Bill would allow sex offenders at schools
by Joshua Sharpe
February 21, 2014 04:00 AM | 31366 views | 50 50 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sam Moore
Sam Moore
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CANTON — Brand new state Rep. Sam Moore (R-Macedonia) is pushing a sweeping law that would allow registered sex offenders to go anywhere they want — even to schools.

Moore, in his first week in office, has turned in a bill that would overturn the crime of loitering and make it so registered sex offenders who aren’t otherwise barred from going to schools or places children gather could go to those places freely.

“I am OK with that,” Moore said Thursday, adding that he meant only those who were off parole and not barred from those places. “The reason I’m OK with that is the assumption is they have done their time. If they’re still a danger to society, they should not be free. … Am I saying it’s not creepy? It’s definitely creepy.”

Moore is the sole signer on House Bill 1033, which also prohibits law enforcement officers from forcing residents to identify themselves under any circumstances. Moore said that is a practice that violates Fifth Amendment rights to silence and was the original intent of the bill.

According to Moore, loitering is the only law on the books that requires people to give their name, and sex offender provisions hinge on loitering.

Cherokee Sheriff Roger Garrison called the bill “simply insane.”

“In my 34 years of law enforcement I have never heard of such an insane law having been introduced,” Garrison said Friday. “Sexual predators are one of this country’s most violent (type of) offenders. If there’s any equal it would be an out-and-out serial killer.”

The sheriff said the thought of allowing sexual predators to “once again lurk around our parks, around our schools, around our swimming pools” is horrifying.

Cherokee Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Petruzielo also expressed concerns about the legislation.

“The School District is strongly opposed to any legislation that would allow predators the opportunity to endanger our students, which it appears this bill would do,” he said in an email Thursday.

But Moore said he isn’t hoping to put anyone in any danger and only wants to protect the Fifth Amendment.

If officers have any other grounds besides loitering to arrest a person, Moore said he has no problem with that and he has no problem with officers questioning people who are suspicious — he just doesn’t think people should be made to talk.

The sheriff said loitering laws can be valuable for law enforcement.

“It’s insane,” he said. “If you can’t check them, how are you going to know who they are? They could be wanted for murder down the street.”

Garrison gave the example of a woman who was murdered in a few years ago, after her killer had killed others before her. The man was found by police loitering near Lake Allatoona.

“We could not have checked him, because he was loitering,” he said. “He turned out to be serial killer. All the while he had killed people … (This) would have taken away our ability to stop asking who he was.”

Garrison also found fault with Moore’s argument that sex offenders off parole should be able to go anywhere, because a large majority of them aren’t on parole.

Former Cherokee GOP Chair Bob Rugg is another who is outraged over Moore’s proposal.

“I can’t imagine a bill like this even coming out of committee,” Rugg said Friday. “It just doesn’t make any sense to me to eliminate that shield of protection (for children). From the way I read his own comments about it, he (thinks he’s) protecting the Fifth Amendment right to silence. That’s silly.”

State Rep. Scot Turner (R-Holly Springs) read the bill Thursday and said he had no comment. State Rep. Mandi Ballinger, a longtime victim advocate, said she had no comment Thursday, other than that she looked forward to committee discussions.

Moore said he understands the bill will be controversial, but he argued that not all sex offenders are criminals in the classic sense.

“One issue is it’s extremely easy to get on the sex offender list,” he said. “To be a registered sex offender, all you have to do is go pee on a tree.”

Also to be a sex offender, Moore agreed that someone could be a child rapist, but he said “If those people are a danger then they should be locked up.”

Moore also repeatedly stressed the purpose of the bill was only to protect the Fifth Amendment in Georgia, not to give sex offenders a pass.

“My intent wasn’t to help out sex offenders and I didn’t back down because of the political ramifications,” he said. “If that means I don’t get re-elected that’s what it means.”

Moore is up for re-election in the May primary.

In the end, Garrison strongly and repeatedly said Moore’s arguments defending the bill don’t matter.

“At the end of the day, it’s all irrelevant, because the speaker of the House has a little corner for people like Mr. Moore: It’s called the ineffective corner. It’s just an embarrassment he happens to be from Cherokee County,” Garrison said.

Comments
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WilliamHBrown
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February 26, 2014
This is NOT a political hit piece, it's facts on facts and frankly Garrison is right, enjoy the ineffective corner Sam!
Rod Temple
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February 26, 2014
Actually, Garrison is a redneck idiot who should be forced from office. We have no tolerance for public officials who "hate" certain groups of their constituency.

