It took me days to even attempt some cohesive comments about the hideous incident that ruined, not only the annual Bike the Bluff bicycle event, but impacted more lives than we can know.
Many of us were already looking over our shoulders at the fires threatening us from every direction when the the ruination of the state championship road race, a welcome form of entertainment and diversion, added to the tension. It’s hard to enjoy carefree activities when we suddenly feel menaced by pure evil. From which direction will it strike next?
Could come from anywhere since we as a state and country seem unable or unwilling to get and keep criminals out of our midst. Now, I write “opinion” not “news” so my opinion on the topic is what you’re going to read in this forum. And my opinion is that if someone who, (even when presumed by law to be innocent) by his mid-thirties, hasn’t yet learned to stay out of serious trouble, trouble that endangers other people’s lives, he needs to be locked up. Not just for hand-slap intervals, but with the key thrown away.
Yes, our prison system needs reevaluation, but so do our legal/judicial/mental health systems. We’ve long-since opted to pooh-pooh the whole mental health aspect of crime in the country rather than institutionalize those unable or unwilling to straighten up and fly right. Not how I’d handle it, but nobody’s asked me.
Tell me honestly; when a person has, in the last 14 or 15 years, been charged with felony aggravated DUI, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct with a weapon, and multiple other bad acts not even counting this heinous one, what can we expect from him when he hits the streets again? Do you think he’s going to come out of another stint of incarceration as a choir-boy? Or do you think he’s going to try again to take lives? With wanton disregard for anyone other than himself?
For those of us who aren’t hand-wringers, who gave our kids a whack on the butt when they needed it and who can differentiate between right and wrong, this isn’t a hard question to answer. Sure, almost every wrongdoer deserves a second chance and even a third in some instances. But to just set up a turnstile for their personal use for as long as they want to bounce in and out of jail or prison, convenient as it may be for them, is radically unfair to those of us trying to live our own lives in a law-abiding manner.
Why should people who have paid taxes to fund the police, prisons and everything else be terrorized by those who refuse to live by society’s rules? Why should a bike ride, a shopping trip or anything else be a scary proposition of looking over our shoulders? Why? Because of the minority among us who believe those who man our legal, judicial and mental health systems should be cuddly, always forgiving saps who protect the wrongdoers rather than the rest of us.