Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday rerun: Give it arrest

People think I'm a liberal on every issue because I'm a yellow dog Democrat, but on crime and punishment issues, I guess you'd describe my stance as existentialist.  One aspect of existentialism stresses personal responsibility for making it (or not) in this mean old world.  In fact, at crime scenes, when mobs form around the cops and robbers, I am often able to cut the line and gain access to a front row vantage point by shouting, "Let me through! I'm an existentialist!" as the crowd parts like the Red Sea.

Recently, our part of town has been beset by house burglaries.  These are not usually well-thought criminal conspiracies by masterminds, but, rather, a couple of losers kicking in a door, ripping off electronic devices and any cash that might be lying about.  Take a look at our local Patch, and their story about a couple of upstanding locals who were pinched the other day.  This couple was arrested yesterday afternoon with a lot of stuff of which they could not immediately establish ownership in their car, but that's beside the point.  They'll have their day in court and if they have any luck at all, they won't see my unforgiving face in the jury box.

But the comment made by one fellow citizen really makes my furrow my brow and shake my head.  It's the comment where the guy says he knows the dude involved, that he has struggled with drug addiction and he hopes he gets some help with that.  How about, I hope that people who have been burgled in our town get their stuff back AND I hope this fine young man gets to go to the Ironbar Hilton and spend some being penitent in the penitentiary?  They named it that for a reason!

I don't hold with the theory that people who are drug addicts and therefore have to steal stuff to pay for their habits deserve to be treated with the same respect as those who are afflicted with, say, leukemia, or some other random illness that strikes with no reason or cause.  I doubt that there is one person who has never heard that drug use and abuse lead to awful consequences.  Paying the price for those consequences is part of growing up and being a responsible member of our community.  We can help these people by not treating them like victims of a disease.

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