Sam Moore's only problem was that he tried to be intelligent and not think with his emotions. That certainly won't play in Georgia.

Is it not illegal for anyone to loiter around schools? There is absolutely no necessity for a law that specifically targets people who are listed on big government's Sex Offender Registry. That is just pure idiocy. But that's what the Sex Offender Witch Hunt is all about.

I would suggest that schools worry about any and all visitors and ensure that none of them can harm any student. IF they do that, then they will have no need to idiotically worry about people listed on the big government's SOR.

Further, are people like Garrison not concerned about people who shoot people loitering at schools? Or drug pushers? Or people who beat children? Nope? Just "sex offenders", apparently. What a genius.
CherokeeCountyNative
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February 26, 2014
I can't believe Cherokee County Elected such an idiot to office.
Rod Temple
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February 26, 2014
I know. Garrison should be fired immediately.
VSPSV(S?)
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February 24, 2014
Rep. Sam Moore, good job!
WG Dupree
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February 24, 2014
The comments published thus far, including those from the Sheriff, lack nothing but objective reasoning. Consider the following:

1) All child molesters are sex offenders. Not all sex offenders are child molesters.

2) Hypothetically, your 18 year old high school senior who is caught slipping around with his 16 year old date could be convicted of statutory rape and placed on the Sex Offender Registry for at least 10 years subsequent to serving his sentence or parole. This is much different than, say, a 23 year old adult messing with a 16 year old, but not in the eyes of the law.

3) Remember that the Bill of Rights was drafted by the framers to protect citizens FROM the government. This would include especially the police and military, who take orders from politicians.

Sam Moore should be applauded for erring on the side of the Constitution, although perhaps he went about it in the wrong way. Much more idiotic legislation has been passed by those who we continue to send back to Congress every election cycle. He should continue to err on the side of liberty as opposed to security, which is always the trade-off. Those who continue to push for more security will find themselves soon without liberty, and then, without the liberty to do anything about it.
Kathy Harper
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February 24, 2014
The GOP house speaker, Ralston, and others used this as a way to beat Sam Moore at the next election and replace him with the candidate of their choice, one will will do their bidding and not ask questions. That is all this was about, and not one of you replying to this post seem to understand that. It didn't help that the tribune only tells you part of the story. Why not take a minute and find out for yourselves what is really going on? Why depend on a media that only allows you to see a small portion of the truth? This has NOTHING to do with child molesters. That phrase was used to instill you with fear so that you would turn a blind eye to the corruption going on at the capital.
Rod Temple
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February 24, 2014
There is no law in Georgia that restricts people listed on a Sex Offender Registry (SOR) from going to schools, parks, daycares, or anywhere else. The law states that it is illegal to "loiter" at those locations and "loiter" has a specific legal definition that means more than simply presence.

I am listed on a SOR and because they are immoral and un-American, I go out of my way to be around children simply and only because the Registries exist. But also because I live a completely normal life. The SOR do not protect anyone but they do increase crime and anti-social behavior. I work very hard to do everything legally possible to retaliate for the simple existence of the Registries every day. And it is very amazing what a person can do when he/she directs effort at it.

Lastly, if the SORs were actually for "public safety", "protecting children", or those other lies, these big governments would have created many other Registries well over a decade ago. But they didn't. The main purpose of the Registries is to harass families. And that's why this is a war.
Judy Jones
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February 22, 2014
quoted: "But Moore said he isn’t hoping to put anyone in any danger and only wants to protect the Fifth Amendment."---

---Well Rep. Sam Moore had better get an education about sex offenders and how they can never be allowed near children. An even bigger problem is getting sexual predators in jail and then "on" a sex offender list. If anything, that needs to be improved.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511, SNAPJudy@gmail.com

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc.

VSPSV(S?)
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February 24, 2014
Judy,

Could you answer some important questions in the mix of all of this; say a registered person was also a child victim of multiple perpetrators lasting over years and that person has done ever humanly possible because of one mistake and in many cases, the case was dismissed and expunged decades ago, how long should that person suffer for it (keep in mind that a person remains suffering as you do know)? How do you think that person feels daily? How does that person survive being torn on between both sides? What if that registered person also seeks someone on your organizations list for justice, what do you think?
Rod Temple
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February 25, 2014
There is no law in Georgia that restricts people listed on a Sex Offender Registry (SOR) from going to schools, parks, daycares, or anywhere else. The law states that it is illegal to "loiter" at those locations and "loiter" has a specific legal definition that means more than simply presence.

