Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Protecting our children

This is a blog post about a little girl I never knew, but whose story has affected me profoundly. I can't pinpoint the exact reason it has, I think it's a combination of several things.

This post, in part, is Somer's story. This post, in part, is an angry cry for justice for all murdered children everywhere.
One gorgeous last Oct. day, little 7 year old Somer Thompson was walking home from school with her twin brother and her older sister. It was reported in the news that there was a spat of some sort between the siblings and Somer ran off from the group. The others continued home. It was the last time little Somer was seen alive. Somehow, a predator got his hands on her in the few short blocks between where she left her siblings and her home. For two days the people of Orange Park, Fl. searched, prayed and held vigils for Somer. Her small body was found in a landfill about 25 miles from where I live. She had been abused and then thrown away. What kind of twisted person can do that?
There is a man who was picked up on child pornography charges that has been charged with Somer's murder. The police and investigators seemed to take their time to build the case, so maybe he is the guilty one and will pay for what he has done.
A few years ago, little 5 year old Christopher Barrios was going through the mobile home park where he lived and had been about a block from home visiting his grandmother. He was returning home when a family-a family mind you-dad, son and mom-of convicted sex offenders grabbed him. According to the news reports, he was tortured before he was killed. They put him in a trash bag and dumped him alongside the road where he was found several days later. The mom of the twisted family has gotten life without possibility of parole, while the other two have gotten the death penalty for their part in Christopher's death.
I am all for the death penalty in cases like this. If you do something like this to a defenseless child you should pay the ultimate price. Does it bring closure for the families? I doubt it. They can know that these monsters won't hurt anymore children ever again, but it won't replace the huge, gaping hole they will carry in their hearts forever.
We have to put a stop to this kind of crime against our children and we have to do it before there are more adorable faces on the news whose lives have been cut short way too soon. You can start by clicking on the link below and signing the petition for Somer's Law. This law is an amendment to Megan's Law. It will further increase the distance that convicted predators and child molesters can live in regards to schools and parks. (I will say that the man accused of Somer's murder had not ever been convicted of a crime related to a child.) Somer's Law will also change the issuing of an Amber Alert so it will take place within 30 mins. of a child going missing.
We need to lobby legislators for much tougher sentencing for people convicted of crimes against children. Personally, I resent my tax dollars being used to house these people and give them medical treatment that I can't afford, for the rest of their lives. I feel that if you abuse and kill a child under the age of 16, it should be an automatic death penalty. It's harsh, I know, and some will consider it cruel and unusual punishment, but what happens to our children when they are in the hands of these predators is also very cruel.
In closing this rather long winded post, I will tell you one of the reasons I am so passionate about this. In 1984, my 16 year old step daughter was murdered. Her body was found three weeks later in woods about a mile from where she was living with her mom. She and her mom had had an argument the night she disappeared, so the police considered her a runaway. Unless Karma has caught up with whoever killed her, that person is still walking the streets.
The killing of children has got to stop and it's up to us to stop it. If we don't protect our children, who will?
Please take a moment and sign the petition of Somer's Law.
If you are worried about getting spammed by this site, you won't. I signed this petition about a week ago and the only thing Ihave gotten from them is an email acknowledging my sign up.

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