Monday, July 17, 2006

Maybe it was different at other schools. But when I was a wee lad in elementary school they used to try and teach us that fighting was wrong. We were taught to turn the other cheek. We told that if someone hit you or kicked you responding with something even worse was wrong and lead to nothing good. Some days I swear I’m the only person that remembers this stuff.

The states of Colorado and Florida both have laws that allow a person to use lethal force if they feel threatened. The standard throughout the rest of the states is in self-defense. You have to see that they pose an imminent and very real danger before you are allowed to kill. Not in Florida and Colorado. In Colorado after two men broke into someone’s house and delivered a beating. The victim went got his gun, chased them into the streets and shot and killed one of them as they were in a car trying to get away. The shooter was found not guilty because of the law allowing lethal force.

My town is currently under a zero tolerance plan intended to curb drug dealing and trafficking. Of course any sane rational person realizes that zero tolerance roughly translates to “let’s arrest lots of the poor and minorities”. People have been pulled over for nothing other than being in the part of town known to have drug dealers. Yes you read that correctly the police because of where the citizen is not what they are doing have harassed citizens, who are doing nothing wrong. The legal term for this I believe is bullshit. Of course the city isn’t out a lot of money for this new-fangled police state because a private citizens group is paying for sheriff deputies to come in and assist in this program. You see if you a rich enough you can pay for your own police force. Hooray for fascism! Of course the man largely responsible for this lives on the outskirts of town with a “no trespassing” sign in front of his mansion.

The great comedian Bill Hicks, whom I quote probably too often, said that life was a choice between two things, love and fear. Fear makes you buy guns and hire police officers to harass citizens. Love is more patient and tolerant. You look for the virus causing the problem and not just the symptoms. You want the world to be a far better place not for just those who can afford but everyone.

Sadly though people don’t want to hear about how we ought to be following the path of love and not fear. They see all these shows on TV about awful crimes and are told about all the evil that is out there and they get scared. They are told that criminals are everywhere and they need protection. They need bigger locks and bigger guns. They need protection from this evil. The government will be happy to provide it for you all you have to do is sacrifice some freedom. Let the police harass you and the drug dealers will go away. Get a gun and shoot people that make you feel scared. It’s ok. They’re criminals. They deserve to die. All bad people do.

Maybe the world just needs more forceful elementary school teachers to reinforce that violence and escalating violence is wrong. It would be better than right to kill laws and zero tolerance.


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