I got a lot of really negative blow back from doing this Micro chipping story. I never would have thought so but the reactions from total strangers was down right abusive and threatening. It was picked up by right wing media outlets, posted on religious fanatical sites, shared on conspiracy theorist blogs and more. I received death threats and threats of violence against my children. Why? Because I had an opinion on something that they disagreed with? That made it ok to threaten my life and the lives of my family members? Because I have a constant fear that my child could go missing and I would do ANYTHING to protect her? Because people get ideas in their heads and decide that you have to force your ideas on others so when I said something they didn't like it was ok to harass me?
Things I said were taken out of context. Things I said were twisted and mutilated into something awful and people took how I feel about one of my children and my willingness to take an extra precaution for her safety as me trying to force it on every person in the world. I have 3 kids. I love them all equally but honestly it is only for my oldest who is special needs that I would ever consider a microchip. And while to most the idea seems like a valid option or just seems a little extreme to those who have lost a child I think they may wish they had the opportunity to do something like this before they went through that fear and pain.
But for some the idea was blown into something that it was never meant to be. Me wanting to protect my daughter who is sweet, trusting and likes to wonder off became me wanting to send the world into damnation or help the government gain another form of control. These people put WAY more thought into this than I ever did. Thought that I may have put in were I to actually do this but since the story was simply asking if I would consider it... I stand my my statement that I would. I would and I would research as much as I could and I would consider all the pros and cons. But I would consider it.
Some of the more disturbing messages, emails and letters (yes, these aggressive people took the time to get my home address to insult and harass me) consisted of the following statements:
"If you want to put the mark of the devil on my and my kids I'll put the mark of a 45 caliber on you and yours."
"Microchip your daughter and see if you can find her when I take her from Pepin" (Yes, they got the name of a school she went to just to add fear to the threat.)
"How much is the government paying you to run a website just to scare ignorant moms into giving big brother a way to track their every move?"
"Your kids deserve to die, not just be lost if you can't watch them without a tracker."
I was accused of being a government spy, a devil worshiper and called several names that I won't even repeat here. I did get kinder messages from church groups inviting me out to learn about the mark of the devil and end of days. While I wouldn't attend I do appreciate the effort of trying to share and educate in a kind way as oppose to the majority of other contact I received.
So I didn't share this post right away on the blog. It's sat since May. It was something I still wanted to share because other moms feel as I do but I decided to wait for the heat to die down. Maybe sharing it will stir it back up but hopefully people who see this will understand why I feel how I feel. Hopefully they will realize that I am not an agent of Satan or the government or out to tag and bag children... I'm a mom who is scared for her child. I am a mom who lost sight of her child for less than a minute and was so scared that I can't imagine losing her for longer and I would do anything to protect her and avoid that.
I found it insane how people who don't understand the fear that comes with having a child who is prone to wandering and not understanding threats could be so cruel to someone and not for a moment try to understand where they are coming from and why they would think a certain way. It became clear that I was upset by people who by all rights were crazy. Yes, crazy. Only a crazy person would create a fake Facebook account to message threats to someone from the other side of the world over a news story they commented on. Only a crazy person would wish death on a total stranger just for their opinion and send them letters about this at their home. But the crazy people only reinforced my worries... There are BAD people in this world. People who will threaten you and want to do you harm for virtually no reason at all. Those people said they would take my kids, kill me, kill my kids, destroy my home... And they don't understand why I would be willing to consider any additional safety measure to protect my family from people JUST LIKE THEM? I won't say they didn't scare me. They scare the crap out of me. People like that walk among us seeming normal and will go into a nightclub and shoot people at random because they don't agree with them... Those types of people terrify me. So when I say I will do whatever it takes to keep my kids safe it's from people like them who would do harm for no reason at all... And while I don't know if I would actually microchip my child... I would truly consider it if it becomes available because as long as there are evil people who wish to do harm to others we need to do all we can to protect ourselves and our families.
Tracking kids via microchip
By MelanieMichaelFrom WFLA Published: May 13, 2016, 7:48 pm Updated: May 17, 2016, 4:09a
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – For Steffany Rodroguez-Neely, life is busier than ever. The Bay Area mother-of-four has her hands full 24-hours a day. The ages of her children run the gamut from newborn to teenager. While this Lutz mom prides herself in being an attentive, active, dedicated mother, she’s also a realist. She knows an emergency can happen in a matter of seconds, even to the best of parents.
When Steffany saw the recent tragedy in Pasco County where a toddler wandered into a pond and drowned, her heart was broken. As she talks about it, she shakes her head sadly, closes her eyes and sighs. “It was awful, so sad. You know, good parents have bad things happen,” Steffany told WFLA.
She openly admits that she’s had that “panic” moment, the one nearly every parent has experienced at one time or another. No parent is proud of it, but they all know the feeling. You turn your head for one split second in a busy grocery store or shopping mall, and your child is nowhere to be found. “It’s the longest two seconds of your life. It feels like it last forever. Your heart is racing and as a parent, you think of the worst thing possible. Every bad thing goes through your mind, where is my child, did someone take my child,” Steffany admitted. “It’s happened to me. I turned around and my little girl was not there. Turns out, she was hiding within a rack of clothes. When I didn’t see her, I panicked. It is every parents nightmare when you can’t find your child.”
