Monday, March 14, 2005

Criminals may move to California

While listening to television earlier, I heard something that made me stop in my tracks. It seems California has more people killed as a result of police chases than any state in the United States. This is not shocking when you consider the sheer number of people in that state. BUT, as a result, there has been a bill introduced in the California legislature to prohibit police from pursuing the bad guy if he flees in a motor vehicle. OL' BC hasn't seen the actual bill, but this is really hard to fathom. What is the probability of a successful prosecution if an officer cannot immediately apprehend the perpetrator? What is the likelihood of a conviction if an officer is fortunate enough to get a license plate number and then loses sight of the vehicle and it is found minutes or hours later? I realize things are a little different in California, but this is on the cusp of total insanity. I can envision a mass rush of criminals to the left coast, but that could be a good thing for the rest of us.

Just a thought.


At 8:25 AM, Blogger Sir Loin of Beef said...

Ha! Well, this has been a problem nationwide. Even in our little town of Columbus, police engaged in high speed pursuits have destroyed public and private property. I don't think anyone ever died, but the thought remains the same: Does the end justify the means? I mean, how would you like it if some criminal, goaded by police chase, crashed through your front picture window and killed your kids? Am I saying it is the policeman's fault? No. What I am saying is that my life and the lives of other ordinary citizens should not be put up as part of the price of apprehending criminals. How do you get around it? Helicopters? I'm not sure, but there must be a better way. When human life becomes so devalued that people support the killing of innocents to apprehend thugs, we must question the values of our society...

At 7:45 AM, Blogger Brian Burkett said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Brian Burkett said...

Sir Loin of Beef,

I cannot think of a more effective way to prosecute an offender than to apprehend him/her ASAP. I don't think any honorable police officer is trying to "devalue" life by chasing someone who just killed
three people in a gas station, or held up a bank.

It's like war. There are going to be innocent casualties. This is always tragic. Does this mean we should let the guilty walk? Absolutely not. What would you have law enforcement do?

At 8:13 AM, Blogger Sir Loin of Beef said...

As I said in my previous post, it is not police that devalue life, it is people like you in this society that do it. Essentially you are saying, "It is war, therefore it is okay if our own innocent civilians get killed in the pursuit of criminals." I find this attitude reprehensible. It is never okay that anyone dies in this stupid way. It is not war. It is the pursuit of a criminal, one in thousands, whose existence is sure to be replaced immediately by another were he to go to jail. Let me ask you this: Do you think it would be okay if your wife was one of the innocents that got killed during a police chase? Your kids? Your grandfather? If you say yes, it is okay, then this conversation will go nowhere, as you have no compassion in your heart. If you say no, it is not okay, then you must begin to see that when people get killed in this way, they are brothers, uncles, and wives of others, just like yourself. And the value of one human life is far greater than the apprehension of one stupid thug. Two wrongs do not make a right. Killing is killing. It is not right when the criminals do it, nor is it right when it is done in the interest of catching criminals.

At 9:49 AM, Blogger Brian Burkett said...

That's not what I said at all... I never said it was okay... the meaning of my statement is that it happens, and it is tragic, but it is what happens sometimes, as tragic as it may be.

Again, I ask you... what would you have law enforcement do? Let them go so that they can INTENTIONALLY harm more people, or pursue the criminal in hopes of stopping his/her madness, even though there are lives at stake and someone may be UNINTENTIONALLY harmed?

I can't see that there is really a happy medium. I'm not happy about innocents getting killed or injured, and I certainly hope it is not someone I am close to, or even myself, but it is a reality we all must face and live with...

Besides, I know this is an extreme illustration, but you can get killed walking outside your house man... There is risk involved in living. The only way to avoid risk is to stop living.

For that matter, you can get killed IN your house... it's tragic when someone is killed in a police chase, but it's just as tragic when someone slips and falls in their tub.

I'd really like to know what your answer would be to my question. What would you have law enforcement do? Don't try to avoid it by saying I have no compassion... that's just silly, you dodgeball champion, you...

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Brian Burkett said...

And by the way, if we don't apprehend these "stupid thugs" then more brothers, uncles, sisters, wives and people just like yourself will potentially be harmed than if we did apprehend them. Your logic fails...

Let criminals run free, and we will have anarchy. Apprehend them, and we will be able to minimize the damage they cause... Universalist? Maybe... but I don't really see a happy medium.

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Sir Loin of Beef said...

I think you contradict yourself:

"That's not what I said at all... I never said it was okay... the meaning of my statement is that it happens, and it is tragic, but it is what happens sometimes, as tragic as it may be."

Your tone says at the same time, it is not okay, but it happens, and we must accept that.

The point of this discussion is that no one has to accept this. California is attempting to remedy the situation. This is one solution. Is it a good one? Time will tell. Are there other solutions? Probably. Increase air patrols. I don't know. All I am saying is that it is never okay that civilians get killed by thugs or during chases. My logic is not flawed. I am well aware of the harm criminals can do. But why compound the problem with chases that could end in more death? It is tragic, as you say. And avoidable.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Sir Loin of Beef said...

And as a last effort:

If we live in a society who needs to look the other way when innocents get killed to thwart anarchy, then we need to re-evaluate our society. It seems to me that California is coming up with a solution. I don't know what more can be said about solutions. Criminals running around free does not promote anarchy. Anarchy is the lack of government, not the proliferation of criminals. And besides, I am guessing that the streets are still crawling with criminals, and somehow the illusion of order and control is maintained...

