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Take A Wizz, And -- Bang! You're A Perv

One of the more unpleasant side-effects of our crackdown on sex offenders has been the labeling of certain people as sex criminals. For years, urinating in public -- especially by men -- has been criminalized as "indecent exposure," meaning that guys who just couldn't find a port-a-potty or a suitably secluded tree get lumped in with child rapists. And technically, it is true -- it is rather awkward for us guys to "go with the flow" without airing out certain bits that most people would rather not see in public.

Well, that may be changing in New Hampshire. A lawmaker is introducing a new law that makes public urination a misdemeanor, but NOT a sex crime.

My natural inclination is to be suspicious of a Democratic lawmaker pushing a new law against something that's already illegal, but I find myself agreeing with Representative Shurtleff. Speaking as a man, I can attest that "when you gotta go, you gotta go," and at that point anything sexual is the furthest from one's mind. I still think it's disgusting to do so in public (and am ashamed of the times I have done so), and certainly fit to keep illegal, but splitting it off from sex crimes is a good idea.

Here's hoping Representative Shurtleff's bill passes, and -- if it works out well, as I think it will -- other states follow the example.

Sex offenders are among the most dangerous people, and we need to protect ourselves from them. One key step towards that is weeding out the truly dangerous from the merely annoying. This bill does a damned good job at separating the wheat from the chaff.


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Comments (24)

Just clarifying, but are yo... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Just clarifying, but are you saying that public urinators* are the wheat? Mmmm. ;)

* Uromycetisis kills!

I half believed they did th... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I half believed they did this inorder make life easier for the rapists.

For one, it gives rapists a way to lie to people about the seriousness of their offense.

For another, it makes the rest of us feel sympathy for those drunk fools who get this label and therefore more likely to want lighter punishments for that offense. Definitely allowing Judges to have a broader discretion of the sentence so they can give rapists lighter sentences and not be bound by legislated minimums.

Lastly, its a form of moral equivalence between a person relieving himself in public and a rapist.

Above should start "I half ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Above should start "I half believe they originally lumped peeing in public with rape in order to make..."

So, New Hampshire, a state ... (Below threshold)
kbiel:

So, New Hampshire, a state with a long history of gun ownership and, along with that, hunting, has a law that makes it a sexual crime to urinate in public? So, you're out hunting, in a secluded area, you can see the bears and deer and your dog relieving themselves out in the open, but you have to find a port-o-potty? Or perhaps the lawmakers of New Hampshire believe that bears don't really do it in the woods?

Here comes the "I was only ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Here comes the "I was only taking a leak" defense from the real pervs.

I could say something reall... (Below threshold)

I could say something really tasteless here, but I'll refrain....

Jay Tea:You're giv... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

Jay Tea:

You're giving me some irresistible material here. But, as others take this seriously, I will not utter my jokes. No remarks, for example, about the bill being flushed away in committee, or hoping the legislature will "stand and deliver." Rather, I will go with the flow here and make serious commentary my number one priority.

Women wait until they find ... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Women wait until they find a toilet. Men should do the same. I don't care how badly you have to go, or spit, or huck a lugie (sp?) or whatever other gross things you people do, like scratch your twigs and berries - but seriously....WAIT until you are in a bathroom!!!

Is this being co-sponsored ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Is this being co-sponsored by Senator Craig?

Rather, I will go ... (Below threshold)
Rather, I will go with the flow here and make serious commentary my number one priority.

Pennywit, You're too good at this. I could say your #1 in the #2 business, but that's a copyright at a local septic company here.

Candy is not familiar with ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Candy is not familiar with the male anatomy.

There is only conscious control up to a point. Although that is a pretty high point. However, after that, it will let go on its own.

And crossing your legs doesn't do anything.

Candy,Drink three ... (Below threshold)

Candy,

Drink three beers in an hour and call me when your bladder explodes. You have no clue.

Speaking of taking a whiz, ... (Below threshold)
George:

Speaking of taking a whiz, there's a funny video going around the Internet. Apparently, a U.S. helicopter in Iraq with infrared vision captured a video of some guy on the ground taking a whiz. I can't describe it well enough to do it justice. It was pretty comical.

I'd provide a link but it has been pulled from the site where I saw it.

The issue is similar to tha... (Below threshold)
Diane:

The issue is similar to that of a woman nursing in public. Both (men urinating & women nursing) should always try to avoid the activity in public; but if absolutely necessary, be discreet.

I'm married to a farmer--urinating outside is a benefit of the job!

Law enforcement needs the a... (Below threshold)

Law enforcement needs the ability to use their judgment in cases like this.

A guy relieving himself at 2:00 a.m. in a dark alley or in some bushes is rather a different sort of offender than one who does so in broad daylight in a children's playground or at the Garden Club meeting.

There are great benefits to maintaining registries of sex offenders, but many are lost if we don't ensure those on the registries are truly sex criminals. A fellow who had too much to drink and urinates in an inappropriate place, an 18 year-old boyfriend whose 15 year-old girlfriend's parents insist be charged for statutory rape, and other such circumstances hardly justify carrying the mark for life.

Ok, so that time my husband... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Ok, so that time my husband barged in to the bathroom to tell me something important when I was mid-pee, and I stopped so I could hear what he was saying, and he said "How did you DO that? I can't stop it once it starts!"... does this help me to understand that you people have no control over that organ? Help me to understand this phenomenon. It's like Seinfeld when George said "Jerry, it MOVED! It MOVED, Jerry!"

I'm trying to comprehend it all, guys. Really I am.

And to the author of this post, who sent me the IM today which read "Piss off!".... cute. They always say it's better to be pissed off than pissed on. I'll take their word for it.

There should be some restra... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

There should be some restraint to keep a guy from just whipping it out anywhere. There were only a couple of times I actually witnessed it. In one incident, I was walking home after highschool through a back alley. The guy had his back to me,but spill factor landing on the pavement gave me a clue as to what he was doing. Obviously embarrassed, all he managed to stammer out was, "Uh-um...Beautiful day, isn't it?"

Jim Addison,Cases ... (Below threshold)

Jim Addison,

Cases like this provide a good example of what happens when you have many people listed there who shouldn't be there. Such lists can expose otherwise good people to the nuttiness that some people (actually, probably a lot of people) feel toward anyone who is labeled a sex offender.

does this help me to und... (Below threshold)
Brian:

does this help me to understand that you people have no control over that organ?

It should have. But it apparently didn't.

And by nuttiness I mean the... (Below threshold)

And by nuttiness I mean the indiscriminate hatred that a number of people feel toward sex offenders. There are many people who if they will even acknowledge that there are a lot of people who are labeled sex offenders who shouldn't be, will still do so only after being thoroughly raked over the coals for supporting a system that treats a guy caught pissing in the bushes the same way once he gets out as a serial rapist.

Apparently Candy has never ... (Below threshold)
MunDane:

Apparently Candy has never been to any Mardi Gras venue and seen the women peeing in the alleys.

Oh and please, someone tell me how peeing in public is different than the Slut du jour flashing her shaved pooter for the paprazzi

Only thirteen states requir... (Below threshold)
Malibu Stacy:

Only thirteen states require sex offender registration for acts of public urination, and two of them only if it was done in the presence of a minor. New Hampshire's legislation is a bit late to be in the vanguard.

On the other hand, there ar... (Below threshold)
Murr289:

On the other hand, there are cases where it is clearly a sex crime, yet not punished, such as in San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair. Witness the amazing Human Urinal:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_F89YouF58

I believe I'm the first to ... (Below threshold)

I believe I'm the first to comment on the irony of this being on Wizbang.




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