We still have much to learn from the massacre at Columbine High School twenty years ago this week, says contributor Don Lee, who was at the time both a legislator from that community and a parent at the school.
The real danger of the shooting in DC will be the moral equivalence struck by the media between this lone nut and Islamic terrorists. This incident will be used to validate the recent statement by Janet Napolitano on the “Threat of Right-Wing Extremism”. For CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN, it will be six of one, half a dozen of the other. Thus, to serve one's country is to be put on a suspicion list by the DHS. After all, the man arrested in Washington DC was "another of those veterans" -- having served in World War II over 60 years ago! The key feature that’s intentionally glossed over is the magnitude of the subversion by the Islamists in the United States in comparison with the “white supremacy” groups. Documents outlining the vast scope of the Saudi funded Islamist efforts are basically ignored! As if one elderly 88 year old is equivalent to a quarter of a million black prison converts to Islam, many voicing hatred of America and white people!
As was said before, the “shooter” in Washington DC is 88 years old. The question one has to ask is this: what can be done to an 88 year old man? Life imprisonment? The death penalty? The man has already exceeded the average life expectancy! In either case, he will leap into his grave laughing!
Dr. George Tiller's murder in cold blood at a Wichita church today should shock the conscience and grieve the heart of every thinking person -- especially persons of faith, and above all, those of us who defend the right to life. Wichita Eagle story here. This evil and lawless act deserves absolute condemnation. It is in no way excusable, regardless of the slain man's inexcusable career as an abortionist.
I hope you will join me in praying for Dr. Tiller, for his family and loved ones, for his killer, and for the quelling of passions on all sides that would threaten peace and order in our land.
Lately the media have been filled with news of particularly heinous crimes, such as the recent mass murders in Alabama and North Carolina. We should be neither jaded nor hysterical about these horrible events but I confess that the crime reported Monday about the young man in Milton, Massachusetts, who stabbed his 17-year-old sister to death and decapitated his five-year-old sister, nearly moved me to tears. The only good thing that occurred–or didn’t occur–was that he was prevented from killing his nine-year-old sister by a timely bullet fired by a police officer, whose chief described the situation as "a killing field."
In what has become routine in these cases, the writer of the AP story said that "There was no clear motive" for the crime, which occurred at the five-year-old’s birthday party "in a tony Boston suburb that also is home to Gov. Deval Patrick."
Doubtless readers wonder what difference the neighborhood or the residents make, but I question the sense in inquiring about the motive. Let’s be clear on this: murder is a heinous crime whatever the motive is.
The unstated assumption behind examining the shooter’s motive is that multiple murders require an explanation. Who in his right mind would do such a thing, right? Why, he must have been crazy. And once we establish that about the killer, you know what’s coming next. That’s right, the insanity defense.
Has there ever been a more useful way of dodging a murder charge, or at least of avoiding the death penalty? If 23-year-old Kerby Revelus had not been killed, he would have been judged insane, pitied more than condemned and sent away for "treatment" at a facility that provides room and board and three meals a day, and recreation too. Fortunately, justice was done on the spot.
The truth is, the motive, or lack of motive, doesn’t matter. A young man killed two of his sisters and he got what he deserved. Thank God we’ve been spared the charade provided by defense lawyers who specialize in diverting attention from the crime and concentrating on the perpetrator's alleged lack of deliberate motive.
The motive does not count so that we might "understand" why a murder was committed, but it does count when the police investigators or the district attorneys don’t not have solid proof. That is, when they are trying to link a suspect or a defendant with a crime, motive (along with time and opportunity) may be part of the web of circumstances which prove guilt.
Although motive is irrelevant except for proving guilt, it is relevant in determining the seriousness of the crime. Crimes of passion draw lesser penalities than those committed with malice aforethought. Deliberate, cold-blooded murder draws worse penalties than accessory to murder or manslaughter (or at least it should).
But there has been some equivocation in recent years. Those who drive drunk and cause fatal accidents are being treated like murderers in our courts. I’m not so sure this represents the exercise of judicial equity in supplying defects in legislative intent or is in response to understandable public outrage. But legislatures should make clear in well-framed statutes that repeat drunken drivers who leave death in their wake do in fact merit trial as murderers and not leave it up to the varying determinations of local judges.
