Yesterday we became part of a death penalty discussion as we waited for a doctor that was going to see my husband. It all began when one of the patients began talking about how a young doctor had been shot to death after being crashed by another car.
For Pete’s sake you can’t even have a car accident any more! Was one of my thoughts.
Not everyone got involved in the conversation, a young women was to interested in her phone to pay any attention at all, another lady just nodded with her head to everything that was being said, my husband listened occasionally adding some point, and, I just couldn’t help myself and made my contribution to the ongoing discussion of what is happening around us.
The overall feeling was that we are hostages of the rampant crime that is going on around us. We’re trapped! We need to fortify our homes as if they were prisons. Finally, everyone agreed that we needed to bring the death penalty so people would be detoured from killing others.
However, my contribution wasn’t broad enough to state that I wasn’t sure that would work.
Our small group could easily represent a larger number of people. For example,
- the uninterested young woman, could be those who simply don’t care what’s happening around them;
- the woman who nodded could be the ones who care, but don’t want to get involved; and,
- those of us who were taking an active part of the conversation, could be those who care enough to do something about it, yet not necessarily the right thing.
My personal view is that the death penalty isn’t a detour for criminals. For those of you that would like some information about how death penalty has worked, a great reading would be Adam Liptak’s article Does Death Penalty Save Lives?
As a result of families failing to teach their children right from wrong, our younger generation doesn’t know right from wrong. Don’t think for a moment this has to do with social class or where you live. This is happening everywhere across the board.
Schools are the places where you can really appreciate this. Our children or teenagers and everyone in between have this common denominator they show or have no respect towards anyone or anything.
I’m not saying that all families are like this, because my own family isn’t, but reality is that many are.
Alternatively our best weapon against crime isn’t the death penalty or harsher laws, but building strong families. As a result they will teach their children the basics of socialization creating a better society along the way.
Rebuilding this basic unit will pay off with a substantial reduction of crime in our future. If families are doing their job the payoff will be an improved breed of citizens. It’s not about assigning federal funds to prisons or law enforcement, but not taking away from early childhood programs that help disadvantaged families. The vision for a better future begins here.
Not once were families mentioned in our discussion about crime, instead we were heading more towards a type of punishment we could find in Hammurabi’s Code. Where an eye for an eye was the way to go.
Where do you think is the solution?
Since I’m a believer, drifting to the brighter side of the ugly things is easy. I would totally agree with Dalai Lama when he said,
“……it is a matter of great urgency, therefore that we find ways to cooperate with one another in a spirit of mutual acceptance and respect.”
Our children are the key for a better future. If their families are failing them, than others will have to step in to cooperate and find a way to help them become good citizens.
We just can’t continue to look away, the time is now.