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Just Assume All Photographers Are Pervs

I’m pretty sure that’s the mindset we’re headed towards with stories about fathers and grandfathers being run off of public areas or reported to the police for taking pictures of their own family members. When a raving lunatic woman gets in a man’s face screaming at him for no other reason than he’s taking pictures of his grandchild in his care at the park, where is the media report about a crazed woman attacking men with families?

I love how the local media jumped on the lynch mob bandwagon without actually asking police for more details about the incident that may have given them a clue there’s no probable cause or actual reason for suspicion.

But what really caught my attention was from the related stories. I somehow missed that NJ has a bill that would ban anyone from taking pictures if minors were in it and their parents didn’t feel like it was a situation where their child should be photographed. The punishment? Three to five years in prison and/or a fine up to $15K.

The bill’s sponsors freely admit that it’s completely unconstitutional, but they just want to do something about those perverts who take pictures in public places where minors run around freely. Like this person. Or this one. Or this one.

When it gets the point where I can go through the galleries of scrapbooking sites to find moms who have pictures of their children posted with other minors in the background and declare that in New Jersey, they could face five years in prison if lawmakers get their way, something has gone terribly wrong in our society.

I think what also bothers me is that if the mother in the initial story who screamed at the grandfather truly believed he was a threat, she handled the situation in the wrong way. There’s such a thing as asking questions – questions like “Which one is yours?” – that would give you ammunition if you really did need to call the cops. If you can tell them that a man is truly behaving suspiciously – running from polite contact, admitting that he has no children on site, and he actually does something creepy to or around one of the children, then there’s room for them to investigate. That might actually lead to a situation where a potentially dangerous person is removed from the park, and possibly put behind bars if they discover illegal activities. If I were a mother, I would think that is a far better solution than running around a park screaming at men for no other crime than they have a penis and are caring for their own children or grandchildren. But then again, that might be my sanity getting in the way.

12 Responses to “Just Assume All Photographers Are Pervs”

  1. Ian Argent says:

    Thanks, NJ Republican legislators, for reminding everyone what a bunch of idiots you are

  2. Sage Thrasher says:

    Reminds me of the near-hysterical reaction to teens sending each other dirty self-portraits on their cell phones. Babylon! Pure Babylon!

  3. Chas says:

    These same people have no problem with their driver’s license pictures being retained in the government’s electronic database.
    The government that has your picture can give it to someone they send to kill you.

  4. hougie99 says:

    My question is how many hundreds of pics of there kids do these overly parnoid mothers have posted on there Facebook or other social networking sites?

  5. Bitter says:

    Oh, I have no doubt they have a ton. But see, it’s okay if they take photos because clearly anyone can see they are reasonable, and they would never take photos when someone else considered it unreasonable.

    Nevermind that there’s no logic in this argument at all. It’s all about how good they can feel about themselves and how good it feels to attack men who are so highly involved in their family lives.

  6. hougie99 says:

    i also wonder how many of these women are single moms that are complaining there are no good men any more?

  7. Braden Lynch says:

    It is OK to take pictures of people in public places where there is no expectation of privacy.

    Of course, someone acting creepy can be questioned, but just how do you prevent photography that includes children without trampling on both common sense and everyone’s rights?

    Hypothetically, what if an old guy is just sitting on a park bench watching children play. Is that now a crime, too?

    Please vote these politicians out of office next time. They are too stupid and disrespectful of our rights to be in government.

  8. karrde says:

    I think grandparents and parents need to pursue a normalization strategy.

    Kind of like gun owners have been pursuing.

    Everyone take their kids to the park and have a photo session. Tell your friends. Be proactive.

    Will it work? Maybe in a decade.

  9. Bitter says:

    Braden, the proposed law in Jersey would end that protection to take pictures in public as long as there are minors in the photograph – unless a parent decided it was a reasonable expectation that their kid would be photographed. The sponsors acknowledge that it blatantly violates that protection and would be thrown out. But they just don’t care.

    karrde, that could work, but it might be unpleasant for both the parents and kids in the process because of other factors that come into play. Overwhelmingly, the cases that are reported are women complaining about the presence of men. I speculated to Sebastian last night that some of these more extreme cases – like the woman who went up to the grandfather yelling at him without question – could be rooted in something deeper about their jealously and discomfort with men who are so highly involved in their families, and that they don’t have that in their own home lives.

    I guess what you’re asking people to do, while seemingly relatively simple, could be a bigger headache for even the child involved. If a guy who takes his kid to the park will be screamed at or even run off politely, then you have to drag your kid away, too. If you’re going to the park with them, they will probably be too young to understand and get upset. If there’s a giant scene involving Dad or Grandpa, that could also upset the child. If you can get the bonding time without the insanity in your own backyard, it may be better for the child. Unlike with gun owners, the direct consequences of it impact a child who may not otherwise understand what is happening, and I can see where making a big deal out of it if you can still bond with them at home is a weightier decision.

    To be honest, the response that would have the quickest impact would be for the other women who are there to shun the crazy ones. If one of them had the nerve to say, “Look, you are insane. Nothing about your encounter was remotely justified, and I don’t want *you* around me or my children anymore because I don’t want my children to start screaming at strangers and judging them by gender.” But that requires standing up to the insane ones, and few will want to rock the boat since then she might get all insane on the person who is using logic and reason.

  10. Zermoid says:

    It figures, NJ, The Gestapo State, would pass that train wreck of freedom.

    • Bitter says:

      They haven’t passed it, only introduced it. But it’s bad news that they feel it’s perfectly okay to push legislation that they know would be unconstitutional and risk putting innocent people in jail for years.

  11. I have encountered in my reading lately (I didn’t keep track of where) that some judges believe in the “assumption of constitutionality”. Where they just assume if the law is passed that the people who made the law made sure it was constitutional. Sounds lazy and dangerous to me, especially when we get crap like this where the legislature KNOWS that a bill is unconstitutional but want to pass it anyway because they think it looks good to their constituants.

    s

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