Blonde Justice and the Wretched of the Earth both disucss the case. Blonde Justice's views in particular mirror some of my own concerns with this increasingly common practice:
These stings are being set up in nearly every state in the country. They use a substantial amount of taxpayer money to set these traps which often draw sex offenders into their towns or counties. And they take police officers off of visible street patrol and into police stations where they sit in front of computers.
Why aren't more citizens up in arms? Why aren't more citizens saying, "Quit bringing sex offenders into our town and use that money to get guns and drugs off our streets and out of our schools?"
Who do these protect? Real 13 year-old girls who have sexual conversations with grown men? Are there a lot of them? Are they really the most important group of citizens to protect?
I think that by labeling these men "pedophiles," police hope to confuse citizens into thinking these are the same men who grab little girls into their vans to kidnap and rape them. As sick as it is to want to have sex with a 13 year-old, the men on Dateline think they're showing up for consensual sex. (For what a 13 year-old's consent is worth.) My guess is that these men would very rarely, if ever, be the same men as those that would kidnap a child to sexually assault him or her. But yet, my guess is that the reason why citizens support these efforts is because they envision it making it their streets safe from the kidnapping type of pedophiles.
Instead, they should take internet safety precautions. Like telling their 13 year-olds not to set up sex dates with old men. How difficult is that?