Steffany explains that, as the mother of a special needs child, her level of attention and desire to protect is even greater. “My daughter is 17, but she has the mental capabilities of an eight-year-old. She is so trusting. All it would take would be a one second. Someone being nice to her, someone with a puppy. She would be gone, and we would never see her again.”
In fact, Steffany’s teenager is prone to wandering off and has. This concerned mom admits that some of her daughter’s friends are non-communicative, and they, too, wander off frequently. “We called them runners,” she says. Then, Steffany’s usually-upbeat, lighthearted demeanor becomes serious. “If it’ll save my kid, there’s no step that’s too extreme,” she told us. “Micro-chipping would be an extra layer of protection, if something bad does happen.”
However, Steffany is in the minority, when it comes to the Tampa Bay Moms Group in which she’s involved. “I’m definitely the odd mom out,” she told us. “But, I stand by my opinion. I think Microchipping, is a good thing.” The topic has come up from time to time within the popular group of Bay Area mothers, and Steffany’s stance on the controversial issue has been extremely unpopular, she admits. She maintains that the other moms thought she was a bit crazy, joking that they call her a “government conspiracy theorist.” But, she adds, “If a small chip the size of a grain of rice could have prevented a tragedy, I think most parents would have said, I think I would have done it.”
Other moms like Kerri Levey are appalled by the idea. Although she is good friends with Steffany, Kerri is wholeheartedly opposed to the idea of implanting a tiny informational device within her child’s body. “You’re putting a battery in your kid, you’re putting a chip in your kid. And, where does it stop,” she posed the question. “Where? It’s going too far. This is a child we’re talking about.” When we asked Kerri if the microchip concept was a little too science-fiction for her taste, she answered, “Very much so, very much so. I just feel like it’s a little too much of other people being able to watch what’s going on.”
She, too, admits her kids have gone missing for a brief moment in public. “Sheer panic, sheer panic,” she says, as she describes the gut wrenching, sickening feeling. “Everything goes through your head.” Her biggest fear, she says, is that someone on the outside, someone who’s not supposed to be keeping track of her child, could hack into the trackable device. “Look at all the crimes against children in Florida, the sex offenders, human trafficking. I’m afraid someone like that will somehow find out who my child is and where my child is going. It’s too much of an invasion of privacy,” she claims. “No parent is perfect. Every kid likes to play and hide. But, you said should not subject your child to this.”
Longtime engineer, Stuart Lipoff, is based out of Boston and is well known in the electronics industry. He’s seen the research on microchipping, spoken publicly on the subject and is a voracious reader on any and all information dealing with this developing science. For more than four decades, he’s been active in his field. He is convinced that microchipping not only children, but even those suffering from Alzheimer’s, could save lives. “Without question,” Lipoff told us. “I would tell people that the technology is already here, and it’s been around since the early 90s. In fact, two companies developed microchips for humans and were testing them. They were on the verge of an initial public offering, but went under. People should be aware that testing is being done right now. The military is not only testing this out, but already utilizes its properties. It’s not a matter of if it will happen, but when.”
Lipoff explains that the concept is not as “sci-fi” and foreign as most people think. He points out that the technology is actually something we come into contact with and use every day. For example, he says, most Floridians utilize a microchip every time they get into their cars. Lipoff compares the microchip to a Sunpass. A tiny implant, the size of a grain of rice, would be read by a nearby transponder, and the chip would contain vital information. So, what about the “big brother” concept? Would people be watching every move a person makes? The answer, Lipoff tells us, is no. He points out that GPS tracking would not be possible because it can’t penetrate the skin.
However, if a child or an Alzheimer’s patient were discovered, all it would take would be swiping that person’s arm or wrist with a device deigned to read the chip. The information would be at your fingertips. “This could reunited child with his or her parents or an Alzheimer’s patients with loved ones. It could truly saved lives.”
Lipoff likens it to a barcode. “When barcodes first came out in the late 1960s, people were appalled. They were wary of them and did not understand the concept. Today, it is so commonplace, we don’t even notice it. A microchip would work much in the same way.” Lipoff maintains that the biggest hurdle would be the human factor uncomfortably nestled within the science. People are simply not ready, he says, to open up to a concept like this. He also theorizes that a “major corporation like Texas Instruments or Apple” would need to be behind a project of this nature to hone the technology for the masses. “The idea is there. Technology is there. It will take people accepting the idea and a company behind it to make it work. And, it will definitely happen.” He advises people not to be afraid of the health risks, stating that they’re virtually are none.
For Steffany, she is content to be called the “odd mom out” for now. Given the opportunity, she would most likely microchip her special needs child in a heartbeat. “I still have a lot of questions, but I believe in the concept. If this could save my daughter’s life, why not? If something happened to her, and I could bring her back safely to me, I would be so happy to have this. I know parents out there have had unfortunate circumstances. I feel terrible for them. What if they had this device? It makes you think about protecting your child at all costs. I know my opinion may not be popular, but this is how I feel.”
She adds, “I always tell people as long as you’re doing what is best for your child, you’re not really wrong. A micro chip could give that parent peace of mind they don’t have otherwise.” She stops for a moment and looks in the direction of her teenage daughter. “Overall, I think it could really help. I think it could save lives.”
Would you Microchip? Why or Why Not?