The biggest problem with liberal solutions to problems is that they’re almost always overthought. In most cases, it isn’t that they don’t care about the issues they try to solve. They simply abandon logic and accountability in their quests to be more helpful. This reality is presented in the most dangerous way with SB 1322 which decriminalizes child prostitution in an attempt to save more children from sex traffickers.
It’s okay if you want to reread that last sentence to make sure you read it right the first time. I’ll wait.
This story caught my attention when it was signed into law and I’m glad that it resurfaced yesterday. As a California resident with two daughters, this may be the last straw that pushes me back towards redder pastures after a decade among liberals.
“The law is supposed to protect vulnerable children from adult abuse, yet we brand kids enmeshed in sex-for-play with a scarlet ‘P’ and leave them subject to shame and prosecution.” said Democratic Senator Holly J. Mitchell. “This is our opportunity to do what we say is right in cases of sex trafficking: stop the exploiters and help the exploited.”
As with so many concepts pushed by leftists, this one is steeped in identity, labels, feelings, and compassion. The idea is that underage prostitutes are generally exploited and therefore should be treated as the victims they are rather than as criminals. On the surface, this makes sense… as long as you abandon the aforementioned logic and accountability. Rather than worrying about how an arrest will make them feel, we should be worrying about getting child prostitutes off the street and bringing their exploiters to justice.
SB 1322 will do the exact opposite by hindering both righteous goals, as Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley noted.
“It just opens up the door for traffickers to use these kids to commit crimes and exploit them even worse,” she said.
It will not take child prostitutes off the streets. On the contrary, it will increase the number of children who willingly or unwillingly enter into prostitution. There is no argument even from the left that the number of minors willingly hitting the streets to sell themselves will rise. Fear of arrest and prosecution is what keeps many young people from entering into prostitution, so taking away the consequences will remove one of the last barriers of entry into the dangerous lifestyle.
What liberals don’t seem to understand is that it will increase the abuse by pimps and traffickers by giving them a barrier of separation between them and the law. If their victims cannot be arrested, they cannot be questioned. If they can’t be questioned, they won’t be able to turn in their oppressors. In California, manipulating children through threats is now much safer than it ever was before. As an anonymous California prosecutor observed, if sex traffickers or pimps were tasked with writing legislation to protect themselves, it would read like SB 1322.
California has launched a bright beacon into their skies to alert sex traffickers and pimps about their new safe haven on the west coast. Once again, liberals have attempted to preserve the feelings of people rather than to help them get out of their situation. Now, they’ll rejoice that child prostitutes can wear their label of “victim” instead of “criminal” even if doing so means that more children will be exploited as a direct and unavoidable result.