By Tony Farkas
Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Whatever happened to consequences, and whatever happened to the rule of law?
Recent events have me puzzled about what it actually means to the phrase actions have consequences.
Growing up, my dad gave me a pretty simple rule about my behavior, particularly as I grew older: Do what you want, just don’t get caught.
I didn’t take that as a challenge, mind you; I did have my moments, but when I did, I suffered the penalties.
Even when I didn’t do anything wrong, I suffered the penalties. Being as how I was the son of a cop, there were certain lessons I was taught that were meant to be object lessons. For instance, I was with some friends in a store, and one of them felt the need to shoplift. Since I was around, I was scooped up.
Although I insisted loudly and continually about my innocence, I was still given the full arrest treatment, and later told that it was for my own good. Turned out it might have been since I’m not a master thief.
News reports indicate that society today has tacked differently, offering leniency for crime, or outright refusing to prosecute for some misdemeanors (most if you live in California). In certain major cities, stores of major chains are being shuttered because shoplifters are not arrested or prosecuted.
The Securities and Exchange Commission cracks down on certain hedge fund managers for insider trading, but legislators in Washington, D.C., who make just over $200,000 a year, leave office as millionaires because of their inside knowledge, and no one makes a peep.
Brittney Griner, who was convicted for violating the laws of Russia and was sentenced to a Russian prison, was released last week in a prisoner swap for a Russian arms dealer who sells arms to terrorists. Seems our government bowed to pressure toward the swap, and a woman who violated the law has escaped serving her 9-year sentence.
Maybe it’s me, but I was under the impression that prisoner exchanges were done for high-dollar political reasons for high-profile prisoners. Maybe it’s also me, but it seems that a prison sentence is something to be served, not something to be bartered.
Certain prosecutors have been put in place that have vowed to ignore certain laws and events for budgetary and personnel reasons.
Celebrity status or political connections, a la Hunter Biden or Ghislaine Maxwell, leads to little or no prosecution.
All of these are symptoms leading to one fairly obvious conclusion, and that is we have a burgeoning problem in this country. For instance, look at the days of rage. Weeks of riots, property damage, looting and arson followed police shootings. People claiming injury over some slight took over private property to demand justice, then demanded they be given anything they need.
Bullying has become such a problem in schools. School violence itself has grown, and that includes shootings.
In short, these are consequences.
If you remove the moral center of laws, such as religion, and couple that with reduced or ignored penalties for criminal acts, it stands to reason that more and more heinous acts will follow. Plus, the sad byproduct of this is that good, law-abiding and decent people are forced to guard themselves.
That’s backwards, and could lead to collapse, so it’s time for us to face our own music.
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