Greetings Regular Joes,
Tonight families across the world have heavy hearts. The events of today display the worst our society has to offer. It was horrible and grievous. In fact, it’s likely that there is no greater loss nor deeper cause of grief than the loss of a child; so much hope, so many plans and such wonderful dreams and aspirations, all gone in a moment.
As the news unfolded today the reactions among various groups were quite mixed. Of course, all were angered and mournful over what had happened. And, understandably, it seems that all of them wanted swift justice. Mothers held their precious children tight as they anguished over the pain they knew other parents were experiencing. Fathers yearned to return home to their families as the thought of so much sorrow burdened their thoughts. Others simply pondered incredulously that this could happen. And all feel utterly helpless to somehow make this right.
A few of the comments I saw brought up another concern, however. One of them, of course, was related firearms. As can be expected, the anti-gun rhetoric started immediately, as if killers somehow wouldn’t get guns if they were illegal. In a country that murders as many unborn daily as died on 9/11, it seems quite incredulous to point a finger at the instrument. And, frankly, cops kill more people in the US with guns than citizens do, by far. How about drunk drivers? Do we blame the car? The booze? Does anyone think we should outlaw cars because they’ve been used as weapons (See here, here and here –warning, graphic content)? Yet when someone uses a gun as a weapon for murder, somehow the gun itself becomes evil?
And how much good do we really think anti-gun laws will do? Does anyone really think that a man so deranged that he’d open fire on some of the most helpless and defenseless among our population really cares one bit whether the tool he uses is legal or not?
Another area that people can become myopic about in their grief is due process. A position espoused today was that due process, in a case such as this, should be thrown out. These perpetrators should be brought to swift justice without wasting taxpayer time and resources.
As a father of two and grandfather of three, I certainly sympathize with these responses. They are understandable, if reactionary. Furthermore, it is precisely these kinds of responses that our growing government uses to establish greater power over the people and strip away more freedoms.
Due process, however, was not brought into being for men like these. Rather, it’s for the rest of us. In other words, we need to be most careful to follow due process with all suspects, regardless of the depth of the wounds they inflict or the clarity of their guilt. We don’t do this to protect them. We do this to protect ourselves, our society as a whole.
Thankfully, these events are rare. We seldom see atrocities as horrible as this take place. But we must realize that if we ask for swift justice in cases like this, that lesser cases will eventually be given the same treatment. And, eventually, such capitulation will trickle down to much lesser crimes, leading inevitably to the swift administering of justice, without due process, of innocents.
This is precisely how our society is protected by due process. And this is precisely why due process must stand, even when everyone already knows the truth of the matter. It’s not to protect those who would grievously slaughter innocents. It’s to protect the innocent, promote our collective conscience and protect us from both ourselves, and a government that is already all too willing to lay aside basic rights in the name of supposed justice.
As a side note: An article very similar to this one was rejected by The Daily Caller for some reason. Perhaps they perceived the timing as being off. Perhaps it’s too controversial. But, perhaps, it needs to be said anyways.