August 19, 2011 11:27AM

‘Counterfeit Comfort’

Steve Chapman on sex offender registries:

Most convicted sex offenders do not go on to be arrested for new sex offenses, and more than 90 percent of child victims are assaulted not by strangers but by relatives or other people they know.

Sex offender registries may cause parents to focus on the remote peril while ignoring the more pertinent one. And, as in the examples cited earlier, they can inflict harsh punishment that departs from common sense and does nothing for public safety.

Shielding citizens from vicious predators is unquestionably one of the central functions of any sound government. Megan’s Laws were enacted in the sensible pursuit of that goal. What they offer in practice, though, is counterfeit comfort.

Read the whole thing. Lenore Skenazy has more thoughts about this here.

The Heritage Foundation is not only making the case for registries, but is making the case for federal intervention in this area. Wrong. Like education, crime‐​fighting is a subject the feds should stay out of. See the Tenth Amendment (pdf).