I am listed on a SOR and because they are immoral and un-American, I go out of my way to be around children simply and only because the Registries exist. But also because I live a completely normal life. The SOR do not protect anyone but they do increase crime and anti-social behavior. I work very hard to do everything legally possible to retaliate for the simple existence of the Registries every day. And it is very amazing what a person can do when he/she directs effort at it.

Lastly, if the SORs were actually for "public safety", "protecting children", or those other lies, these big governments would have created many other Registries well over a decade ago. But they didn't. The main purpose of the Registries is to harass families. And that's why this is a war.

Read more: Cherokee Tribune - Bill would allow sex offenders at schools
OKC
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February 22, 2014
My letter to the Sheriff, the superintendent and the community.

Roger Garrison

Cherokee County Sheriff,

I respect the office of the Sheriff where I live and anytime I see the police in my community. It is a tough job, dangerous and takes a lot of dedication.

You sir, disappoint me. I read your response to Representative Sam Moore (R-Macedonia) and cannot believe you are such an Archie Bunker.

What you are spreading is "Hate Speech" towards sex offenders. It is unconstitutional and wrong.

That would be like the public lumping you and all police officers with "Crooked Cops". Are you crooked?

Do cops have the best drugs because they keep the good stuff they confiscate?

Well, I doubt that is you... or the majority of police officers.

So why would you take such a large segment of criminals, "sex offenders" and label them, ostracize them, treat ALL of them with such prejudice and unconstitutionally when only 1-3% are what you labelled all of them as, "pedophiles."

You are a smart man and should know better than to generalize, profile, label and make prejudicial and discriminating comments without the facts. This is the same prejudice that was done to the Blacks and then briefly those who had HIV or AIDS (which after the facts were examined), was determined by the judicial system to be Unconstitutional to label, discriminate and prejudiced a class of people in this way.

Please get your facts straight, learn about how costly and damaging these laws, the registration and all this "Hate doctrine" is destroying a country based on prejudice. Usually for people who are the "least likely to reoffend." They are willing to be model, productive citizens when their parole, registration, etc., is over. But they are not given that chance due to the ignorance you were spouting.

Please reconsider as an intelligent servant of the public that is doing a difficult and important job, you are above such rhetoric.

I think you for your time, your attention and your dedicated service.

Respectfully,

OKC
fedup With The'FLOW'
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February 21, 2014
seriously people stop voting in the self serving, self indulgent, macho driven, jerk wads 'just' and only because they are Republicans.. This pedophile sympathizer tried to pass a bill to allow CONVICTED pedophiles access to schools!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? IT is NOT all about voting republican because you think someone is coming for your guns! Half of you don't own a gun or even know how to shoot one!!! THERE ARE OTHER ISSUES, EVEN MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES IF YOUR SMALL LITTLE MIND CAN EVEN IMAGINE THAT!! I am so unbelievably sick of people basing their public opinion on garbage you 'hear' in the bar or out in the yard kicking the dirt with your buddies.. READ - RESEARCH - THINK !!!! I hate to burst your bubble but GUNS ARE NOT going anywhere there is too much money behind them, too many people own them and as much a part of our society as the bald eagle.. the Republican party is using that 'hot button' topic along with a few others to manipulate your small minded reality and all the rebel independence you THINK you have is nothing more that your knee jerk reaction to some well paid good publicist .. I swear this angers me beyond explanation, so bad i think i might have a convulsion.. READ - RESEARCH - THINK !!!! READ - RESEARCH - THINK !!!! READ - RESEARCH - THINK !!!! READ - RESEARCH - THINK !!!! READ - RESEARCH - THINK !!!! READ - RESEARCH - THINK !!!!
Rod Temple
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February 25, 2014
Speaking of research - There is no law in Georgia that restricts people listed on a Sex Offender Registry (SOR) from going to schools, parks, daycares, or anywhere else. The law states that it is illegal to "loiter" at those locations and "loiter" has a specific legal definition that means more than simply presence.

I am listed on a SOR and because they are immoral and un-American, I go out of my way to be around children simply and only because the Registries exist. But also because I live a completely normal life. The SOR do not protect anyone but they do increase crime and anti-social behavior. I work very hard to do everything legally possible to retaliate for the simple existence of the Registries every day. And it is very amazing what a person can do when he/she directs effort at it.

