Back in my home town of Blakely Georgia, everyone knew, and everyone loved, Smilin’ Bob, the manager of the grocery store. What we didn’t know is that he began sexually assaulting his daughter beginning when she was eight years old. No one, as far as I knew, ever did anything about it, Bob was never arrested, and he never did a moment of time for what he did. Back in the 70’s, that sort of thing was considered to be a family problem.
My friend Kenny dated a fourteen year old there for a few months. Kenny was nineteen, the girl in question was fourteen, but emotionally and mentally speaking, she seemed older than he. Kenny wasn’t all there most of the time, but he was a really good guy. His girlfriend smoked pot, drank, and we all thought she was over eighteen. That could have gotten Kenny prison time, and I couldn’t see it being justice but at the same time, fourteen.
The problem here is you can’t look at someone fourteen as a maybe adult. You have to draw the line, the line has to be held, and right now in Georgia that line is seventeen years old. I’m actually good with that. I really and truly believe there are sixteen year olds, and younger, who can make adult decisions but I think there are a hell of a lot more who cannot. Does that mean Kenny should have served time? Damn, it sucks, but yeah. You can’t have men that age sleeping with girls that age, and any DA worth his salt is going to say the same thing.
But that’s one thing. The girl Bob attacked was eight years old when it started. There’s no one out there who is sane who can sit there and tell you they thought a second grader looked old enough to drink beer. There’s nothing sexy or sexual about a child. The men, or women, who look at kids sexually are going to be able to make a case that they’re attracted to someone younger, and the emotional age difference really isn’t a thing. But you and I know that’s a lie.
Moreover, I will submit to the audience, that once someone, male or female, has shown some sort of tendency towards preying on children for sexual gratification, there’s no way to guarantee it won’t happen again, and there is no reason to trust these people, either. Does this mean that Kenny should have been locked away forever or even executed? No, there’s a fine line there, and I’m pretty sure a jury would see it. I still have some issues with that one.
The only problem with execution is the only problem ever with execution, and that would be what are you going to do if ten years later there’s evidence it didn’t happen? Maybe second, or third offense? I could live with that, too.
In March of 2014, I was a foreman on a jury that sent a man to prison for 25 years for incest. He had just served twenty years for a similar offense. When he gets out he’ll be in his eighties, but if he can attack a child at that age, I’m pretty sure he will.
The idea that we owe people like this a place in our world is wrong. The idea they have some sort humanity left inside and we should spare their lives is dangerous to any child they ever get near again, ever.
Guns are never the only answer to any problem, but even I have to admit that in this case, yes, it would solve the problem and totally eliminate repeat offenders.