Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Hug a thug!

In my grade 11 law class, my teacher and I got into an argument after she marked an answer on my test wrong because I listed immorality as one of the root causes of crime instead of the "correct" answer: poverty. Of course, I explained, I could memorize the answers that she had given me, but I really didn't understand how memorizing your teacher's opinions constituted learning.

Today, the Prime Minister wants me to believe that the murder of a 15-year old girl in my neighbourhood yesterday shows us the "consequences of exclusion". I think I'm going to be getting the answer wrong again. I would suggest that the problem is that there is not enough exclusion. I suspect that anyone who fires a gun in a busy street was likely involved in lots of other criminal acts beforehand and should have been excluded from society a long time ago by means of imprisonment.

I'm not exactly sure what the Prime Minister's point is (granted, not a rare state of affairs). What has society supposed to have done to these people that they think it is okay to open fire on a crowded street? What could we have done to prevent them from having such utter disregard for human life? Did they not have state run day care growing up? Were they treated with disrespect when they went to register their handguns? Did people give them funny looks?

Why can't we acknowledge that criminals are responsible for their own actions? 'Society' didn't exclude that little girl from her future, the person who murdered her did.

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