When is Vigilante Justice Justified?
Ever heard the saying “never take the law into your own hands” yet is that not the case when vigilante justice is being propped up and approved by governmental and law enforcement agencies? Some may argue that this is just one tool for law enforcement to keep us and our streets safe but to them I ask, safe like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and the multitude of others shot or killed by police that don’t get reported to the media or to the public. Talk about a slippery slope, how much easier is it for those valiant Americans who claim to be guarding the borders but go a little too far in that effort? The only guard that this nation has to ordinary people dispensing justice on their terms was the fact that those who do may face prison time themselves but maybe all that is changing since Hollywood has and is producing more superhero movies which makes us all feel like Captain America.
Take for example the article published by our local WREX-TV which reports that “a program that allows people to call in suspected drunk drivers is being expanded in Boone County. The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists along with Boone County State's Attorney Michelle Courier and Boone County Crime Stoppers announced the DrunkBuster program will be expanded year round. The program encourages drivers with cell phones to report erratic driving. The organization pays $100 to those people whose calls lead to DUI arrests. More than $548,000 has been paid to over 5,489 tipsters. AAIM started the DrunkBuster program in 1990 and is funded entirely through court fines paid by DUI offenders. The year round program beings November 1.” Rockford has a similar program they proudly call CrimeStoppers and I would venture to guess that many other cities has adopted programs like these all over the nation. My only question is did it ever occur to those who supported institution of these programs just how slippery this could become.
Maybe it makes it better or different because groups support them. Groups like MADD, AAIM, NRA and so forth. If we must be forced to remember then so be it, George Zimmerman was a community watch member with the authority and support to report crimes in his area and we all know how that ended. His acquittal of all charges may have lead the gentleman who killed those teenagers for loud music to think that as long as he followed the Zimmerman model he would be acquitted as well. Let’s not even begin to mention the groups who support the killing of abortion doctors or those protesting military funerals, all who claim that they are just doing their civic duty.
This is not to sway you one way or the other, it is simply a thought to maybe get you and those who converse with thinking about how much damage we do to the lives of others while making the excuse that they did this to themselves. I have no problem with reporting crime where you see it or stepping up to help do your part to keep your community safe but at what point are we now supposed to pay law enforcement while paying citizens to do their job at the same time?