents. We are not speaking of accidents or carelessness that leads to death. Statistically speaking, parents are, by far, the greatest threat to a childís life. So much for "protect the children!"

You may have noticed above that car accidents were the leading killer of children. Sadly, many of these are completely avoidable.

The American Journal of Psychiatry

Center for Disease Control

Link #4

- "Motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children under 1 year old in the united states".

- "One in four crash-related deaths among child passengers aged under 14 years involves alcohol use."

-"Ö68% were riding with the drinking drivers; the majority of these children were not restrained."

- "The majority of children who died while riding with drinking drivers were not restrained at the time of the crash."

- "The majority of drivers in these crashes survived, suggesting that certain children killed in alcohol-related crashes might have survived had they been restrained properly."

This tells us that car crashes are killing our kids in great numbers. And that 25% of the time itís because of drunk drivers. Where is the real rage? Where is the extraordinary response to an extraordinary threat?

It gets worse. It turns out those more than 50% of those drunk drivers was a parent of the dead child. Is this acceptable to Americans?

"The majority of drivers in these crashes survived, suggesting that certain children killed in alcohol-related crashes might have survived had they been restrained properly"

Your child is 2600% more likely to be killed by you because you couldnít be bothered to put their seatbelt on when you felt like driving drunk with your kid in the car. Are these the same parents who scream for tougher laws to protect their children against sex offenders??

These are huge numbers of children being killed in brutal ways - it's like a war zone out there. Or is that an exaggeration?

We, as a nation, are so outraged by our causalities in Iraq. Cindy Sheehan let the world know of her personal outrage and why not? Losing a child is not easy.

The war in Iraq started in March 2003. As of 7/11/2007 we had lost 3610 fine men and women. That is an average of 902.5 lives per year. Letís do some more comparisons of numbers using the numbers above.

More kids are shot to death each year in American than Soldiers are killed in Iraq. 1296 versus 902

More kids kill themselves each year in America than Soldiers are killed in Iraq. 1162 versus 902

More kids are killed by drunk drivers (usually their parents) than Soldiers are killed in Iraq. 1533 versus 902

Combine just those categories and you get 3991 kids who are either shot to death, kill themselves, or are killed by drunk driver versus 902.5 soldier killed in the Iraq war - that's four times as many.

Considering that one of the main points of contention of the Iraq war is the casualties, youíd think weíd be at least as concerned about our children.

Remember this?

The American Journal of Psychiatry

Link #5

- Among children under age 5 years in the United States who were murdered in the last quarter of the 20th century, 61% were killed by their own parents

- Compared to other developed nations, the United States has the highest rate of child homicide

61% of murdered children under age 5 were murdered by their own parents. We are not speaking of accidents or carelessness that leads to death. Statistically speaking, parents are, by far, the greatest threat to a childís life. So much for "protect the children!"

Some of our children manage to make it to adulthood in spite of the adults in their lives. I kept wondering why a nation would make a mockery of child safety by latching on to the least likely threat. The answer is not so difficult.

Hating sex offenders is easy. Screaming loudly shows your concern about your children. No action is required on the part of the parents except an opinion that is acceptable in society.

Dealing with a runaway or unruly child takes a lot of hard work. A suicidal or addicted child can tear your heart out. A drink now and then saves your sanity. And kids know how to push your buttons and make you mad enough to kill but, of course, you would never do such a thing.

Adults no longer have a vested interest in their children and everyone in the family goes their own direction. Ignoring is much simpler than arguing and disciplining. They are going to do what they want anyway so why bother with a ruckus. Right?

When next you rail against sex offenders ask yourself why you arenít taking on the big risk issues? The reason, in many cases, is that it would draw negative attention to lifestyles that are counter-productive to a childís safety. By trying to divert attention elsewhere you expose yourself as a phony and it will come full circle. Count on it.

 
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