Seeking Justice…

August 9, 2019

Dear Editor:

Our National Justice Department recently announced AG Barr has found a reliable source for death inducing drugs. Execution of Federal Death Row Prisoners will resume later this year. Your reaction to the above is based on a moral compass which guides each of us in these matters. What needs to drive the solution is knowledge. A potential death sentence does NOT deter intentional killers. It is only after lives have been taken and the State has taken theirs that it becomes a deterrent.

After mass murder is not good enough. It is important to put the emphasis on prevention not retribution. Intentional killers find the death penalty an opportunity to become recognized. It plays into their perception of being both victim and savior. It supports their feeling of omnipotent. This group of offenders are reacting to threat. Whether it is real, imagined or a combination of the two is not the point.

School Shooters murder fellow students and staff. Church shooters kill those who have gathered for worship. Other shooters kill those who are enjoying each others company in a social space. In the mind of the shooter, these people represent something threatening. It justifies killing. Social Media has connected intentional killers like never before.

Support & encouragement to target an individual or group aka “the threat” is available 24/7. To make it worse, communication is often encrypted or posted on black sights. Because of our Free Speech Laws, getting in front of the problem is much more difficult. It is just one more example of the subversion of democratic institutions to aid extremism. The past twenty years should be enough time to recognize this growing problem.

President Trump suggests that Mental Illness is the primary issue. He also used the term EVIL to describe the shooters and suggests that violent video’s have created this daily morphing problem. He also promises swift justice by using the death penalty. If this were a one-off problem and we had not allowed the production & distribute of violent content, he may have a valid point and a reasonable response. We are way beyond that point.

Failure to act on the part of our National Government has contributed to the spread of violence. There is no quick fix or simplistic labels to define it. If our Government does not put together a comprehensive plan based on knowledge & facts and implement it, they need to be called out for their inaction. We need to start electing competent people; not politically motivated hacks. Until we do this, the problem of violence in our society will continue to thrive. It is happening all over this Country. It can happen here.

Linda Waddell

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