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Odd Priorities

So I’m trying to wrap my hands around something… We, as a people, have some really screwy barometer of what’s important. We are developing systems to track my dog with a GPS locator.

Also, you have no doubt heard in the news about special micro chips that can be embedded directly in an animal’s skin that can help track a missing pet. While some serve as mere computer-based identifiers so that someone who finds your missing pet can be sure it is yours, others get fairly sophisticated.

Some companies are experimenting with global positioning satellite or GPS tracking that can be affixed to a collar or implanted subcutaneously. Unfortunately, the more sophisticated the process, the more you will pay, often both in one-time setup and then in monthly fees. Yet, if you have the money, it may be worth the price for your overall peace of mind as well as the safety of your beloved pet.

At the same time, we write off the possibilities this would afford us in tracking lost children.

A child of a certain age, for example, should know how to get home or at least be able to offer information to others to help them get back. Yet few pets speak; they need us to employ the very best ways to find a lost pet if they have any hope to make it home again.

All this despite the fact that almost one million people go rogue each year, and of those 85% to 90% are juveniles.

That means that 2,100 times per day parents or primary care givers felt the disappearance was serious enough to call law enforcement. 152,265 of the persons reported missing in 2000 were categorized as either endangered or involuntary. The number of missing persons reported to law enforcement has increased from 154, 341 in 1982 to 876,213 in 2000. That is an increase of 468%.

Despite all of this, California is busy making it illegal to protect your kids using the same technology you use to protect your dog.

This bill would prohibit a person from requiring, coercing, or compelling any other individual to undergo the subcutaneous implanting of an identification device, as defined.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love my dog, and if he disappeared, I’d be pretty broken up. However, if some friggin’ whack job pedophile snatched my kid when I had my back turned, and I had no way of locating him simply because some ACLU lawyer thought it was a violation of his rights, I’d hunt down the guy that took him and the ACLU lawyer and dispatch them both.

We fear technology because we’re incredibly short sighted in our thinking. Just think of all the Amber Alerts that could be resolved within minutes or hours if we could pull up a grid and see the location of the missing child. Imagine the hundreds of thousands of parents crippled by the grief of a lost child who could have had their children returned safely if we hadn’t acted in fear.

Legislation like this ignores the possibilities of science, and places more value on the family pet than the family member. That’s just sick and sad.

Written by Michael Turk