Friday, July 4, 2008

The dreaded scourge - "Knife Crime"

Now and again, I can't quite resist a letter to the editor, even in a publication from a land so mired in PC that its' leading jurist proposes to introduce sharia law...this was to the Times of London, so seems unlikely to be published - yet, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

To the Editor:

Criminalizing objects and their possession is merely a futile feel-good ploy, a bloody sop thrown by the excessively PC to those dismayed by ever-increasing violence in over-regulated cities. It does naught to deter the actual criminal (already not noted for obedience to laws), creates a violent black market for whatever object is currently demonized, and in the case of potential tools of self-defense - removes an important and sadly final tool from the hands of law-abiding under assault from societies predators.

Prohibition - whether of guns, alcohol, knives, or marijuana - is naught but a vastly counterproductive feel-good measure at best, and at worst, the instrument of elitist bigotry against the peons based in the assumption that the common soul is too ill-informed, immoral, or inhabiting a body of the wrong gender, color, orientation, or faith to be capable of exercising good judgment.

Between those two extremes lays the all-to-frequent "look, voters, we're DOING SOMETHING" endemic to hack politicians in democracies and democratic republics across the world - it doesn't matter whether the "something" is worthwhile, constructive, or actively damaging to the nation and its' people - to these floaters in the cesspool of public life, all that matters is that they *look busy* to their less than adoring public. Just as looking busy only when the boss turns up seldom works to the best interest of the company, looking busy only when the public is paying attention or likely to dis-serves a nation.

Whatever our nation, we are far better served by legislators wise enough to regard prohibition as a likely useless tool of last resort, and set about the business of rebuilding, creating, and preserving productive nations. When it comes to matters of violence, rather than looking at the tool du jour, let them look at the perpetrator - and let them realize that not all violence is unjustified nor does all violence do a disservice to society.

The shopkeeper fending off a robber with a stick, saber, or shotgun; the father defending his family, the elder fending off a home invader by means fair or foul - none of these serve as a burden on society, nor do they need punishment. Each of them, even should they fail in their defense, shores up the notion that a nation is not composed of sheep that merely need to be lined up and butchered with the eager assent of their culturally and socially sensitive shepherds.

They spread and renew the notion that not only can every person fight back, unworried by legal repercussions, against violent assault or criminal attack - but that just perhaps, mugging/murdering/raping/robbing/home invading/kidnapping/etc. are not safe or low-risk occupations.

Nothing can prevent all crimes, nor can any policy miraculously "make it all better in a day". However, by focusing on what many of us consider "real crime" where someone other than the perpetrator is injured, killed, or economically damaged against their will - one can gain far more traction against the two-legged hyenas than by focusing on inanimate objects and attempting to assign them human characteristics such as "good or evil".

Best Wishes,


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