Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ZenTiger Drink Driving - Let's improve the outcomes

A 14 year old has just been pulled over for drink driving. He was three times the legal youth limit. Three times!! This sounds serious. I think we are going to have to get tough on him and take away his license to drive, and raise the drinking age so he can't get drunk, and lower the youth limit so that he is at least 4 times over the limit. That will sort the issue.

Perhaps we should crush the car. That will teach the person he stole it from for not keeping it secure.

Personally, I blame sex education having too narrow a focus. Sex education at schools is about teaching youths that sex is unavoidable and they hand out free condoms and such because 14 year olds cannot be taught to restrain themselves. Surely this is the same as stealing a car, drinking and driving? When are we going to realise it is inevitable, and instead start teaching our children how to take a corner at high speed when being chased by Police so as to improve their chances of survival? A good sex education curriculum would also include some hints on armed robbery and drug taking. If they are going to do it, lets make it safe for them.

Another approach might be to shoot him.

I see over the weekend, another policeman was attacked with a machete for pulling over some-one in a stolen car going too fast. So calls are for Police to be armed. The only problem with that idea is that the New Zealand public are fickle. Right now, they can see the seriousness of the situation that officer was in. They have graphic photos to hint at how vicious it was. But had the officer been in a position to use his gun (and I doubt that would be the case here) then the story may have seen him being abused for protecting himself. Because the headline could have instead been: "Cop shoots defenseless 14 year old for no good reason". And how much support would he have then? The liberal backlash would cut his career and his reputation as deep as any of the machete wounds he currently has.

The problem is that our society is seeing an emerging underclass prepared to be brutal, to disobey laws and to get off far too lightly even when a long list of convictions indicate soft liberalism isn't working. Giving cops guns for protection would be fine if the media and the usual liberal agitators weren't capable of destroying the cop for the crime of self-defence.

So what does the National Government do? Take away the voting rights of all criminals, without consideration of what kind of offence they are in for.

What happens if you get thrown in jail for illegal voting? It's already too late. And if its a 6 month sentence, you're out in time for the next election. Bet they didn't think of that loophole.

In terms of democratic principles, it's a little extreme. The danger here is that whilst violent criminals arguably do not deserve the benefits of citizenship, it also means you can catch "political" prisoners in this trap.

Previously, if you were in for three years or more you couldn't vote. That was a reasonable line. Now, apparently, it's simply if you are in jail. (I'm going off a blog post I read somewhere on a left wing blog, like Red Alert, rather than the actual Bill details so it might be all hype. If so, they should throw the left wing blogger in jail and make sure he can never vote again).

I'm no friend of violent criminals, but this latest move is just a little too sweeping for my liking. It means if the courts start throwing protesters in jail around election time, they don't get to vote, and that could be seriously wrong if the protesters ever move from typical radical to "average citizens". And there have been a few more than normal average citizens engaging in the odd protest.

The speed with which the bill was reportedly passed and lack of serious debate around the topic were just as dismaying as the outcome. A little finesse would have been nice in looking at the Bill provisions, perhaps distinguishing between classes of offences, but in that regard, National are disappointing.

The only mitigating excuse is that they hardly throw anyone in jail nowadays. It's all home detention and stern warnings until you have amassed a few hundred dead bodies, and the judge needs to do something before it turns out to be them or a relative of theirs.

Not to mention all of those dead bodies, by being murdered, have been denied the opportunity to vote for tougher sentencing. Bet they didn't think of that loophole either.

On the other hand, maybe they'll lock up these 14 year old car stealing, machete wielding, drunken hooligans? Well, now that smacking is illegal, we can only assume they act that way because they have been denied a political voice. Can't be long before the Greens call for 14 year old criminals to be given the vote. Oh sure, they will ease in by suggesting we start with 16 year olds, but I suspect they'll use the benchmark age of whenever sex education starts: "well we've taught them how to have sex, so if they can have babies they should have the vote".

You think that's crazy talk? I hope so.

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