Lastly, if the SORs were actually for "public safety", "protecting children", or those other lies, these big governments would have created many other Registries well over a decade ago. But they didn't. The main purpose of the Registries is to harass families. And that's why this is a war.
fedup With The'FLOW
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February 28, 2014
I guess "Rod" you should have done some research before you did what ever you did to get put on the Sex Offender Registry.. You go out of your way to be around kids only because your on the list? ummm that sounds like you have some serious issues. Trying to prove that on a Sex Offender Registry is exactly where you belong? Because that is exactly how it sounds to me. I do believe you protest too much here. I will be sure to look you up and make sure I report it if I ever see you near any kids.. Frankly if you were so wrongly accused you would be doing everything in your power NOT to look like the stalking pedo that you apparently go to great lengths to emulate. An innocent person does not go around acting out his guilt. Get a therapist dude you have issues..
Bill30097
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February 21, 2014
This is one of the most dishonest articles I have read in many many years. Worthy of Dan Rather.
mad as hell
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February 21, 2014
They are all a danger to society. ALL OF THEM. Think about it. They have been convicted of a sex crime. And this person wants them to be able to go out and about into our community, into schools, and just "hang out". NO WAY! Sheriff Garrison is right. And you can thank Georgia Gun Owners inc for helping get him elected. By their own statement they said they were the main reason he was elected. They are not there to help us with our 2nd Ammendment rights
Billbobb
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February 21, 2014
Okay, I thought about it.

#1. a past act does not translate into future action. Numerous credible studies refute the claim that it does.

#2. Even if #1 were true, why not extend this to all persons convicted of a crime. Are you implying my children, our schools, are not worthy of protection from drunk drivers, drug dealers, murderers, etc?
Elizabeth F
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February 21, 2014
Billbobb, I encourage you to research the psychology of sexual predators. There is no rehabilitation. This bill is a horrible affront to the responsibility that we have to our children as a society. It's like throwing kittens into the mouths of coyotes.
Heather1525
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February 21, 2014
Mr. Billbobb,

First let me state that I DO NOT want or need your "sympathy." I have never wanted it nor do I need it now. Let me ask you this though, if your child where put into the position of victim, would you want your child around the predator just because they served their time. The fact is you are right, they may never harm another human in their lives but that being said, the fact that they did it one time is enough. The victim of said crime doesn't just remember what happened for 2 years. They do not receive probation. They are sentenced to life. Most are never able to trust again, most have night terrors. Smells can jog horrible memories. The way the air feels can make their skin crawl. We live with this EVERY single day! Whether or not someone in the child's home victimized them or a complete stranger, that child should have a safe spot. Your right, teachers can just as easily be a predator as the cashier at Walmart. The fact is that it could be anybody, but that is why having to register and stay away from places such as schools and playgrounds is so very important. That is all that needs to be said to you at this point. You have no control over this bill. I will take my opinions and facts to the people that matter.
anonymous
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February 21, 2014
@Heather1525 - you did not answer the question how this law would have prevented the abuse you experienced. May one guess it would not have?

I want my child to be safe AND to live in a society that adheres to its basic principles, namely the US Constitution. Part of that is a protection against indefinite punishment. This applies to all. Once you start invalidating it for select groups it is no longer a Right. That is a much greater danger than my child being abused ON school grounds by a REPEAT offender.

Indeed a child should have a safe spot. Non-parents have no business being in a school, period. On a list or not. I am also all for a law against loitering, anywhere. Including all criminals and all non-criminals. THAT I could get behind.

It sounds like you want those convicted of what is classified as a sex crimes (and believe me there are many of those offenses that do not result in life long victimhood - I know what I speak of) to be punished indefinitely, beyond their court ordered sentences. That smacks of revenge, but this is your choice. You have as much a voice as I have.
Billbobb
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February 22, 2014
Elizabeth F - I encourage you to research re-offense data for persons required to register as sexual offenders. I also encourage you to research instances of crimes committed by those so required in schools and parks. Before and after laws barring their presence in these areas existed.

Please report back. It's like, well, actual research and facts.
Rod Temple
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February 25, 2014
There is no law in Georgia that restricts people listed on a Sex Offender Registry (SOR) from going to schools, parks, daycares, or anywhere else. The law states that it is illegal to "loiter" at those locations and "loiter" has a specific legal definition that means more than simply presence.

I am listed on a SOR and because they are immoral and un-American, I go out of my way to be around children simply and only because the Registries exist. But also because I live a completely normal life. The SOR do not protect anyone but they do increase crime and anti-social behavior. I work very hard to do everything legally possible to retaliate for the simple existence of the Registries every day. And it is very amazing what a person can do when he/she directs effort at it.

