To the editor:

As parents, we take so many steps to protect our children. And now it’s time to take a simple step, at no cost, which could save your child from an unimaginable horror. It is a sad fact of life that in this country alone there are nearly 500,000 registered sex offenders, many of them living in Texas. And yes, some of them are almost certainly living in your neighborhood… maybe within a few streets of your home… maybe close to where your children go to school or play. It’s awful to think about registered sex offenders even looking at our children. But of course, they do a lot more than look. Each day in the U.S. over 2,000 children simply disappear. Yes, you read that right, 2,000 a day. And all too many of those children fall victim to registered sex offenders… some of them in Texas.

But there is something you can do, right now.

At no cost, you can make a quick search and find out exactly how many Texas registered sex offenders are living in your own neighborhood. It’s a simple step to take, and perhaps the most important thing you can do to protect the lives and futures of your own children. To live in ignorance is to put your children’s lives at risk. To know is the first step towards giving them the protection they deserve.

To look at a list of registered sex offenders in your neighborhood, go to the following Web site (https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/DPS_WEB/Sor/index.aspx) or simply punch in (Texas DPS sex offender registry) in your search engine. You can search by name, city or Zip Code. You can also punch in your address and it will map out where the registered sex offender lives and how close to your house and their names.

Did you know? Coleman has 25 registered sex offenders. Santa Anna has five registered sex offenders. Bangs has seven registered sex offenders. Brownwood has 84 registered sex offenders. Just how many more are lurking out there? When you are searching this site, be sure and look at the face that goes with the name, because you may mistake the person just by looking at the name.

I would like to tell you about an incident in Ozona, Texas, several years ago. A good friend of my sister had a 9-year-old daughter go missing out of the backyard while my sister and her friend were sitting on the front porch talking. That night her body was found outside of town by a roadside park. She had been raped with a tire iron. Needless to say, it was a registered sex offender that lived around the corner. He had lived there for years without getting into any trouble or without molesting, up until then. So be aware that just because these registered sex offenders haven’t molested in years, doesn’t mean they won’t do it again.

I urge each citizen to use the above mentioned Web site to look up who might be living in your neighborhood. Just remember, it could save the life of a child. Also remember, just because these children are not murdered, an unimaginable horror like this in the lives of children can ruin the rest of their lives.

Our lawmakers in Austin are passing laws that are providing registered sex offenders more leniencies, and its time for the citizens of Texas to speak out and say we don’t want this. You have lawyers who are fighting for the rights of sex offenders, but what about the rights of the sex offenders’ victims? What happened to their rights?

As a citizen of Texas, you won’t find me supporting any registered sex offenders or any person employing them. This is why I watch this sight on a daily basis, because new ones can be added daily. In my opinion, they lost their rights when they molested these kids. It is a sick and inexcusable matter, and I refuse to look at them like nothing ever happened. If you want to do that, go right ahead, but to me, you will be just as guilty as they are for helping and supporting them. I look at it as you being an accessory to the act that took place if you chose to help them. And if you do, just remember, it could be your child this is happening to.

It is time to stand up for what is right. Our lawyers, district attorneys, county attorneys, judges and politicians are failing the citizens of Texas. Let’s push them into doing what needs to happen in order for our children to be safe.

John Morris

Santa Anna