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Hannity

Keeping Children Safe From Predators

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," February 10, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Keeping children safe from predators is every parent’s top priority and now parents have a tool to help them do just that. "John Walsh is with us. And the creator of "Baby Einstein," Julie Clark is with us.

Welcome, both of you back to the program.

First of all, my kids, I didn’t have to make them watch this video. Because once I put it in, it was like every other video that you put in, they just loved it. They stood there. They watched it. We talked about it. It’s mind-boggling to me how many of these predators are out there, isn’t it?

JULIE CLARK, "THE SAFE SIDE": It’s stunning. It’s absolutely stunning. And parents have to have these conversations with their children. And what we hear at "The Safe Side" all the time is "I don’t know how to talk to my kids about it."

HANNITY: Yes.

CLARK: I don’t want the kids to be afraid of everybody that they see. And of course, you don’t. But you want your kids to have the right information and know what to do. So that’s what this is all about.

HANNITY: John, it frustrated me somewhat. I had you both on the radio and right here on this program. You, rightly so, were trying to get this Child Safety Act of 2005 passed. A lot of these guys didn’t have the moral courage to stand up here.

But we’ve got a problem in every small town and every city in this country. These guys are lurking in every neighborhood — there are no exceptions — that they are predators of little children.

JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA’S MOST WANTED": Absolutely. And there’s no way to track the ones who don’t comply with their parole or probation. You know, I thought parole or probation was a privilege, but we have 550,000 convicted sex offenders in this country. These are the guys that have been convicted and are felony convictions.

And 150,000 of them are missing. So there is no way to track them. No way to know if they’re going state-to-state. We had a case last week on "America’s Most Wanted" where a guy had two warrants out for him for violating his parole as a sexual predator, came into Florida and molested three little girls.

How do you tell those girls and those parents that the United States Senate didn’t have time to pass the Child Safety Act of 2005, and we have to reintroduce it for 2006, get it passed in the House and the Senate? I have to ask, what was the Senate judiciary doing this time around?

HANNITY: Obviously, they were too upset with, you know, giving lectures to Judge Alito, which they probably could have done in about a day.

What is the status? When you reintroduce this bill you have to now go back to the beginning. This — this was why we had some urgency the last time you were on the program. It didn’t get passed. How can people get behind it and how short did you fall here?

WALSH: Well, first of all, they can visit Arlen Specter, who’s been friend of mine for years, and everybody on that Senate judiciary, Democratic and Republican, that they’d get this bill done. And it’s about time that they do it, sooner the better, because these guys are roaming around the country.

HANNITY: Have you been up to Washington? Have you spoken to these guys, too?

CLARK: I have not, but boy, John has been up there constantly.

HANNITY: Yes, I know he has.

CLARK: It’s been fantastic.

HANNITY: What is the whole premise behind this? You obviously know that there are predators out there, but the idea is to teach children how to react. Are they capable?

CLARK: I think kids are really capable of knowing the right thing to do. Avoiding the situation, and that’s what we try to tell kids. You know, you get in the car, you put on your seatbelt every day.

HANNITY: Yes.

CLARK: You don’t get into an accident every day. You do it because you want to be prepared, and you want to be ready and know what to do if the situation arises. And that’s what "The Safe Side" is all about.

HANNITY: Yes. I want to go — John, I want to ask this question. The recidivism rate is so high for these predators. Why do we even let them out at all and have these — for example, I went to the New York Web site and literally you cannot follow, because you’re supposed to be able to find predators in your neighborhood. Why do we even let them out, knowing how high the recidivism rate is for these predators? Why let them out?

WALSH: Well, you and I have talked about this a million times. I mean, little Jessica Lunsford was kidnapped and murdered and buried alive by a guy that had 22 convictions, who was in noncompliance as a sexual offender. He was living 150 yards from her house and stalked her and broke into her house in the middle of the night.

I don’t know why we let them out. I don’t know why we as a society don’t accept the fact that they are not curable. I don’t know anybody in the psychiatric community that says we can cure these guys. So if we can’t cure them and we don’t keep them in jail as long as they should be there, I say they should be on a penile colony on Mars. We’ve got to — we’ve got to at least track them.

COLMES: "The Safe" — you do this in a very interesting way, a very creative way, that you don’t scare the kid. You actually make it fun for them. And it would be very easy to do it another way. How did you manage to do it in a way that gives them entertainment value as opposed to, "Oh, my God?" A frightening way.

CLARK: Right. Well, we had to make it fun. You’re exactly right. Because kids, the way that they learn is by repeat viewing. So we wanted them to watch it again and again and again.

We use a great host, a very, very funny person. There’s a gorilla. There’s a dog. There’s lots of goofy stuff that happens in the video. It was written by Carol Cordova, who’s a wonderful writer. She’s been teaching child safety for 20 years.

COLMES: Right.

CLARK: Great, great stuff. And that was, you’re exactly right, the key.

COLMES: They actually — the kids want to watch it?

CLARK: They want to watch it. You know? And parents are talking to them about it, and it’s opening up these conversations with parents and kids. And it’s great.

COLMES: In terms of the safety act we talked about, John. We talked about the trouble you had getting it passed. Specifically what would it do? What are the provisions of that piece of legislation?

WALSH: It would create a national sex offender registry. Some states sort of adhere to Megan’s Law. Some sheriffs don’t do it. Some chiefs of police don’t.

It would create a national sex offender registry so we would know. If these guys don’t register when they go state-to-state, it would be a federal crime. And guess who would look for them? Not that one little man police department or one- woman police department, the U.S. marshals would track them down.

If they committed a second offense, they would do 25 to life. It would certainly give us the chance to know that when they went from state-to-state or didn’t comply, that there would be somebody that would go get them.

COLMES: I don’t understand the resistance to this. And you, Julie, have — you must hear from parents all the time.

CLARK: I do.

COLMES: Who just are worried, concerned. We hear so many stories like the Lunsford case and the things that John covers and we’ve talked about on this show. Parents see this and they realize how vulnerable they are.

CLARK: Absolutely. All of us as parents vulnerable. And what I never hear people talking about are the rights of these children, the rights of the children who are victimized. What happens to them? I think that we always hear about the rights of the criminals but never the kids. And these kids’ lives are being destroyed. We have to work on it.

HANNITY: All right, guys.

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