Lastly, if the SORs were actually for "public safety", "protecting children", or those other lies, these big governments would have created many other Registries well over a decade ago. But they didn't. The main purpose of the Registries is to harass families. And that's why this is a war.
RINO Hunter
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February 21, 2014
It's funny that Sheriff Garrison would bring up the Speaker. Google "David Ralston defender of child molesters" and see what you find!
Machiavellian
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February 21, 2014
I am not even a politician and I can see the Machiavellian spin from this guy. What you are seeing here my pervie friends is the prologue to the sex offender internment camps. Twice he says: If they’re still a danger to society, they should not be free.

The only way then, to protect children in Georgia AND protect the Constitution in Georgia is to pass a non-judicial safety ordinance that determines which sex offenders are still a danger to society and round them up and intern them for the greater public good and all the others who are determined to not be a danger, will have no restrictions and will get their Constitutional rights back. Because the internment camps will not be punishment, they will be legal and those interred will not actually have their rights violated.

peed off
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February 21, 2014
Sex offenders are all dangerous. I don't care if it is peeing on a tree. They do not need to be near our kids.
anonymous
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February 21, 2014
The three closest sex offenders to Moore's home were convicted of: aggravated sexual assault; aggravated child molestation (along with aggravated sodomy and cruelty to children); and sexual exploitation of children. Not quite peeing on trees.
Heather1525
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February 21, 2014
This makes me physically ill. As a child abuse survivor, this worries me for children everywhere. "THEY SERVED THEIR TIME." Are you kidding me? I live with the memories of my abuse EVERY SINGLE DAY. School is supposed to be a safe and comforting place for a child. Sometimes that is the only chance for the child to get away from their abuser. I liked feeling like I could go to school and not have to worry about him lurking around. I plan on speaking out about this, and I pray that he will change his mind.
BillBobb
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February 21, 2014
@Heather1525 - sorry to hear about your childhood experience, but a quick question....

Was your abuser on the State Sex Offender Registry at the time? If this was before the existence of the State Registry, had he been convicted of a sex crime prior to abusing you?

If not, how would the current law have shielded you from your abuser? Have prevented your abuse in the first place?
Billbobb
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February 21, 2014
The headline is grossly misleading. It should read something like "Bill would allow certain American Citizens to resume living their lives after completing their criminal sentence, as intended by the US Constitution" or something to that effect.
Patrick761
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February 21, 2014
Billbobb,

You must be one of those "poor" unfortunate souls who just couldn't make it through probation, because it is set up for failure. Or, are you one of the sexual predators lurking in our community. If your screen name is any indication, I'd say you are of the latter.
Billbobb
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February 21, 2014
@Patrick761 - but of course, whenever one dares to speak up against this registered sex offender hysteria, the instant reflex response always is you must be a pervert / on this list yourself.

You probably will not believe it, but I am neither, and no one in my family is. I am a parent who is, as all parents, concerned about effective defenses against child sexual abuse.

Almost all such offenses are committed by someone close to the child and typically in the child's or the offender's home If it occurs at at a school it is almost always the teacher (who of course, has a clear background check). So these laws serve next to no purpose, other than make the 'good' people feel morally superior. People who infer from a screen name and an unpopular opinion that I am "one of the sexual predators lurking in the community".

What I am, however, extremely worried about, mostly for my children and their future, is the continuing erosion of Rights guaranteed to all by the US Constitution for certain groups deemed undesirable.

While abuse is a possibility, the infringements on Citizen's Rights (they are called rights for a reason) is a reality. From this I will work to shield my children until my last breath.

J. Mom
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February 21, 2014
I completely agree with Heather1525. Keep yourself away from my kids school and my kids.
Oh Reallyy??
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February 22, 2014
Please, admit you are a troll for this bill.Your talk is not smooth enough to twist the nonsense that this bill is.
OhReally??
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February 22, 2014
AND with this bill I am 75% less worried that some other child's pervy sex offender relative is in my child's school for ANY reason.
AnnoyedByStupids
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February 23, 2014
Really, Billbobb? So this case:

http://www.kwwl.com/story/13205513/sex-offender-charged-after-he-was-found-loitering-around-school

and

http://www.wsav.com/story/20681497/sex-offender-found-loitering-near-day-care-sentenced

and

http://www.wtoc.com/story/20270160/police-find-sex-offender-loitering-near-gould-elementary-school

don't count or mean anything? If these laws save at least one youth from sexual abuse, then it is well worth it.
anonymous
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February 21, 2014


“At the end of the day, it’s all irrelevant, because the speaker of the House has a little corner for people like Mr. Moore: It’s called the ineffective corner. It’s just an embarrassment he happens to be from Cherokee County,” Garrison said.

Well said, Mr. Garrison

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