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Sir Loin of Beef said...


This opinion of yours reminds me of a gentleman who argued with me about the death penalty. When I asked him if it would be okay if even one innocent man was sent to the chair, he answered much the same way: Tragic, but necessary to maintain order.

This is my fundamental problem with this (and it really just comes down to opinion, here). I do not believe firstly that order is all it is cracked up to be, especially if it must be got at the expense of innnocents. Secondly, I believe that an enlightened society would rather focus on the prevention of the creation of a criminal class, rather than focus upon the policing of a criminal class.

At 12:42 PM, Blogger Brian Burkett said...

An enlightened society? No, you're talking about an impossible society... there will always be people that are bent on doing evil... have you not read any history at all? There are evil people now, there always have been evil people, and there always WILL be evil people. To not police these evil people means that more innocents will be harmed than not. I cannot even begin to fathom your line of reasoning.

I do not contradict myself. To say that it must be accepted does not mean that I like it, and it doesn't mean that it is okay when an innocent is harmed... it is an evil that must be endured, whether we like it or not.

California is not proposing a solution... what they are doing is hanging themselves. To not police criminals is essentially a form of anarchy, for they are not being governed. And, to not try and apprehend them immediately is basically not governing them at all.

Do you realize how easy it would be for a "stupid thug" to disappear? Look at how much money and effort has to go into finding the ones that do get away. What you are proposing sounds ludicrous to my line of thinking.

I don't like it when civilians are hurt anymore than you do, but what I hate even more is the idea that a thug would be free to run the streets and harm even more people INTENTIONALLY.

Yes, there are still criminals out there roaming the streets. Yes, there are corrupt law enforcement officers out there. The sad truth is that these kinds of people will always be with us.

I'm just guessing that with your line of reasoning, you're against the war too. I suppose we should just roll over and take it from the likes of Osama and Saddam?

I wish I could understand people like you... sadly, you are blinded by your quest for the ideal society where there are no wars or famine, no hurt or pain, no crime or punishment.

That world, my friend, cannot be found in this reality, but only in the reality that is to come. I don't know if you even believe in God or any kind of afterlife, but I look forward to that day when I won't have to deal with the evil on this earth, the day when I will be in the kind of society you and I both long for...

But I am also a realist, and in our real and evil world, we must police the evil people. That means that mistakes are going to happen, and it means that there will be people hurt. I don't like it, you don't like it, nobody likes it. As a matter of fact, I hate it, but it's not the officer's fault, it is the evil criminals.

You still really haven't answered my question. What would you have the law enforecement officers do?

At 3:15 PM, Blogger Sir Loin of Beef said...

I did offer you an answer. California has a solution I agree with. I am sorry you feel that my ideas are too idealistic. I wonder what your Jesus would say about it. I wonder what he would say about your idea that there are evils we have to "endure" whether we like it or not. I am sorry that you feel that policing criminals is better than teaching people not to commit crime. I'm sure Jesus would have said, "Hey, sometimes you just gotta pay the price." Right?

Think of it this way. America has one of the greatest number of people in jail per capita than any country in the civilized world. Is this a success, my friend, or a failure? This is where our philosophies diverge. I believe that putting more criminals away is a sign of the failure of our society, not of its great success as a police state.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Brian Burkett said...

Jesus actually had a lot to say about enduring evil. I would like to direct you to Matthew 5.

His idea of salvation was not one that could be fully realized in this life, only in the life to come.

Yes, Jesus set forth peaceful principles for his followers to live by, but you can't expect a non-follower to live by those principles... There will always be evil people.

Now, we could get into the whole debate about what crimes should actually be prosecuted or not, and I'm entirely up for discussion on that one...

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Sir Loin of Beef said...

Let me see if I follow your logic:

"Yes, Jesus set forth peaceful principles for his followers to live by, but you can't expect a non-follower to live by those principles... There will always be evil people."

So, because there are evil people, the believers of "peaceful principles" are then permitted to combat evil with evil; that is the necessary evil of tossing out a citizen every now and again as the cost of an ordered society?

Just want to get this straight. Is this what you are saying?

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Sir Loin of Beef said...

And as far as I can gather from Mathew 5, Jesus never said, "Thou shouldst endue the evil which you yourself commit."

For what is the evil of slaying innocent citizens if it is not commited by us, the people whom the police serve?

Jesus speaks of turning the other cheek and enduring slanders, not "get criminals at any cost" and "punish those who attack you".

He also speaks of upholding the commandments and teaching them, saying that whoever annuls a commandment shall go to hell. Well, have we not annulled a commandment when we turn a blind eye to the killing that has occurred due to our own desire to see criminals brought to justice?

You speak of "enduring evils". Yet the evil is one we ourselves commit with our support of them. I feel safe in betting Jesus would not have approved of your thinking.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Brian Burkett said...

I don't have the time at the moment, but I will respond to this comment... I'll just say this for now:

What you are talking about is a church-run state. I thought people like you were the strongest propponents for a separation of the two entities.

You cannot expect a secular system (the U.S. government) to adhere to Kingdom principles in everything it does. The goal of the U.S. government is not to advance the cause of Christ, it is to advance the cause of the U.S.

Separation my friend, separation... As I said, I'll comment more later.

At 5:47 PM, Blogger Sir Loin of Beef said...

You are skirting the issue. The issue, simply put, is evil does not justify evil, no matter what your religion or government philosophy. If you want to respond again, that is fine, but I think I have made my point as well as I can. I will decline to respond further.



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