Scrapping Galleries/Forums as Evidence Lockers
Who knew that scrapbooking should probably get political? Well, if New Jersey scrappers could face 5 years in prison and $15K in fines for taking photos of their kids in public places where other minors are present, then it’s probably time for them to step up and speak out.
This issue came to my attention when reading about a case in Idaho of a grandfather who took his grandchild to the park was reported by the local media as being wanted for questioning by the police. When a mother at the park ran up to him screaming and yelling about why he was taking photos of his grandchild at the park, the guy left with his grandson. Because who wants to hang out at parks with women who run up to strangers and start screaming at them for no reason? Of course, leaving the crazed woman behind was reported to be additional suspicious behavior that warranted police intervention – unfortunately, not for the woman who screams at strangers for disturbing the peace.
In NJ, the media cites a case where an admitted perv was taking photos of young girls, but their solution will outlaw all photography of minors who are not your own if a parent complains. It’s a bit extreme to start handing out felonies for such acts.
The pervy NJ situation could have been resolved using laws already on the books and a little smart thinking by swim meet organizers. As a presumably private event, even if it’s on public property, they could limit photography & videos to those with some kind of registration to do so. Registration to do so would be based on your status as a parent/guardian, those approved by parents/guardian, and anyone the organizers might hire as the official photographer. This means they can ask a person in violation to leave and the trespass charges can stick. We don’t need to make it a crime for an aunt taking pictures of her niece’s big competition to capture some memories in order to deal with one problematic old man.
If I can go through the galleries and forums of scrap sites and find multiple would-be felons, I think it’s time to step back and reexamine our sanity.