Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some stories hit closer to home than others.

Somer Thompson's disappearance and killing has terrified me. She was the same age as my youngest son. She lived in Florida. Every day I see groups of children walking to and from school. Every day I see siblings arguing and running ahead when they get angry with one another.

My children have repeatedly asked to be able to walk home or to school on their own.....and I have given it serious thought, thinking that maybe by the end of this year, or the beginning of next year I would let them.

Now, I don't know if I ever could.

The scariest part of this whole thing is contemplating how quickly someone acted in taking her. Assuming she ran ahead of her brother, sister and friend.....how much time would it have taken to catch up to her? 15 minutes until they got home to find she wasn't there? Maybe less?

What are the odds that a predator just happened to see Somer in those few minutes and spontaneously, without any previous plans, chose to snatch her and kill her?

It seems more likely that someone was watching and waiting for a chance that a child--any child--walking home from school alone might be taken.

That's what is so terrifying about sexual predators...the planning....the purposeful watching and waiting....the patience to case out a neighborhood and strike just when the right circumstances come about.

It's horrifying to think about as a parent.

Sometimes I hate living in Florida. Maybe it's just the media....but it seems like we have a disproportionate amount of sexual offenders and predators.

I can name incident after incident, child after child, making the national news....all from here in the lovely Sunshine State.

It makes me want to move to a ranch in Montana and learn how to shoot a shotgun or rifle.

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