Tag Archives: background checks

Insanity: Library board can’t agree on sex crime background checks proposed after drag queen story event

It’s come to this: We now have people considering allowing “leeway” when it comes to sex offenders hosting children’s events.

And there’s a very good reason to do those background checks.

As reported by Wichita Eagle: A proposal to background-check people for past sex offenses before they are allowed to make presentations at Wichita libraries was put on hold Tuesday, after a split in the board between those who want a complete ban on sex offenders and those who want staff to have some leeway.

The policy originated in a backlash against a drag queen story time almost a year ago at the Advanced Learning Library and has been criticized by the leader of the LGBT-rights group Equality Kansas.

It was apparent from the comments at Tuesday’s meeting that there is strong consensus on the library board that prospective program presenters should be screened through a national web site listing sex offenders.

But that consensus broke down over the issue of how much discretion the staff should have in allowing past sex offenders to participate in library presentations.

Discretion advised…

Board members were split between those who said registered sex offenders should be automatically disqualified from ever giving a talk at the library, and those who said it should be allowable in some circumstances.

On a motion from board Chairman Kevin McWhorter, the board voted to send the policy back to its operations committee for further revision.

Board member Lamont Anderson Sr. referenced a long list of sex crimes covered by the proposed policy including rape, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sodomy, solicitation of prostitution and lewd and lascivious conduct. “To me, some of these, they’re just hard noes,” Anderson said. “It’s not someone I would want presenting to my granddaughter. That’s just me being truthful. When you don’t have a locked-down policy at certain times, you sometimes can create a slippery slope where something gets through the cracks.”

But board member Jonathan Winkler argued that standards for inclusion in the offender registry vary from state to state and that a zero tolerance policy could wrongly ban an ordinary gay person for consensual same-sex conduct that was once illegal but no longer is.

“We wanted to give staff the flexibility to work around situations like that,” he said, speaking through a sign-language interpreter.

Library Director Cynthia Berner said allowing sex offenders to present to children would be a non-starter for her and the staff. But she said it might be OK to include a former sex offender in an adults-only discussion about the criminal justice system.

Several speakers, including the anti-LGBT pastor who suggested the idea of background checks to the board, urged the members to delay passing the policy and use the time to make it more strict.

Pastor Craig Coffey, who leads a small congregation in Derby, said the board erred earlier in passing a policy that appears to allow drag queen story hours like the “Say YAAAS to Reading” event that drew a standing-room-only crowd at the library last year.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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How’s that gun control working in Washington state after stricter laws implemented?

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Inslee was urging the passage of bills enforcing safe gun storage and enhanced background checks when buying or selling assault weapons. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) ORG XMIT: WATW110

At the end of May this year I did a blog post entitled, “How’s that gun control working in Washington State since new laws were passed?”

I outlined how presidential candidate demorat Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bunch of new gun control laws on May 7 claiming that they would “improve gun safety overall.”

The new laws included:

Statutory law prohibits firearms to persons under 21 years of age.

Police may temporarily seize guns from people a judge deems a threat to themselves or others.

In November 2018, voters approved I-1639 that includes increased background checks, firearm safety training, waiting periods before semiautomatic assault rifles may be purchased or delivered, and require certain secured firearm storage or trigger-locks, and criminalize certain firearm storage if it results in unauthorized use.

Of course these laws did NOTHING to stop criminals. As I noted in my post, “Seattle had more than one reported shooting a day somewhere in the city during the month of May; two of those incidents resulted in death.”

Guess the criminals missed the memo because gun violence continues in Washington state:

Deputies increase patrols in White Center after ‘insane number of bullets’ fired

Police: Man shot multiple times in Capitol Hill

Seattle police investigate shooting near Cal Anderson Park

Two injured, home hit by gunfire in separate weekend shootings in Bellevue

Five killed, 2 in custody in Washington state shootings

Road rage incident leads to shooting in Mill Creek

1 person hurt, 2 detained in midday shooting in downtown Seattle

One dead, man in custody in Redmond shooting

DCG

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