Commentary by H.G. Listiak
Thoughts on the Amber Alert
Welcome to My World, where we had another panic attack, another Amber Alert, the other day. Let me preface this visit into The World by saying let there be no mistake about it, I endorse the concept. It's a very good one, since protecting our youngsters is a long overdue priority and very necessary in these times when we have so many sexual predators, pedophiles, and just plain sickos on the loose. And yes, the chances of recovering these young victims in the first 24 hours after they're reported missing are much better, but I see flaws in the system. For one thing, it's wearing thin because so many people are crying wolf, misusing the alert for domestic issues, like visiting rights violated, and even dead-beat dads. And then there's the children themselves using the system as a prank or for an excuse when they're not where they are supposed to be. All of these things lessen the effectiveness of a very necessary, much need alert system. My greatest fear, however, is the possibility of vigilante behavior, where when a vehicle is identified by color, make, and model, every hero on the road tries to take the law into their own hands, thinking there is not enough time to get law officers to the suspect vehicle. This can only get them in trouble and endanger those around them. That alone is a needle in a haystack since we have so many vehicles of the same make, model, and color on our highways and streets, targets for any loose cannon who tries to do the right thing by doing the wrong thing. I don't have the answer to that problem, but I do have a suggestion for those who would abuse the Amber Alert for domestic reprisal or as a hoax. We need a law, like the dumb law that sees people pay the cost of a rescue when they try to cross a flooded wash. Those who abuse the alert should be at least fined. When the Amber Alert goes out it's like screaming fire in a crowded theater. It had better be a real situation to be handled by those trained to do so, not a bunch of panicked amateurs going in all directions, doing nothing more than hampering the efforts of law enforcement, as I see it ... I'm H.G. Listiak.