POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, LAWYERS, LOBBYISTS AND AN IRRELEVANT LEGISLATURE ENDANGER OUR DAILY LIVES. WE NEED TOUGH LAWS TO PROTECT US.
There is a small South Carolina town that has long had a bit of a reputation. Like most towns its size, the stores straddle what used to be a major highway – before Interstates moved traffic volume miles away. For as long as I can remember, it’s been known that if you go too fast there, “they’ll get you.” This isn’t a “speed trap;” the limit signs are clear and reasonably spaced. There is no sudden drop in allowed MPH and the local police don’t hide behind billboards waiting for an out-of-towner to go just a little bit above the posted allowance. Still, if you violate the speed limit, you will be stopped and ticketed. Period. Fair and certain.
This town is not unique, for surely there are hundreds of them around the country that simply want travelers to obey the laws and protect the citizenry. Unfortunately, this is a unique approach to general crime in South Carolina.
Whether we’ve become too “compassionate” or maybe the minds of our legislators and judiciary have become corrupted with political correctness or legal nuance, our system of laws and punishment are so congested and convoluted we have a near unmanageable society.
According to the latest FBI statistics, South Carolina’s violent crime rate is 35.5 percent higher than the national median, and the property crime rate is 25.6 percent higher. A US News and World Report study ranks South Carolina 45th in property crime and 41st in violent crime and 44th in overall public safety. Maryland (33rd) is safer than South Carolina and it has Baltimore! So is Michigan (Detroit), New York (New York City), California (pick one!), Florida (Florida!) and Illinois (CHICAGO!) are all rated better for public safety than sleepy little South Carolina.
And the statistics for crimes against our children and our institutional inability to care for them are heartbreaking.
It is said that fear is a powerful motivator, but, in this context, we should use fear as a demotivator. Criminals should be so afraid of consequences that they will necessarily rethink and relocate. People don’t rob cop bars or steal a Hell’s Angels’ hog. There were certain things I just did not do as a kid because I knew all too well what would happen if I ignored the clearly and repeated outcome should rules be disobeyed.
It’s time we made offenders afraid instead of fearing to offend.
DUIs are a great example of a behavioral epidemic in South Carolina. If someone chooses to drive a multi-ton steel missile on a public roadway while inebriated, they should spend time, and a lot of it, in jail. . No probation or “first offense” forgiveness! What difference if it’s a first offense or the tenth? The potential for public harm, even death, is the same.
The Palmetto State is also in the terroristic grip of an opioid crisis. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 50 times more powerful than heroin, is pouring across the border with Mexico where much of the drug is manufactured. Our current laws have done nothing to inhibit fentanyl or other illegal narcotic trafficking in South Carolina despite three years of growth in abuse in the state. As a result, our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, friends and neighbors are dying. Rehabilitation and use prevention programs are after-the-fact measures and must be broadened, but stopping the killer before it kills is far, far more effective. Drug trafficking laws must, MUST, be hardened, expanded and enforced.
And there is the vile crime of human trafficking. We are complicit in the endangerment of our children by failing to enact and enforce the most strict and devastating punishments morally possible for these crimes. The penal system to be used to penalize, not forgive and there isn’t much that deserves human forgiveness less than the sexual mistreatment of anyone, particularly children. There is even an effort by elements on the Left to decriminalize and even normalize sex between adults and minors – pre-teen minors! Forget “Hell has a special place” for these animals, we need to create an especially hellish place in South Carolina for them.
Rape. Years in the prison system. No plea, no deals. Prison. Maybe find out what it’s like.
Crimes against children. Rethink “cruel and unusual.”
Parole? Commuted sentences? Not a fan.
This isn’t to suggest draconian rule or unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishments, but rather abandoning over-legislation, attorney lobbies and political correctness. We are all familiar with the image of Lady Justice; blindfolded and holding the scales of justice in her left hand. What we don’t seem to notice is that in her right hand, the hand of assertion, power and logic, is a sword. The sword represents authority and is to convey the idea that justice can be swift and final.
It is far past time for South Carolina to enact more stringent and definitive legislation that makes criminal law and punishment simple, strong and inescapable. As a people – as a state – that sword of justice must be wielded with equal certainty as due process and impartiality.
South Carolina needs that small town’s reputation of “if you do that here, they’ll get you.”