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Winston

Enough / Overkill

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Few human habits irritate me more than the tendency for people to spread "Do Something!" disease.
I'm a minimalist, fatalistic, Darwinistic, cold-blooded SOB. That said, I like a good idea as much as anyone else. As a matter of fact, I LOVE good ideas. I also like Unicorns, guilt-free ice cream and honest politicians.
Yes, good ideas are that rare. But that doesn't stop mobs of idiots from foisting dumb, ineffective ideas on the public, and pretending that they are "good".
Usually, the camouflage deployed over these really crappy ideas is simply that it will make people feel better. Effectiveness be damned. We Gotta Do Something!

The law has never been uniform in it's application. That's not some Revolutionary statement, it's just a fact. Thousands of years ago, after the Code of Hammurabi, the die was cast. We don't punish the crime / act itself. That would be too logical and fair. We punish based on the status of the victim and the perpetrator. You steal grain from your neighbor, it's a crime, but... meh. You steal grain from the Pharaoh, and it's your ass. The Pharaoh steals grain from you, that's just taxation. See how that works?

If that looks absurd to you, good. It should. But the question is, why do we still think it's a good idea? A crime should be a crime, right? Ya ever see that image of Lady Justice with her blindfold on? That?
Here's a little case study to see if your logic circuits work.: In 1930, a white man in (any US city) assaults a black man. The median sentence is one year in jail, but the assailant only gets 90 days. If that angers you, it should. It happened, a lot. Today, same scenario. Only, if the white man utters one wrong word, it's now a "hate crime". Instead of getting off easy, our assailant gets to serve extra time.

Seriously, what is the purpose? Logic here, folks. Deterrence? Does anyone think that the threat of serving extra time will make a bigot any less bigoted? Will it deter other bigots? On the contrary, it shows that the law will not be applied impartially, and bad people can use that justification for further crime. Rehabilitation? Will serving extra time in prison make an offender less bigoted? Take a tour of a correctional facility. The prison gangs are race-based, making them a finishing school for bigots. Retribution? Bingo, we have a winner! We want to punish criminals who are bigots WORSE than other criminals. But, but, last time I looked at the Penal Code, being a jackhole racist dirtbag isn't a crime. Perhaps we're just trying to balance the scales for all those white guys that got away with stuff a hundred years ago. There's a plan.

When we don't like someone, or something, we (the public) want to use the law as an instrument to bludgeon the object of our disaffection. I can't tell you how bad of an idea this is. And If you don't see the dangers, we're in more trouble than I thought. We can cite all kinds of examples where totalitarian governments used the law to suppress groups based on "the will of the people". Real Democracy, that is. That's why in most developed Western societies we have independent Judiciaries. They are supposed to impartially interpret the law. But Legislatures now are passing laws that are, on their face, in violation of basic individual rights. And it's only getting worse. Because we have to Do Something!

These so called "Hate Crimes" devalue the worth of some by elevating the status of others. In all honesty, some 17 year old high school kid getting ready for college probably has more societal worth than a 40 year old meth head trailer park racist misogynistic bigot. I'll just put that out there. BUT NOT IN THE EYES OF THE LAW. We don't judge based on what is in a man's heart. We punish based on a person being convicted of a crime. The reason for committing the crime is irrelevant. The act is sufficient. We can't go around policing Though Crimes, even if a person says vile stuff whilst committing a vile act.

Which brings us to the next level of stupidity: Red Flag laws. If a person is a danger to themselves of others, why in the hell aren't they just locked-up? No, we're going to take the gun(s) they own, and send them back to their happy home? That solved the problem. Just pass another ineffective law that makes folks feel better. But now we're firmly in the world of Minority Report, where "pre-crime" is a real thing. We keep passing gun laws because they could be effective. It's all good while they go after the so called "gun nuts" and the evil NRA. But just stop and think of all the possibilities that precedent sets up.
There's a lot of crime, drugs and violence in parts of Mexico. You can't go there. Same goes for parts of Detroit, Chicago and Baltimore. You might hurt yourself.

I mean, vacationers don't need to travel 2000 miles for a trip. 500 is plenty. Anyone that travels 2000 miles or more is possibly a drug mule. Flying on those high-capacity airliners, stockpiling thousands of air mileage points. Who needs that many? Criminals, that's who.

Okay, back to reality. There are some folks who shouldn't fly. There are some that should not posses firearms. There are some that commit crimes and shouldn't see the light of day. What we don't need are sweeping "feel good" laws that give the public a false sense of security. That's how we get stupid ideas like banning Muslims on planes. Or convicting young black men with crack, while letting rich white guys with coke do probation. Because we're afraid. And we're willing to keep giving up our freedom for the false promise of security.

More isn't better. Smarter is better.
Enforce the existing laws. Let Lady Justice keep her damn blindfold on. Then, if stuff isn't working, we can consider new laws. And, quite honestly, get rid of some too.

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Updated August 18th, 2019 at 10:08 PM by Winston

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  1. escorial's Avatar
    I've recently finished a biography of Mussolini....he was honest/dishonest... truthful/liar...he likend the Italian race to a herd who needed to be told what to do...I'm afraid as Lincoln said...most men can handle adversity bit if you want to test his character give him power....so true in the duce case but up until then I was kind of agreeing with him...odd to think on the same lines as these people but I have never had power...
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