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Old Oct 19, 2009, 6:38 PM   #201
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I will add an addendum to my post above.

Almost all cases of abuse occur from people known to the family. Priests, Doctors, piano teachers, etc. Murder and rape is generally a crime of opportunity. I know of no cases involving street photography. No doubt, this has occured and is possible. And it's always brought up as a fact, it's known, everyone knows it. We've all heard about it. But it's never (or almost never actually happened) actually happened.

There are certainly cases of pedophiles taking pictures of children (probably because the Sears catalogue came late) but I really don't give a damn about them taking pictures - I'm concerned about abuse, rape, murder. And that does NOT involve photography.

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Old Oct 19, 2009, 8:33 PM   #202
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I have been reading this thread with interest, and I think there have been some good points made. I lean toward the libertarian in outlook, but I also agree that being civil is important. I might have been concerned had I been the father in the car of the OP, but I doubt I would have called the police just because someone took my daughter's picture (that seems a little extreme to me, and a waste of taxpayer money). But that's just me. I agree that we have sexualized young girls and then wonder why there is a danger. There is far more danger than taking a fully clothed photo out there! The one thing I do want to say, though, Chato, is that I have to disagree with you that the pedophile "getting off" on a picture isn't harming anyone. While the photograph is not the picture, I believe that all of our actions affect others at some point and at some level. It may not be immediately obvious, but it's there. Not necessarily the individual whose photograph is being viewed, but SOMEONE will be affected. Also, it seems clear to me that acting out in "privacy" DOES lead eventually to acting out on others. It's a progression. In fact, just viewing porn eventually leads to actions that the person would not have otherwise engaged in, and leads to the need for harder and harder images/actions. I don't mean a random, single instance, of course--but it's like a drug; the more you indulge in it, the more likely you are to get hooked and then to go further. For some people it's a very short, slippery slope.

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Old Oct 19, 2009, 8:42 PM   #203
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Statistical blip: 'Tylenide' ( Tylenol contaminated with cyanide)
Result: We now have triple sealed packaging for nearly everything, except what we pick fresh. Is this a bad or good thing in your view?

Statistical blip: 9/11/2001.
Result: Too much to begin to discuss here. Was the Patriot Act a good or bad thing in your view?

Statistical blip: 14 year old girl lured to rape and murder, by her uncle (step uncle or something like that) via Myspace. The uncle lived half-way across the country, but the stepfather, in emails, practically invited him to do the girl. (stepfather was also a sex offender)
Result: none, yet. Should the Law provide a way to attempt to prevent this sort of thing, or only be able to step in after the fact?

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personally, I think those first 2 laws are bad...my 2 cents In the last case, there are already laws...but if a parent doesn't do the basics to protect and teach the child, what else are you going to do to prevent such a thing?!
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 12:17 AM   #204
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I can't say I'm entirely happy with the results of these events, either. My point was more that laws get passed due to fear of incidents like these, whether some of us think they are rational or not. The fact is that most people respond emotionally rather than logically, and it would only take one really egregious incident to have our Congress making laws which could severely restrict what we, as photographers can do. Not necessarily by restricting us directly, but (for example) requiring online services to have releases from persons whose pictures appear on their sites. Bye, bye, online photo galleries.
There is beginning to be quite a lot of sentiment against unrestricted posting of photos online, and to ignore this is just going to get restrictions in place sooner.
A bit of consideration for the feelings of the person you are photographing is in order.

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Old Oct 20, 2009, 5:36 AM   #205
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I do not regard the taking of a childs picture in a public venue, as any more suspicious than someone eyeballing a child in a public venue.
... either of which, I hope you'll agree, could be suspicious.

Can we agree on that?
I have given a number of circumstances which meet all the critieria of being suspicious. ...
So, do we agree that taking a photo of a child in a public place could be suspicious, given a specific set of circumstances?
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 8:27 AM   #206
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So, do we agree that taking a photo of a child in a public place could be suspicious, given a specific set of circumstances?
Any activity that takes place in public could be suspicious, given a specific set of circumstances. I don't see any reason to single out photography.
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 8:45 AM   #207
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Any activity that takes place in public could be suspicious, given a specific set of circumstances. I don't see any reason to single out photography.
No one is singling out photography. This just happens to be a photography discussion forum, so, naturally, the topic of conversation happens to center around photography because the people who come here are predisposed to discuss photography regardless of context. In this instance, the context is that the practice of taking snapshots may or may not be a precursor to a felony.
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 8:55 AM   #208
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Any activity that takes place in public could be suspicious, given a specific set of circumstances. I don't see any reason to single out photography.
Bill - look at it like this. A man is sitting on a public bus across from a woman in a skirt. The woman looks and thinks she sees the man glance toward her skirt area. She's not sure and he doesn't do it again - nothing happens.

