I tried, but failed to shut up.

I tried not to blog this rant. I really did. But someone has to point the finger, and today it’s going to be me.

James Earl Ray.
Alfonso Rodriguez.
Henry Louis Wallace.
David Maust.
Timothy Buss.
Henry Lee Lucas.
Edmund Kemper.
Joseph Edward Duncan III
[Insert names of countless others]
And now we can list Cho Seung-Hui as the latest weapon of mass destruction who passed through the system but was released to unleash hell on earth.

I do care about civil rights. However, personal and political agendas have turned the concept on its ear. The US justice system’s track record shows it places little if any value whatsoever on the civil rights of past or future, potential victims in comparison to offenders’ civil rights.

There is something fundamentally wrong with this, and we’re watching twenty-four hour coverage of the consequences this week.

Here’s what’s wrong: Semantics. Those people I listed, along with untold others, are not merely docket numbers, cautionary tales, or defendants. They are also public safety hazards.

Cho was kicked out of class, a walking red flag. He underwent psychatric assessment, and deemed a danger to himself, but not to others.

Um… How’d that turn out? What condolences can we offer surviving loved ones? Whoops? And you Freudian *bleeps* can’t blame this one on the offender’s family. They were in no way qualified to assess or treat their son.

But someone was. Many people, in fact. The question is, what could they legally do about it?

Exactly how many more innocent people have to die before all fifty states follow Wisconsin’s good example of forcing convicted murders to serve out their full terms? And how many more have to pay with their lives before inpatient psychiatric treatment becomes a public safety NORM instead of a luxury?

For God’s sake, if the guys in the trenches say someone will offend upon release, listen to them. These are the cops, the medical personnel, the case workers, the parole officers, the teachers — They know better than anyone which subjects are likely to do harm. So why? Why don’t lawmakers listen to them and legislate some decent options to protect the public instead of cowering under their desks, afraid of what the big scary ACLU lawyers might do to them?

It’s a lawyer-eat-lawyer world out there. I understand that. I condemn it, but I understand.

The dogs continue feasting on the carcas of our insufficient, outdated justice system. Meanwhile, sociopathy, depression, bi-polar disorder, inadequate personality, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia et al may not be quantifiable risk indicators, but you cannot tell me there aren’t clear identifiers of violence potential. I know there are, because I, Mrs. Suzie Nobody Homemaker, have read about them in several publications.

(I warn you, quantifying violence potential is a fledgling practice and the experts argue every detail like Congress mainlining espresso. But go pick up Stalking Crimes and Victim Protection: Prevention, Intervention, Threat Assessment, and Case Management, edited by Joseph A. Davis. It’s a good place to start. Then run — do not walk — to Gavin DeBecker’s website.)

When the warning signs are there, give our public servants the means necessary to ensure the dangerous aren’t let go. I mean really — is that so hard? Do you think if offenders were in their right mind they’d honestly want to destroy so many lives? And don’t hand me ten billion what-ifs about getting sued or probabilities or exact sciences or any other legal-speak horse crap that will make me pull my hair out.

Instead, allow me to clue you people in to a secret: As a tax payer, I will happily foot the bill for prisons and inpatient psychiatric facilities so that I do not have to one day identify my child or loved one’s dead body in the morgue. In fact, I will write you a check this very minute as long as you can promise me the money will go toward that use instead of campaign funds for some publicity-whoring political mouthpiece who doesn’t know the difference between sociopathy and psychopathy.

Oh, yeah. I can hear it now. “No one can be an expert on everything. We can’t champion every cause.” Well guess what? No one forced you to run for office. If you ran expecting to slide by or focus on a narrow agenda, then you have no business being there. It’s a big scary world out here. We, your constituents, are being picked off one-by-one — and sometimes in large groups of 32 — so someone had better wake up and realize this has gone beyond ‘a few, isolated recidivists’ or ‘a couple of troubled teens’ to a major public health risk.

Today’s society no longer allows for one-note political nitwits. Run for office knowing the following:

Law makers, this is your fault.

There. I’ve said it. Yes, I did go there.

Why? Because I’m sick and tired of finding out afterwards that tragedy could have been prevented. I’m sick and tired of the collective system passing on the blame-buck to the constitution under the guise of civil rights violations. (Yes, please save yourself the postage on my ACLU brunch invitation) The framers of the constitution did not intend for damaged human beings to be let loose on unsuspecting society. That may not be how law enforcement or psychiatric workers interpret what’s happened in Virginia but from out here in reality, it sure as hell looks that way.

Here’s the gist: The offenders are sick. They have a disease that could potentially kill others. Gee, I think they quarantine infectious disease cases without prejudice for public safety purposes. And guess what? They can’t guarantee others will become infected by those cases, but they detain said cases all the same.

It’s the same thing with potentially violent, mentally ill cases. No, nobody can guarantee they’ll actually hurt anyone, but how are they any different than a raging case of small pox? And I repeat: How many times have we heard from a surviving offender that they’d do it all again? Rarely, if ever. They would rather have been treated than allowed to kill.

When will you people ever figure this out? I did, so believe me, it can’t be that hard.

To everyone affected by this type of tragedy — which is pretty much everyone in the world these days — I apologize on behalf of our law makers. I have the authority and regretable obligation to do so because I vote and pay taxes.

So do you. Use google and join me in inundating inboxes until law makers remember which master they’re supposed to serve.

That’s us, their constituents, in case the media or your friendly local politicians have bamboozled you into believing otherwise. Public safety is one of the few legitimate reasons we pay taxes. I don’t know about you all, but I would rather have that money spent on tragedy prevention than pocket-lining.

All right. This rant is over, but dedicated to Drew Sjodin, who shouldn’t have died and isn’t forgotten.

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One Response

  1. :flowers:

    Very eloquently put. I whole-heartedly agree with you. I’m glad you went there.

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