An Open Letter to L.J. Williamson

Dear L.J. (or Linda),

Since your website‘s contact info is incorrect, I thought I’d air my views in public. I enjoyed your article “Let Kids Outdoors” that was published in the L.A. Times on March 29. I agree that society as a whole seems to be suffocating children with safety, and that withholding all independence seems to do more harm than good.

However, I was curious about one argument you made in your article. You stated that “In 1972, 87% of children who lived within a mile of school walked or biked daily; today, just 13% of children get to school under their own power” and that “rates of child abduction and sexual abuse have marched steadily downward since the early 1990s.” You argue that society is fearing child abduction more while the actual danger is decreasing.

Is it possible that child abductions are decreasing as a result of less children traveling, playing, or being outdoors on their own? I have not researched these statistics, nor am I a statistician, but the irony of society’s increasing fear reducing that which it fears to a statistical improbability amused me.


PS: You should hire me to build a website for you that is not broken.