Locally, laws were put into place preventing convicted sex offenders from leaving on exterior lights, passing out Halloween candy, or even leaving their homes before midnight. Now I get the logic here, keeping kiddies away from child molesters, and all, but is this really anything more than another scare tactic? Where are all the cases of these "sex offenders" grabbing kids on Halloween?
And just what is a "sex offender"? I couldn't find exactly what it takes in my state, and I'm sick of Googling, but here are some of the offenses that can warrant the label in the great state of Missouri: promoting prostitution in the first degree; promoting prostitution in the second degree; promoting prostitution in the third degree; public display of explicit sexual material; coercing acceptance of obscene material; promoting obscenity in the first degree. None of that seems to really scream Danger! Washington state seems to be a bit more restrained with whom they classify as a "sex offender": Rape, Rape of a Child, Child Molestation, Sexual Misconduct with a Minor, Sexual Violation of Human Remains, Incest, Communication with a Minor for Immoral Purposes, a Felony with a finding of sexual motivation. Not for nothing, but the sexual violation of human remains isn't so much threatening as it is gross. But incest? If it's not forced, and as wickedly disturbing as it might be, is it really a reason to impose a curfew on someone?
At any rate, the night passed, no children were poisoned, no "sex offenders", whatever those are, were able to snatch up any costumed toddlers, and the world is as it was before the trick-or-treaters ever hit the streets. Don't let the newspapers and television "reporters" scare you out of letting your kids have fun on Halloween, and don't let unfounded urban legends ruin what can be one of the most enjoyable activities of a kid's young life.
Of course, there was one particularly grand trick played. USC Trojans coach Pete Carroll and running back LenDale White staged White's phony suicide, tossing a dummy off the roof of a building after the back feigned an angry exit from practice. Boys will be boys, and that's just how it should be.