This past Saturday, newly elected Georgia Republican State Representative Sam Moore gathered at the Simply Southern Restaurant in Cherokee County to apologize to about 60 constituents for his first act as a legislator:
He had introduced a bill to allow registered sex offenders to hang around anywhere they wanted to, including schools.
“I want to hopefully put aside some of your fears that I’m some hot head that goes running around and doing things,” Moore told his followers. “One of my goals today is to say, ‘Look I’m not as bad as I have been made out to be’.”
Not as bad? Maybe. Not as stupid? We’ll have to reserve judgment.
“I am shocked and appalled anyone would suggest that pedophiles should be allowed to loiter near day care centers, schools — the places where our children learn and play,” Republican Representative John Pezold told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “If Mr. Moore’s mission was to come down to the state Capitol and alienate his colleagues by staking out positions that no one in their right mind could agree with, he can now hang a ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner behind him because he has done just that.”
From what we’ve been able to make out, Moore didn’t like the way the Georgia legislature worked and how it tended to freeze out freshmen.
As reported by the Canton-Sixes Patch, he said the Georgia legislative system “sickens” him because it is set up to slow down freshman lawmakers.
“They want you to sit around until basically you kind of agree to go along with everything they have to say and then you’re cool to start dropping bills and stuff,” he said, adding legislators become “beat down.”
He also didn’t like the vagueness of the anti-loitering laws and thought they were an infringement on the First Amendment guarantees and peaceable assembly and the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination if a police officer happened to stop and question you.
But come on!
We have been railing in this column recently about regressive state legislative bills that discriminate against homosexuals and other classes. There is no legal or moral justification for this.
But “discriminating” against registered sex offenders is legal, moral and completely logical. Past behavior is the best indicator we have a future behavior. And by committing and being convicted of a sex crime in the first place, offenders forfeit their rights to be treated like everyone else. This is simply common sense and is in place for the protection of our children.
What part of this did Mr. Moore not get?
And until you figure it out, sir, perhaps you and the citizens of Georgia would be best served if you kept your mouth shut and your legislative pen still. There may be a good reason why senior representatives think their freshmen colleagues should be seen and not heard.