Wednesday, December 30, 2009

City Seeks to Ban Sex Offenders From Library

Quincy, Massachusetts, or "Birthplace of the American Dream," as it's known to the other cities in the steam room at the Club, wants to ban sex offenders from libraries. Or more specifically, they want to ban Level 3 Sex Offenders.

But what the hell is a Level 3 Sex Offender?

"Level 3 Sex Offenders

Where the Board determines that the risk of reoffense is high and the degree of dangerousness posed to the public is such that a substantial public safety interest is served by active dissemination, it shall give a level 3 designation to the sex offender."
In my online nerd guild, my Level 3 Paladin, Richard of Boone, can cure wounds and blindness, remove curses and cast magic protection circles. And, of course, has gun, will travel.

According The Official Website of the Executive Office of Public Safety (EOPS), there are 19 Level 3 Sex Offenders in Quincy out of a population of 92,000. It shouldn't be that hard to keep track of these guys. Each guy gets 4,800 people to watch his ass. There are only 8,765 hours in a year, so each resident of Quincy has only to watch his guy for about 2 hours each year.

But unfortunately, there are some rules in Massachusetts that would keep the good people of Quincy from watching these offenders:

"Information shall not be used to commit a crime or or to engage in illegal discrimination or harassments of an offender."
So I guess they need to pass this ordinance to keep the offenders away from "parks, playgrounds, schools and elderly housing" because it looks like it might be illegal for those 4,800 residents to look up their addresses and follow each of these guys around.

There are four library branches in Quincy, and I'm guessing there must be some parks in this Birthplace of the American Dream, so these "safety zones" could keep these 19 guys from going pretty much anywhere in town. Except to each other's homes.

Look at that last sentence: I was beginning to feel a little sorry for these Level 3 sex offenders and their loss of freedom to move around. What the hell is happening to me? Too much Christmas cheer? But these are high level offenders who pose a substantial risk to public safety. So no, I shouldn't feel sorry for them.

Besides, I could be fined up to $1,000 if I harass them. The story says the offender is only fined $100 for violating the ordinance. And I don't know about you, but I don't think there are any laws against harassing librarians.

Librarians have people complain about us every day. The call and harass us with requests for excessive pointless research, like finding the home address of every CEO of every company that gets federal funds, or conducts animal testing, or gives out million-dollar bonuses. Call the fucking newspaper if you want that much research.

Every patron who asks for something and when asked how much information he wants answers: "find me everything," that person is harassing you by abusing your free services. Yes, I will find you everything I can for about 20 minutes, after that, you're on your own. Where's your $1,000 fine whenever you piss me off?

But if my library would let me charge the going rate for labor at the auto dealer, $90 an hour, then, hell yes, ask me for whatever you want because I could use the extra $500.

So, no, I don't feel sorry for sex offenders who are banned from using the library or hanging around the public playground or from holding jobs that give them access to children or nursing home residents. In fact, go for it, Birthplace of the American Dream. And Thomas Crane Public Library, keep checking your mailbox because I'm sending you my resume.