I remember once when I was a kid, my dad had to drive down to Sacramento from my hometown in Redding, California. That's way up north near Mt. Shasta — like the soda, "It hasta be Shasta?" Maybe you're too young.
Anyway, he took me to Sacramento with him and took me to McKinley Park — which is still there — and dropped me off for the afternoon while he went over to the capitol building for a job interview.
I was 10 years old — tops — maybe eight. It was 1954 or 56 — something like that. I spent the afternoon at the park. Nobody bothered me. He picked me up and we went home.
Another time he had to talk to somebody about a job in San Francisco. He dropped me off at the old Fox Theater on Upper Market Street. It's gone now.
I bought some candy and sat in the balcony and watched "Sink the Bismarck!" (search) three times. Eventually he showed up, picked me up, and we drove home.
Can you imagine doing that stuff now? These days a kid left like that can probably expect to wind up in a shallow grave or hustled off to some snuff video studio somewhere.
Nobody does that stuff anymore, do they? Do you drop your kid off at the park and disappear for a couple hours? I don't think so. Times are way too tough.
As we've just seen the last few weeks, people are way too strange. Jerry Hobbs (search) stabs his daughter and another little girl 30 times because he's mad they're late for Mother's Day dinner. Nice Mother's Day for mom, huh?
Think of the Jessica Lunsford (search) thing in Florida. In "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" they always find the kid if she's right next door being tortured by a sex offender who sneaks around under the radar. Not this time.
So what's going on? That's what we'd like to know.
So Sunday at 9pm EDT, I'm doing a special we call, "Are Your Kids Safe?"
We take a look at the epidemic of bad stuff happening to kids — tell you what parents have to know and what kids have to know.
It's 9pm EDT Sunday night. I'm hosting. Don't miss it. Are your kids safe?
Watch John Gibson weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on "The Big Story" and send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org