Here in Los Angeles, one Jack McClellan, described as a "self-professed pedophile," has been harassed for the better part of a month by the media and others who managed to convince a court to issue restraining orders keeping him away from any place where children gather.
What's wrong with that? If I caught this guy -- or any other -- getting inappropriate with little girls (or boys), I'd call the police and beat the living bejeebers out of him while I waited for them to arrive.
The problem is this: he has no record of activity as a pedophile. No arrests. No convictions.
He did have a website in which he supposedly indulged his "passion." I've never seen it (and don't want to) so can't tell you what was on it.
There's no doubt the man is a major sicko, but he hasn't done anything yet.
I don't know what to think. Abusing children is one of the most heinous crimes I can think of, and I would have no problem inflicting condign punishment on him if he did anything out of line.
But the baying hounds who are after him bother me. This gets perilously close to Orwellian "thoughtcrime." If he so much as touched a child, I'd be all for throwing his perverted ass behind bars, preferably in a jail full of loving fathers who have no aversion to bloodshed.
I'm not comfortable with punishing McClellan or anyone else for what he or she thinks as opposed to what they do.
Now, the radio pitbulls who have been on him loud and long are trying to pin the murder of a child in Washington State on him. It's all speculation.
I'm confused. My own feelings about the sanctity of children are fighting with my feelings about the sanctity of the law.
The whole thing just seems wrong.
8 hours ago