The use of lists in conjunction with promoting public safety has been hotly debated for many years. It is now common for convicted sex offenders to register with government authorities (failure to do so is a crime) and for that information to be publicly available.
Georgia has pushed the envelope in the recent court decision of Rainier v. Georgia (available here) and discussed here. I am reminded of the poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) in reference to the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party.
“THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
THEN THEY CAME for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
In today’s world, first they registered sex offenders and placed them on a list… and now the door has been opened for addicts, alcoholics, drunk drivers, people who text & drive, and whoever else is believed or suspected of posing a risk to the community.
When will we wake up? When will we realize these policies strip away our fundamental rights? And When will we acknowledge that the solution will not be found in fear?