Tag Archives: violence
At 6:00 PM CDST this evening, Troy Anthony Davis will die for a crime that he likely did not commit.
All of the arguments are over. All of the pleas have been dismissed. All of the evidence has been filed away. Tee shirts and signs and editorials will focus on a new issue, a new problem, tomorrow. The world will forget about Troy Davis. Few will remember him after today.
Well, some may remember, quite vividly. The seven ‘witnesses’ that testified against Davis that later recanted their testimony may remember him. The police department and prosecutor might think about him now and then. The family of the slain police officer may wonder if they executed the right man.
Redd Coles may think about Troy Davis. Coles was there the night the officer was killed and several eye witnesses say that it was Coles that did the shooting. Coles testified that it was Davis that fired the fatal shots. Coles is one of the two ‘witnesses’ that has yet to recant his testimony. Troy Davis never owned a gun, but Redd Coles did. It was the same caliber of the gun that killed Officer MacPhail.
No murder weapon was ever found. No DNA evidence ever linked Troy Davis to the slain officer. There was no forensic evidence presented at the trial. All that the prosecution had was eye witness accounts, but that was enough to secure a conviction for capital murder against Troy Davis. And now, Troy Davis will die.
And so it is with justice in America. The Right Wing cheers the Texas Governor that brags of executing 234 inmates during his tenure in the Statehouse. Opinion pages are filled with comments from death penalty supporters that claim that Davis has had enough time to prove his innocence. All of the standard arguments for capital punishment have been discussed, refuted and discussed again. It’s all over now. The proper authorities have spoken clearly – Troy Anthony Davis must die.
William Stephenson Clark
Recently, I read a story at one of the online news websites about a man who stalked and stabbed an eight year old boy at an arcade. As is my normal practice, I also perused the comment section of the article. The backstory:
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — A man accused of repeatedly stabbing an 8-year-old boy playing video games at a restaurant arcade had spent weeks stalking potential victims at area shopping malls, police said Monday. “His intent was to kill a child,” Nassau County Police Sgt. Vincent Garcia said of 23-year-old Evan Sachs. Sachs was arrested Friday night, moments after police say he plunged the 4-inch blade of a hunting knife five times into the boy’s back.”
The story went on to state that the accused was undergoing psychiatric care.
Now, lest there be any confusion, I certainly do not have any empathy for the accused, but I was shocked at the comments that I read about him. It would seem that a fair portion of our fellow citizens feel that capital punishment without trial would be appropriate for the accused and that incarceration for the mentally ill should be mandatory.
The anonymity of faceless blogging does tend to bring out the worst in people, but really, capital punishment? I believe I have thoroughly explained my opposition to capital punishment, so it goes without saying that I am not in agreement with that type of commentary, but I have to wonder what drives someone to such levels of hatred.
Perhaps I am a bit naive, but I don’t recall many people with similar points of view in my journeys. Since when do we take a position completely contrary to the right of due process under the Constitution? Have we become so calloused that we flippantly advocate Iranian-style justice in the United States?
If in fact mental illness drove this young man to this crime, it needs to be dealt with accordingly, otherwise, the court system should proceed as it does with thousands of other cases each year. Despite the desires of extremists. we have yet to sink to the levels of barbarians.
I hope and pray that the eight year old boy recovers physically and psychologically. I also hope and pray that justice will be served under the law.
William Stephenson Clark
PS: The mine rescue events in Chile this evening (Tuesday) stand in stark contrast with the thoughts of some of our fellow Americans. It has to make you think about the direction we are headed.
So, what to do? You’re at a BBQ with a mixed bag of friends, some liberal, others conservative, and the conversations are beginning to drag. What to do? Well, you could suggest a game of “pictionary” or some lawn bowling. Or you could just stand in the middle of the patio and loudly make this statement:
“I am a Democrat and I believe in gun control!”
Suddenly, your dull, lifeless BBQ will come to life! Maybe not in a good way, but it will be much more lively.
I am a confirmed liberal Democrat and I earned my bona fides long ago. That having been said, I am a firm defender of the Second Amendment. There are several reasons for this.
One, is that I support the Constitution of the United States. We are to be a “nation of laws” and the COTUS is the supreme law of the land. There are reasons that it is so difficult to amend the Constitution.
Two, virtually every legal gun owner is a law abiding citizen that respects firearms and uses them properly.
Three, gun control laws do little or nothing to reduce gun violence. In some studies, the legal carrying of a firearm has been shown to actually reduce some crimes.
I am a legal gun owner and a legal carrier of a firearm, even though I choose not to carry most of the time.
Truthfully, guns are not the cause of violent crime in America. The high murder rate is due to a “culture of violence” not the “gun culture.”
Guns are tools, examples of fine craftsmanship and even works of art. They are only dangerous when used in an improper manner. Responsible gun owners keep their weapons from the reach of children and teach their children gun safety.
The focus on reducing gun violence should not be on the gun it’s self, but on the culture that breeds gun violence. Gangs, drug trafficking and poverty are the reasons for gun injuries and deaths, for the most part.
Gun control laws generally just become a nuisance to law abiding gun owners. Certainly I am for background checks, but much beyond that, gun control laws are mostly “feel good” laws that do little to achieve their well intentioned objectives.
Cain killed Abel with a club. Today, perhaps he would have capped him with a 9mm. Regardless, he would still be dead. Throughout history, be it a club, spear, sword or a gun, man has figured out a way to kill his fellow man.
Banning guns will do nothing to change that.
Now, the patio is open for discussion………………………………….
William Stephenson Clark
When Osama bin Laden declared war on the West in 1996, he cited the Quran’s command to “strike off” the heads of unbelievers. More recently, U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan lectured his colleagues about jihad, or “holy war,” and the Quran’s exhortation to fight unbelievers and bring them low. Hasan is accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, last year.
Given this violent legacy, religion historian Philip Jenkins decided to compare the brutality quotient of the Quran and the Bible.
“Much to my surprise, the Islamic scriptures in the Quran were actually far less bloody and less violent than those in the Bible,” Jenkins says.