I thought this exposition of the situation in Watford Borough, in the UK, pretty well summed it up. It seems that being the parent of a child does not mean you can be with that child in the Watford Borough Council run playgrounds, unless you have been vetted by the police. The full news story from The Daily Mail can be found here.
The obvious answer is to never take your children to that playground again. However, the convenience of it will cause parents to go back to the playground and let the "acceptable" "play rangers" manage their children, thus taking one more step back away from our own freedom.
As an aside, we need to be careful before the law of unintended consequences catches up with us regard to Level X Sex Offenders. I heard this AM that some communities in our Commonwealth are closing off major sections of their community to such predators. The number I heard was 98%. If we do that we will eventually have to find a new place for such people to live and work. I am thinking somewhere out in Western Massachusetts, near the New York State Line, all living together in their own community. [WARNING: This is sarcasm.]
I find myself wondering if something changed between when I was a child, in the 1940s and 50s and today. I wonder when it might have happened. I wonder what the cause might have been. Looking back, I remember that at about the age of eight I started stopping in and playing chess with a nice old man who lived in the next block, with his wife. My parents didn't say anything to me about "being careful." Then I would go off in the woods behind the house, unsupervised, and play for several hours with my buddies and the key point was to be home on time for dinner. In 13 years of schooling I rode the school bus for a total of a couple of days, in eighth grade. We had moved to a new town in a different state and it took a couple of days to meet up with a couple of kids from the neighborhood and decide to walk to school, taking a shortcut across an empty field.
We are now heading in a new direction here with regard to our children and we have not gotten to the end of where it is leading and we don't seem to be thinking about that end. We are being careful, but at what cost?
Regards — Cliff