Scenario 2 - the woman sees the man staring at that area - she crosses her legs and feels uncomfortable but nothing more happens

Scenario 3 - the man pulls out a camera and takes a photo obviously aimed down toward her lap. The woman freaks out and things go down hill rapidly.

To many parents, it's the same involving their children. No one thinks twice about a glance. Even someone looking for a long time might make you feel uncomfortable but not enough to do anything about.

But taking out a camera while in a car and shooting a photo of a little girl in the backseat of the car next to you and then driving away - THAT causes a lot of suspicion. Much more so than if you were just looking. When someone is just looking people think 'I'm just imagining it' but when you can follow the lens of a camera and it's pointed directly at your small child in the backseat - there is no doubt exactly what the person is doing. And when that person is in another vehicle and that vehicle leaves without any exchange of words, a person very well could think "there is no legitimate reason for that person to have done what they just did". It doesn't mean the act itself is wrong - just that it is easy to perceive it as inappropriate. And the use of the camera heighten's that sense. Especially when it's only a matter of seconds and you have no chance to question or talk to the photographer or might, in this case maybe afraid to .
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 9:34 AM   #209
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John I 'think' you really touched on the key element of this issue. 2 seconds of acknowledgement or conversation could eliminate a lot of questions.

I bet if the OP had smiled and gave the thumbs up as the light change, we wouldn't be having this discussion. I also would have given the father a chance to indicate 'pull over' if he wanted to talk.

The same with the bus lady...if the viewer would say to the lady...'nice skirt' that would satisfy the lady as to 'why is this person staring at me'...Is he just weird or is there Toilet paper stuck into my skirt.
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 9:49 AM   #210
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Bill - look at it like this. A man is sitting on a public bus across from a woman in a skirt. The woman looks and thinks she sees the man glance toward her skirt area. She's not sure and he doesn't do it again - nothing happens.

Scenario 2 - the woman sees the man staring at that area - she crosses her legs and feels uncomfortable but nothing more happens

Scenario 3 - the man pulls out a camera and takes a photo obviously aimed down toward her lap. The woman freaks out and things go down hill rapidly.

To many parents, it's the same involving their children. No one thinks twice about a glance. Even someone looking for a long time might make you feel uncomfortable but not enough to do anything about.

But taking out a camera while in a car and shooting a photo of a little girl in the backseat of the car next to you and then driving away - THAT causes a lot of suspicion. Much more so than if you were just looking. When someone is just looking people think 'I'm just imagining it' but when you can follow the lens of a camera and it's pointed directly at your small child in the backseat - there is no doubt exactly what the person is doing. And when that person is in another vehicle and that vehicle leaves without any exchange of words, a person very well could think "there is no legitimate reason for that person to have done what they just did". It doesn't mean the act itself is wrong - just that it is easy to perceive it as inappropriate. And the use of the camera heighten's that sense. Especially when it's only a matter of seconds and you have no chance to question or talk to the photographer or might, in this case maybe afraid to .
I don't know, I just think it's a little odd that the father's first thought was that this photographer was a pedophile. His daughter is clothed, and in public, as we have discussed at length. Not a "crotch" shot of a woman in a skirt. She wasn't even wearing a bathing suit or something like that.
Plus, I'm presuming that the OP was indeed normal and friendly looking, and that if the father HAD tried to make eye contact, he would have waved and smiled nicely. We weren't there, so it is hard to judge...
I'm thinking the man just was embarrassed that his daughter was sad and it was caught on film!
So, while perhaps, maybe (if I think long and hard about it), a photograph could be suspicious, I'm not so sure that this situation is one of those, personally.
And, even if the behavior was rude at some level (and I'm not saying it was, just allowing for that), it still didn't warrant calling the police! What law was being broken for the police to address? In the case of someone taking a crotch shot of a woman in a skirt, well that is clearly encroaching on the peeping tom laws. Is taking a photograph of a child encroaching on pedophile laws? I guess I don't think so, if the situation isn't enticing in some way. Perhaps I am ignorant, I'll allow that!
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