When Victims-Survivors Stomp On Life, Liberty, And Forgiveness, Anything Goes
It’s not uncommon in today’s always on, media driven world to hear about some gruesome or disgusting crime that shakes the foundation of democracy and tests the resolve of liberty minded people in Indiana. We all can think back to the Adam Walsh murder, the Jaycee Dugard kidnapping case, and the rape of a 13 month old baby with trepidation.
And sadly, too, it’s not uncommon in today’s “always performing” media circus to be forced to listen to vocal outbursts from victims-survivors and their advocates hell bent on decapitating our cherished system of justice. These reactionary zealots cry “Foul!” at every turn in the justice system, touting their exaggerated traumas in order to influence criminal and civil legislation (primarily through emotional pleas) that will go far, far beyond a rational and proportionate response. Their mantra, “Never again!” defies natural logic and is a recipe for disaster for the male population who are the primary target of these vicious law reformers. It’s even becoming impossible to argue every flawed point in their deceitful campaigns that rely so heavily on bad data, skewed percentages, and false information. So far the Always-a-Victim card is being presented and used with mind boggling successes in state after state, with devastating results. To quote Frank Zappa, “Bad facts make bad law, and people who write bad laws are in my opinion more dangerous.” Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny. Period. Yet, no one is willing to confront the madness and do prolonged battle with the rising victim-survivor nation.
Like it or not, in the U.S. everyone is most likely violating some criminal law at some point each day. Hundreds of years ago this would not have been the case. Criminal laws back then were based on Common Law crime – such as murder, rape, robbery. Today it is much different. Today, every person faces an oppressive, overwhelming justice system that is made worse each year by state legislatures who can’t seem to put down the pen! Indiana included. In Indiana we are subject to about two thousand laws with no foreseeable end in sight. Our criminal laws are incredibly numerous and growing quickly. And with unbridled power in the hands of the police, criminal laws that carry severe stigma and prison time are likely to trap unwary individuals, and otherwise decent citizens, into being felons without knowing it.
But even more troubling is the under reported fact that our parents, grandparents, siblings, and others are doing prison stretches that were once impossible to imagine. This increase in prison time is the direct result of victim-survivor legislating. Some examples include Chamoy Thipyaso, of Thailand, who received the world’s longest sentence for corporate fraud (involving a 6,000 person pyramid scheme) according to Guinness World Records 2006 – 141,675 years in 1989; and Darren Anderson, U.S.A., who received 11,250 years in prison, later reduced to 500. This amount of years is unacceptable to a civilized society. Under Dutch law, child murder brings an 8 year sentence, while the most time a Dutch citizen can spend in prison is 30 years unless he or she commits premeditated murder, then the sentence is life, and no more. Interestingly, in the Netherlands, prostitution is legal and sex education is mandatory. The Dutch recognize sex as a natural right that everyone over the age of 15 should be able to enjoy if desired. And public nudity is 100% legal in the Netherlands. The Dutch are reasoned thinkers, rational thought is at their legal core; not having to be forced to have to listen to the swelling level of victim anguish that the United States is compelled to lend its ear.
I’m reminded how the christian god once remarked about life on the shores of Palestine 2000 years ago. The story reportedly finds that Jesus invited a man to follow Him and become His disciple—but the man refused. He said he would follow Jesus later, but first he wanted to go bury his father. Jesus responded, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead” (Matthew 8:22). This should be a reminder to all of us – victim, survivor, criminal. Life is for the living. Though it’s certainly a lot about loss, too. It’s mostly about living with others we know and like. It’s about freedom – Justice – Liberty. Three great concepts only the living can know and understand. The dead know nothing about these human rights. And a victim-survivor has experienced a form of civil death: a death of reason. The victim-survivor is no longer capable of grasping the basics of freedom or justice or liberty. These concepts have become for them a mystical “thing” beyond their tainted understanding. Because of their inability to appreciate these noble concepts (meant only to be understood by the living) they are driven by madness to every legislative hall in America to impress upon politicians the need for harsher sentencing, curtailed liberty, preemptive restrictions – the list goes on and on. And as a result oppression justice rises up and becomes the new American normal. One prime example of oppression justice is the infamous John Walsh and his wife who are still unable to leave the dead to bury their own. We have had the death memory of their son, Adam Walsh, beat into our brains, plastered on TV screens, memorialized in books, and made into a movie. John Walsh’s angry march to justice reform over the past 30+ years has been trampling upon our freedoms and stomping out the flames of liberty in every city and every state his boots traverse. And for what? A single child. A single dead child. Really? Are we to be persuaded that his child’s untimely death, a death that began decades ago, is far more valuable than our own children’s futures? You may think so, but I say leave the dead to bury the dead. We shouldn’t have to bury and rebury and continue to bury the death of any child – even John Walsh’s – that smacks in the face of reason with the billions of children who are celebrating life. I’m firmly convinced because we blindly follow John Walsh’s and other victims-survivors’ distorted logic and fear based legislating we are now unfairly harming the future lives and freedoms of every child in America. We need to begin to move away from generations of aggressive suppression of basic human rights and start to foster more exploration, curiosity, love, compassion, and a joy for life in our children and in ourselves.
Until then, as successful as the melodramatic victims-survivors are in passing harsher and more oppressive laws, they will never know the success or glory of a life lived in moderation. Nor will their cruel and excessive criminal laws be crowned with the wreath of liberty or be honored for having preserved cherished freedoms. Nor will the melodramatic victims-survivors ever get to experience the great peace that washes over those courageous people compassionate enough to practice a genuine tolerance for their neighbor. For only truly tolerant people are able to condemn the oppression or persecution of others.
Instead of always taking the knee jerk victim centric approach to punishment, I think the more rational adults in our society need to remind us to be more forgiving, more tolerant, more patient of each other’s sense of moral right and wrong. Without rational thought, without tolerance there will be no end to the number of crimes and 1000 year sentences. And if, or when, we are victimized by one of our own, we should remember to lay our vengeance at the feet of forgiveness, leaving the dead past to bury the dead pasts. We have so much more to lose if we are not able to control the irrational urges of the victim-survivor passions that seek to punish and oppress. Think about it. Do we want to live in a society where a pound of liberty is bartered away for an ounce of safety?
Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal, was quoted in an online news article some years ago that brings to light the true motivations behind this nation’s victims first majority. During a candid interview, Gaal was ecstatic about the recent 2014 increase in the Statute of Limitations in Indiana for minors to report sexual abuse. He believed that the added time would provide “more opportunities to pursue a case.” To Gaal that was a good enough reason to extend the limitations period, “so that we’re not having to decline prosecuting a case simply because there’s been a delayed reporting…” To bolster Gaal’s “A-trial-without-physical-evidence-is-better-than-no-trial rationale, Heather Maritano (a licensed social worker for Inner Resources counseling in Bloomington) added, that victims take a long time to come forward because they are still dealing with all the “trauma.” Which is bullsh*t babble for an excuse to remove a complaining witnesses accountability. So, this new law in Indiana basically empowers the prosecutors to pursue charges years down the road without a single sintila of physical evidence. Which is exactly the Gaals in this state want, because as Gaal points out in the article, the most important thing is not another man’s freedom, but just the word of an alleged victim which means “the chances of conviction might be higher.”
And so, I have to wonder,then what happens once we’ve permitted the vast number of prosecutors, judges, and victims-survivors to stomp the breath out of life, liberty, and civil rights?