Criminal law

Self-defense can be an effective way to deter crime comment

A few years ago, during a crime wave like the one we seem to be witnessing now, a sticker appeared on the car that read “Fight Crime Shoot”.

She expressed the frustration many felt at the time that criminals were often getting away with their crimes. This sentiment has been multiplied in recent times as some prosecutors have become lenient with criminals and tougher with those who defend themselves and others.

I thought of that poster when I saw a video of a convenience store robber in California picking merchandise off the shelves and putting it into a large dumpster on wheels.

The thief is confronted by two store employees. He said the men should not worry because “insurance” would pay for the loss. Instead of letting the thief escape, as many are allowed to do for fear of lawsuits–let me stop there–lawbreakers can sue law-abiding people and win. What does this tell you about how far we have sunk into the moral abyss?

Now to continue. The two employees grabbed the man. One of them holds him while the other starts hitting him with a big stick.

What lessons can be learned from this incident? First, the man is less likely to repeat the crime because he has been exposed to the consequences of his actions. Secondly, other shopkeepers should pay attention. If thieves and other criminals think they can get away with stealing things, they will. It is the dark side of human nature. But if they think they will be confronted and stopped, they may be deterred.

Here is my suggestion. Every store, especially those in high-crime areas, should put up a sign in the window that says, “Thiefs Will Be Shot.” Staff can be trained to use maces or even large sticks to fight those who ignore the signal. People put up signs saying “Beware of the dog” and “Forget the dog: beware of its owner”. Signs announce that some homes are protected with security alarms. The purpose is to act as a deterrent.

State legislators must write laws that allow merchants to protect their merchandise and employees without having to experience a kind of double jeopardy — losing their merchandise and lawsuits from criminals.

Chicago’s new mayor, Brandon Johnson, is not helping. It’s empowering. Johnson responded to a reporter who referred to the recent and ongoing violence in the city as “mob action”. Johnson berated the reporter, insisting that they were called “large gatherings.” To describe them otherwise, he said, was “inappropriate”.

The mayor engages in a euphemism. To get my point across, here are some of the more common euphemisms we use to either hide or mitigate the truth: The car is unused – it’s pre-owned and certified. She’s not sick, she’s under the weather. He is not poor – he is economically disadvantaged. He didn’t break up with her, he just needed some space.

The big “rally” held last Saturday in New York City came on the heels of YouTube player Kai Cenat’s announcement that PlayStation hardware would be distributed for free in Union Square. Thousands of unruly teens showed up.

It all starts in the home with appropriate and loving discipline, especially for children, by their parents. But what if the parents are no longer around, as is often the case? The peers then become the main influence on the young men who frequently join the gangs that wreak havoc in the city.

Putting up signs, training employees to stand up to thieves, and passing legislation to protect business owners from lawsuits would be a start.

Another thought: Did we ever think our country would reach a point where we would routinely kill each other on the streets of our major cities?

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