Initially I was angry that New Times devoted all of page 12 to sex offender Michael Gibson ("Curse of the crime," Nov. 3-10). Then I realized (bravo, King Harris) it's a wise way to expose what sex offenders are like, and how they rationalize, minimize, and self-indulge.
To that point, Gibson rationalizes, "I would never hurt a child knowingly."
Gibson's minimizing is shown in when he said he "fondled a young member of his family" when his conviction is "lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14."
Webster's dictionary defines lewd as "lustful and indecent; full of desire." (I believe it's important to note that his saying he would never knowingly hurt a child is negated by the definition of his conviction). That it is impossible to be lewd and lascivious with a child while not harming him or her makes it clear enough. That he makes these statements indicates his lack of evolution ("evolved" is a term he uses to describe himself) and illuminates just how dangerous he was and is.
I do not know what kind of therapy Gibson went though. He only offers that he did therapy for "several years." Did he go once a week? Once a month? Once a year? And did society pay for this, or did he use his photography money to pay for it?
Gibson is conning us! He says he has never photographed children without the parents' consent. I don't believe Gibson goes up to parents and asks their permission. Even if he does, I don't believe those were photos he took for anything but misuse. Metaphorically, this is like a bank robber saying he makes a living by being a locksmith.
The difference is that the only thing a bank robber robs is money. We all need to get with this issue and stop at no point, nor trip over any obstacle, to consider a sexual predator's rights. This man, sex offender Michael Gibson, robs children of their souls. He robs them of innocence and condemns them to a life sentence. And if the children are fortunate enough to get therapy, it will be emotionally and financially exorbitant just to unravel their wake of problems and gain coping skills, as there is no fix for what he robbed the child of.
Which brings up Gibson's affinity to self-indulge. Nowhere does he refer to his victim and what he's done over the past 20 years to help the child. He claims he's "done his time" (one year in jail) and "paid the price." Clearly this man takes no responsibility for his victim. He goes on to whine more in the article, but enough of him telling us how great a guy he is and how he's evolved. (By the way, therapists do not recognize the term "evolved" as having any correlation to his sex offender state or level.)
If he were reformed, he would understand why the posters and notifications were sent out to parents.
If he were reformed, he would understand the extensive, life-long consequences that his crime had on his victims.
If he were reformed, he would understand that his crime's consequences to him are not the point.
I applaud the officers he refers to, and especially Sheriff Pat Hedges for his statement, "He's earned that having to register for the rest of his life. That's always going to be with him."
How I wish Gibson's victim had it so easy. Bravo to the police and to the schools. We have always advised children to tell us when they are being abused. For decades we have failed to back them up when they came to us; at best, slapping a sex offender's hand, as with Michael Gibson's one-year sentence, so the message to our children is that they don't really count and we won't fiercely defend them. They do count. And it's about time we walked our talk to them, exhibiting our intent to protect them resolutely, absolutely!
New Times reader Teri Patterson is a San Luis Obispo resident.