Societal death spasms

deathNeighbor kills neighbor. Don’t worry, though. They will pay for what they’ve done. Especially if they hate the inconvenience of annoying paperwork, attending a couple of hearings and paying a fine. That’s more than sufficient punishment for killing a fellow human being, right?

What is a society? My definition is a system where people make decisions that impact the safety of others. More and more it seems like that’s the only definition that matters.

A woman takes a stroll through her own neighborhood. While going past her neighbor’s house his vicious dogs manage to escape. They attack and kill the woman. I imagine that’s probably not a fun way to go. The owner of the dogs, who was warned multiple times prior to the incident, was brought up on some minor charges. (I can’t longer find the story.) I think this case is still pending.

For bonus coverage, google the phrase “killed by dogs.” You’ll be amazed at the results. Woman killed by her own dogs. Woman killed feeding her boyfriend’s dogs. Dog kills baby. Homeowner attacked by dog. There’s seemingly no end to stories of this sort. –Ed.

A rich 16-year-old kid was given his own house and pickup truck. He liked to party and drink. A lot. One night, while drunk driving three times over the legal limit, he plowed his pickup into a vehicle on the side of the road and killed four people. He was eventually sentenced to 10-years probation and served no jail time.

A 22-year-old man and two friends were using GPS navigation to pick up a friend to go rollerskating. The driver took a wrong turn and ended up in the driveway of a 70-year-old homeowner who was immediately filled with fear that it was a “home invasion.” (Apparently he has quite the imagination.) As far as I can tell, there was nothing more ominous than an unknown and unexpected car in his driveway. The homeowner did what any of us would do. He opened fire with his gun. One shot in the air and then one amazingly tactical (and fatal) shot through the driver’s head. In a deal announced the other day the man’s actions were described as an “accidental killing” after he plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of manslaughter, no jail time, 12 months probation and a $500 fine. The man made no statements in his defense and never publicly apologized.

Somehow I find it hard to imagine lethal head-shot-accuracy as “accidental.”

I can’t help but wonder how many people walking our neighborhoods and streets and enjoying their personal freedoms and rights have killed someone. True accidents can happen but where’s that fine line that must exist somewhere between “accidents” and obscene criminal negligence that terminates the lives of others? What’s wrong with holding people accountable for their actions? What ever happened to the concept of personal responsibility?

2 responses

  1. I “liked” this post, although WordPress should come up with another way to express a reader’s appreciation for your efforts, because it’s a depressing subject to like. Not loving thy neighbor.

    I love dogs, but dog owners must be held accountable for the actions of their dogs with far more than a slap on the wrist.

    Was the sixteen-year-old the boy who got off because of the disease of “affluence?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love dogs, too. (Although cats slightly more.) I think they pets deserve love and they highest level of care. They are not toys. Dogs are exactly a case in point about societal neighbors making safety decisions for people other than themselves. You want to keep four animals so dangerous they’ll maul someone if they ever get loose? Yikes. OK. I guess you have that “right.” My “right” might very well having to live next door against my will unless I have the financial means to do otherwise.

      I think free exercise of the right to own dangerous animals should come with consequences coupled with that act of free will. If your animals are well cared for and don’t escape and don’t injure anyone, then that you should be okay. No problem. If they get out and maim and kill, however, I’d accept that fact alone as proof you failed to exercise due diligence. In that case, you should be held to very high account. If your dogs kill then you should be in jail. That will prevent you from making similar decisions in the future and putting more innocent people at risk.

      Yes, I used affluenza boy Ethan Couch as one of my examples. Not only did Ethan kill four human beings, he injured as many at 12 others, including one person who is paralyzed and can communicate only by blinking his eyes. While driving at over three times the legal limit Ethan had seven passengers in his pickup truck.

      I’ve never had a vehicle given to me in my entire life. Besides his own home, 16-year-old Ethan Couch was given an F-350 pickup truck by his wealthy parents. I don’t know the specifics of Ethan’s truck but a 2014 Ford F-350 is described on Google as follows: “MSRP: From $30,930. Horsepower: 316 HP to 400 HP.” That’s a hell of a lot of vehicle to hand over to a not fully-developed youngster brain.

      In my experience having things handed to you rather than working hard and earning them own your own leads to many affluenza and petulant spoiled child behaviors. With the damage he caused Ethan is a poster child for things parents shouldn’t do.

      I agree with you about the deficiencies of the “like” button. Maybe I’ll write about that next.

      Liked by 1 person

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