Saw this post on Twitter which referenced Texas HB196 – which was an act introduced by Rep. Thresa Meza to amend Texas’ “castle doctrine”. The long and short of it seems to be to restrict the ability of a property owner to use deadly force to defend said property. As you can see from the Twitter link, the explanation offered is that a person shouldn’t get a death sentence for robbery. I’ve seen this before and I find it an interesting idea.
You see, it is Stalinist jurisprudence.
Now, Stalin likely didn’t work this out on his own; for sure things in Marx and done by Lenin closely informed Stalin’s criminal code, but as Solzhenitsyn pointed out Gulag Archipelago, the criminal code of the Soviet Union both disarmed the populace and required it to give every benefit of the doubt to the criminal. The ultimate result of this was that crime was rampant in the USSR. It wasn’t reported on and, of course, it didn’t affect the very closely guarded elite, but the average Soviet citizen was plagued by crime his or her whole life. This being based on the general Marxist idea (refined by Lenin) that crime is only the result of injustice: essentially, if you have more than the criminal, then you are the thief. I can’t say the quote linked above is definitely Meza’s: I haven’t been to track down certain proof. But, it is in line with her bill about the castle doctrine…and her bill is an attempt to bring Soviet jurisprudence to the United States. She was, by the way, a teacher and a lawyer before entering office. So, she was teaching kids and carrying out legal actions with her mind certain that crime is never the fault of the criminal.
This brought to mind the George Floyd case. Once it became clear that he was a petty criminal and was resisting arrest (and also was, apparently, high as a kite) the word went out, before the MSM completely memory-holed this stuff, that whatever Floyd did before that knee got on his neck, it didn’t warrant a death sentence. And, that is true: it didn’t. But here’s the real deal: George Floyd bet his life.
And then he lost the bet.
Floyd’s wager was that he could be a petty criminal and drug addict and then, when arrested, he could resist arrest and he would get through it with no serious consequences. Given his arrest record, he won this bet many times. On May 25th, 2020, he lost the bet.
The reality is that we all bet our lives all the time. When you hop into your car, you are betting that a fatal accident won’t happen to you before you get to your destination. This is almost always a safe bet but 102 people lose that bet every day. Still, low risk bet. Higher risk bets are things like skydiving or climbing Mt Everest. Another is being a criminal. Essentially, a criminal is betting his life that he can get what he wants without paying for it and nothing bad will happen to him. As in driving a car, this is mostly a safe bet – less safe than the car, but still pretty safe. If you decide to take this bet and rob your local liquor store tomorrow, you almost certainly will not die as a result of it. But you would be betting you life, and you might lose. You might have picked the liquor store where the guy has a gun under the counter and has a keen appreciation for his property. Of course, the more bets you place, the more you can lose. Place $5 on roulette and your possible losses are $5. Place $50 in five dollar increments on ten different spots, you could lose all $50.
Floyd made the following bets with his life.
- Be a criminal.
- Be high.
- Resist arrest.
Any one of them can lead to disaster. Doing three bets at once simply increased the odds that disaster would strike. It did for Floyd in the form of a policeman who didn’t take his knee off Floyd’s neck in time. To be sure, Floyd making the bets doesn’t excuse everyone else involved – the officers involved are under indictment and we’ll see how those cases come out (almost certain acquittal in my view: but, we’ll see). But the bottom line is that the police didn’t place Floyd’s bets for him. Floyd did. Had he not placed the three bets – or even decided against betting one of the three wagers – he’d likely be alive today.
As for me, I have little sympathy for folly. I watched not too long ago a documentary about an expedition to Mt Everest which was pitched in sad tones about some people who died trying to climb that mountain. All the tear-jerking narrative and somber music, you know? I felt nothing for the deceased. It was foolish of them to make the attempt. There was no upside to even a successful climb. There is nothing at the top of Mt Everest that any human being will ever need. I can barely understand why Edmund Hillary did it; but after someone had done it, what the heck possible justification can one muster to risk their lives merely to stand on a particular spot of ground? You bet your life to climb up to a place which has nothing of use and where human beings can’t live without life support? That’s not adventurous or brave: that’s just stupid.
And, hey, I understand striving for the grand achievement. This is why I can say that Hillary’s achievement was something – but, even then, not much. It wasn’t even in the same league as useful risks like Yeager breaking the sound barrier or Armstrong going to the Moon. Useful things flowed from both of those acts of sublime courage. What flowed from Hillary’s effort? Well, a picture in National Geographic…and about 300 corpses of people betting their lives that they could climb to a completely useless point on the map.
Congrats. I guess.
But at least the mountain climbers get some exercise out of it and search and rescue teams are kept in top form looking for them. Betting your life on being a drug addicted petty criminal? Yeah, not so much good going on there. Floyd’s death was decreed many years before he died. He could have prevented it by the simple expedient of not being a thief or not being an addict or not resisting arrest. He chose not to. He apparently liked his life as it was – and in that, I won’t judge. Everyone is to live as they please.
And everyone is to suffer the consequences of their actions.
And that, I think, is really what is missing in us these days: we don’t want to take responsibility for ourselves. Everyone has an excuse and it’s always that other guy, who played zero role in our decisions, who is the source of the trouble. That has to stop.
No, it isn’t a balanced thing if someone breaks into a home to get a TV that he gets shot. But it was the bet made: I bet my life against a free TV. This is not a wise bet, but it is a bet many make…and some of them lose their bet.