Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George
As a cop I've spent most of my adult life dealing with offenders and victims and at least anecdotally learned a few things about both. Victims suffer long-term consequences often that prevents them from enjoying their lives to the fullest, whether it is the rape victim who fears physical intimacy or the mugging victim who fears being out in crowds at night. The vast majority of offenders I've dealt with made a conscious choice to offend with full knowledge of its prohibition and consequences.
I recognize that many offenders were themselves victims of abuse, broken homes, fetal alcohol syndrome, poor potty training, poverty, and a myriad of other handicaps in life - but so were many of their victims and a large portion of society at large. Frankly I've come to the admittedly cynical conclusion that those are excuses and not causes. People make choices and then try to find someone else, or something to blame when they have to face the consequences.
Here in the US, we have mala en se and mala ad prohibitum laws. A mala en se law is one that prohibits conduct that our society agrees is intrinsically wrong such as murder or rape. Mala ad prohibitum laws are those we developed to regulate our society and are wrong simply because we have decided they are wrong. Our drug laws are good examples of mala ad prohibitum laws. We don't seem to get too worked up over violations of mala ad prohibitum laws - yeah, our political leaders get wrapped around the societal axle now and again, but generally we don't get too emotional over a particular offender or offense in these cases.
On the other hand, we tend to ascribe terms like "evil" to violations of mala en se laws and we should. The conduct is so horrible and so damaging that we can't tolerate it. The offender's state of mind is the same in each however. He knew his conduct was proscribed, he knew his conduct was wrong, he knew that there were possible consequences and then he CHOSE to do it. Let him make all of the excuses he wishes in mitigation, but please remember that his conduct was a choice and not a matter of predetermination, rather a product of free will.
As men in modern American society we all know that "no means no". As a society we have loudly and repeatedly said "No!" when it comes to sexual relations between adults and children. Those who go over that line anyway are solely responsible for their actions and I have no sympathy for all their psychic aches and pains. I will reserve my sympathy and compassion for their victims. I've seen too much and too many.