Sunday, July 06, 2008

Punishing the Victim

One of California's most popular naturist beaches, at San Onofre, is facing closure after this summer just because the local authorities are unable to handle illegal goings-on by a small minority there.
The main reasons cited for the stop to naturist swimming and sunbathing there, are lewd behavior by a small group, some of them gays, and the rising popularity of the whole area. Naturists have always been the strongest opponents of sexual activity in naturist areas and beaches, so you can tell that those people engaging in lewd behavior are not true naturists and should be removed from the beach.
But instead, what do the authorities do? Close down the whole beach.
To me, that looks like punishing the victim. What if someone causes an accident while drunk driving? What do you do, install a total ban on alcohol and cars, or catch the person responsible for the accident and punish him so he won't do it again? Exactly, the latter, because you can't punish innocent people for something they haven't done.
It's the same with the naturists of San Onofre, all they want is a peaceful and clean place by the sea where they can swim and sunbathe nude without harming anyone else. Yet a small minority thinks nudity means that they can toss all rules of normal behavior aside and do anything they like, and the authorities react by punishing all the honest naturists by taking away their beach.
Anyway, you can read more about the San Onofre beach controversy at naturist sites like and now also at the Los Angeles Times web site at,0,7671185.story