What we are seeing is the end result of a witch hunt for abusers. The media has portrayed society today as being filled with abusers, to the point where the hype and hysteria overshadows the reality of the situation. I've heard a common statistic quoted many times, along the lines of "most of the victims of abuse knew their abuser". I've yet to see anything that's disproved the statement.
The problem today, is that we have been led down the path of having restrictions placed on our lives "for our own good", usually with the primary intention to eliminate any risk. Along with that goes the attitude of not taking responsibility for one's actions. This has led to the demands that the rights of many are trampled to protect some. I'm of the opinion that one can never completely eliminate all the risk out there -- and that we have to live with some risk, and be willing to live with the occasional incident.
If an abuser is caught, the punishment should be sufficient to discourage the undesirable behavior. And if the abuser has served their sentence, and been rehabilitated properly, there shouldn't be the concern about them reoffending. If the rehabilitation hasn't occurred, then the system is broken, and very much at fault for releasing a significant risk into the community.
Background checks have morphed some too. Used to be that they were an "innocent until proven guilty" type of thing, where the checks are run when there is a significant risk to life or national security. Today it's a "guilty until proven innocent" situation, which flies in the face of our "democratic" society.
Should a convicted abuser be on the midway? I think that depends on what the risk of them reoffending is. If they are a risk, no, they shouldn't be there -- and if they truly are a risk, what are they doing out on the streets? But if they've served their time, been rehabilitated, and are of little or no risk of reoffending, why should they not be an employed, productive member of society? They could just as easily be the clerk down at the local WalMart, the cashier at the Kwik-E-Mart, or the groundskeeper at the local park. All places where they're still exposed to children, and most of which won't require that background check.
This whole mess has spiraled out of control. The regulars here can recall some of the discussions that have been had about harassment of members while they are taking pictures on carnival lots. The only thing most of these folks are guilty of is being a white male, alone with a camera.
What this all comes down to, is if someone is that much of a risk, they shouldn't be on the streets. If they are no longer a risk, then leave them be, they've been punished for their crime. And for the rest of us (carnies and non-carnies alike), who aren't offenders, quit harassing us, trampling on our rights, and treating us like common criminals.
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." - Lao-Tsu
"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." - Martin Luther King Jr.
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy