Fear and Responsibility

My last few Rants have been either of Geek nature or just small, little things, and I think I know why… see, there’s a been a stone in my shoe for some time now, and I think it’s taken me this long to formulate my thoughts enough to share them. It came into my mind a bit when the DC Sniper was roaming around the DelMar peninsula, but I’ve since realized that it’s more than that. I realized this while I was watching the news this morning and the reporter was talking about how some guy, who shot at an abortion clinic worker and accidentally killed him, wanted to vie for an insanity plea. Add to that the story about some other guy that shot a bunch of people at a Wendy’s, while trying to steal their stealing money, and now protesters are fighting for him and against the death penalty… and the Rant firmed up well in my mind… Responsibility.

This is a multi-day Rant actually. It started while I was killing some time on a Wednesday night in a Starbucks – no 802.11b card so I’m totally wire-less (as in without wires) and I don’t even know how long my battery will last, but I felt the need to type, and here I am. It’ll probably get published a few days following after more edits are done.

It’s all about Responsibility, people. Or a lack there of. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but there’s a huge lack of Responsibility in America. I’m not talking about “taking out the garbage on your own” when you were a kid – I’m talking about thinking about the consequences of your own actions and then making a decision based on those thoughts, knowing you’ll be held accountable. It sounds like common sense, does it not? We don’t think like this though. Before this godless fuck forced five people to get into a walk-in refrigerator, had them kneel on the ground, and destroyed their lives with a short tug on a trigger, what was he thinking? Who can know, right? Wrong! I know what he was thinking: “I don’t care about these people – I’m pissed off at them. I won’t get caught, anyway. And if I get caught, I’ll just get out of it some how.” You doubt me? Don’t. History has proven it over and over again. Look at the DC Sniper trial going on now – some people are saying “No Death Penalty”. How can you even begin to argue that? His life is over. He laid down his life at our collective feet when he started randomly and methodically killing people from the trunk of his car. It’s over – done. And why should anyone else care about it?

See, the death penalty is a beautiful thing, when applied correctly. I’m not saying to kill them on the spot – “We caught ya J-Walking, *bang*”. No, I still believe in the justice of giving them the near countless appeals. Even if it takes years on years, you want to be sure about it. Then hang the bastard. Yes, hang. Electrocution and lethal injections costs too much money – everyone has a tree and some rope, right? Let’s look at history – in the past, why were less heinous crimes committed? The lack of media attention? A burning respect, in every citizen, for human life? Perhaps… how about this, for a thought: People were afraid of the punishment they would receive because they knew they would be held accountable. Fear is a powerful force, and it’s a requirement of all society… what else would stop people from breaking laws? A higher sense of good? Bullshit. Why do people belong to religions? Because it makes them feel pious or “good” to be good? Fear is the root feeling that started religions – the fear of death and the unknown are what most major religions address, and we take solace in them because faith helps to answer questions that ask about the unknown… it helps us to cope with the unknown. No, people don’t follow laws out of their own volition – we’re not that evolved as a race yet. We need to be kept in pens and contained to make sure we behave. Society does this for us – hence why we have laws and the police departments to enforce those laws. Fear of being held Responsible. Ever since the mass populous lost that Fear, we’ve started to stumble as a nation. We have.

A couple of weeks ago some late teen or early 20-something was arrested because he stole a car and then robbed a bank. He was caught, if I remember correctly, after he crashed up the car after a car chase, allowing the police to catch up with him. Of course, rather than admitting that he’s an idiot (for not only attempting this, but because he got caught in a rather “extreme” fashion) he says “Grand Theft Auto inspired me to do this”. This drives me completely mad. I mean, because you see something on a video game, you decide to do it? If you’re this stupid, you need to get off my planet. Video games have been around for more than two decades now… did you ever see someone paint themselves yellow and run around the grid of Manhattan, opening and closing their mouths as they ran, screaming that four ghosts were after him? Um, no. It’s like that show Jackass – however appropriate it is (or isn’t) the fact that people are ignoring their own common sense and hurting themselves… well fuck’m! Let the people that can’t live in the reality of the world – and that’s these people’s problem: they are living in the fantasy of TV – then we need to sweep them under a carpet somewhere so the rest of us can ignore them. Of course now there’s whole Groups that want GTA to get banned and pulled from shelves. Why on earth would you think this will help? The fucknut that stole the car would have done it sooner or later – he’s just an accident waiting to happen! Don’t blame the catalyst; blame (and fix) the problem.

Take another example – look at children. I know it can be painful to do so, but please do. What stops a child from touching a lit stove? A moral obligation to obey his parent because s/he said “No”? Hah. Kid burns hir hand, kid stops touching a lit burner. It’s simple. The kid now fears the pain of touching the stove. This is another misconception that America suffers from today… we try to rationalize with our children. This is stupid. Sorry, Dr. Spock, but yer a fuckin’ moron. Kids haven’t developed a sense of morals, or honor, or Responsibility. Bill Cosby uses it for his standup routines: “I don’t know [why I did something]!” and he’s right. They don’t know! Why? They haven’t learned values yet. So they need to be treated as such. One of Mario Puzo’s character’s one remarked that children are animals (animale) and must be trained, like animals. I can’t argue it – even the most “learned” child types will tell you that children are the product of their environments. The problem is that today’s environments don’t instill the Fear required to be Responsible. They don’t always need spanking. Some kids have gotten the Fear without ever being touched (my sister, as an example) and others don’t Fear beatings – but it should be considered as an option and not ignored because we “aren’t violent” as a society… cuz that’s a crock of shit, that.

This abortion clinic sniper is an ideal case to look at. First of all, here’s a citizen of a society that has laws against killing but not laws against abortion, right? He agrees with neither law obviously, since he’s shooting at someone and it’s because he’s against abortions – but why is he against abortions? He’ll tell you that you’re killing a human being – um, buddy. Shooting a human is killing a human being, too. That also takes away any religious backing that you have for such an action, because Thou Shall Not Kill, idiot. How is one right and one not? Oh I see, you never meant to kill the clinic worker? Too bad. Take Responsibility for your actions. You waited, you planned, you fired, and you destory a person’s life and that can’t be reversed, no matter how much duct tape you apply to it. Your life should now be forfeit, and given to society for destruction.

Can you imagine this? I can’t… it just eludes me altogether. Think about it, if we actually forced people to take responsibility. “Hm, I want to kill an abortion clinic worker because as much as I fight for life and what I believe in, I don’t think it’s doing enough. Wait… if I kill him, I will be killed because it’s the law… do I believe in my cause enough to do that?” You know the consequences going into it; maybe you can be dissuaded. And maybe not. Maybe this guy is so fucked in the head that he does it anyway – Martyrdom is an ever powerful tool, right? Ya can’t help zealots like this, aside from removing them from the world, which is what we would do if we had the death penalty back in place everywhere.

This isn’t a call to arms – it’s not even a cry for help. This is just an observation. And it’s a grim one at that. Some how, some way, as a people, we don’t take Responsibility for our actions. We’ve lost that Fear that helps us stay together as a nation and forces us to obey our society’s laws. We’ve started to say “If I don’t get caught, I don’t have to care” easily enough and many others have progressed to “if I get caught, I’ll get out of it.” How did we get here? I don’t know. What I do know is that in spite of the disaster last year, the terrorist attacks have sparked that Fear in most of us again. We’re aware that there’s a larger world out there and a number heads have been forcibly shoved out of their shells… we aren’t allowed to live in a blissful ignorance anymore. Sad, but a true story. It’s gotten our blood (and bile) pumping together as a nation – we just need to fix ourselves this time, instead of just helping to fix the rest of the world.

We need to get our Fear back – we need to start taking Responsibility again.

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