It is in the area of racially or sexually related crimes where motives have caused the most confusion. Crimes with this link are judged as more serious than otherwise. But when victims become privileged by their identities, we are entering a thicket of moral pretentiousness. How is it worse when the victim is black or homosexual and (a necessary corollary to this politically correct indulgence) the suspect or defendant is white or heterosexual? Does this imply that when white kills white or black kills black, the crime, other things being equal, should be deemed less serious?
And this is not merely academic. There is a lot more black on black crime than white on black. Law-abiding blacks unfortunate enough to be living in high crime areas are forgotten victims to our major media. That, after all, doesn’t support the well-worn liberal thesis that America is a racist country. And we’re supposed to believe we’re a homophobic country too when straight men murder gay men.
Motivation matters most to authorities trying to solve crimes or convict defendants, but it is hardly an excuse for crime. Degrees of culpability or responsibility are certainly relevant in fixing penalties, but they matter not at all just because crimes are committed across racial or sexual lines.
Editor: If you define a Michael Moore as someone who practices political provocation, lacks manners, and dishes it out but can't take it, Denver's own Mason Tvert, pot prophet and McCain hater, would seem to qualify. So our contributor Jim Krefft can testify from experience. He writes: My War with Mason Tvert
Standing up for conservative values means more than just voting for conservative candidates. It also requires the backbone to debate and stand up to fringe radically liberal elements in a respectful but decisive manner. I thought about this during a recent go-round with Mason Tvert, the leading advocate for legalized marijuana in Colorado.
Several weeks ago Mason Tvert and minions launched the website Drugdealercindy.com as a rather tasteless advocacy for marijuana and against consumable alcohol. The website features a number of unproven claims against prospective First Lady Cindy McCain and is strange in its singling out of one of the only women in the beer industry. Among them are claims that Mrs. McCain is a drug dealer due to her ownership of Hensley & Company, an Arizona beer distributor, and the statement that she “makes millions of dollars dealing a drug far more harmful then marijuana”.
Disturbingly, the site also calls for patrons to download and print out wanted posters of Cindy McCain for display in public locations. Finally, the site asks for people to sign a petition so that: “…Our country should not punish adults for simply making the rational, SAFER choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol for relaxation and recreation.” Some of these themes seemed in error to me so I called Mason Tvert to ask about them. What happened next is the purpose of this writing.
After leaving a question on Tvert’s machine, I received a call from him. After a rather heated exchange he claimed that I was the only person in America who felt this way about the website. I was about to respond that this was unprovable when Mason hung up on me, saying he didn’t “have time for this.” If you’re wondering why someone who has control of his own schedule would call someone else and then hang up on them, then you’re thinking like me. In general it is not proper phone or debate etiquette to hang up on someone when you yourself are the initiator of the conversation.
So I then wrote Mason asking him for a discussion of both debate etiquette and phone manners. He responded once but has since declined to comment on my inquiries on the subject. By email he informed me: “When you made it clear your sole purpose was to argue and not to discuss anything relevant whatsoever, I came to the conclusion that the discussion was not worth my time.” After a few more ideological grenades Mason informed me that he felt that “You heard this message, hence I consider the effort successful.” I think this is a shame. By ducking discussion and ignoring proper debate procedures, Mason discredits his own movement and his as yet evident message. Moreover, by being rude, and displaying bad phone manners he brings up serious questions about himself as a political advocate. I hope Mason reads this writing and I hope he accepts my challenge to a debate on phone manners, etiquette and the responsibilities of a political advocate.
In this political season we are often faced with those who disagree with us or those who disparage things that we hold dear. I for one look forward to such times, and certainly think that it is free debate and respectful conversation that has made this country what it is today. A good debate is important not just for the people but for the issues themselves and even more, the fundamental ideas behind those issues. But what happens when the debate stops being respectful? And what does it mean for the ideas, and for America in general, when the debate ceases to be about substance or the people and becomes about raw emotion and personal vanity?