Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Pleading for Intolerance in a Liberal City


Thia Michelle

Fear
"Thia? It's Peggy."
"Oh, hey. How are you?"
"Well, not so good..."
"What's wrong?"
"... it's your father..."

I received this phonecall Sunday morning at 10am. My father was in the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head.

In a college town...
Even in neighborhood-friendly Lawrence, Ks there are murders committed, hundreds of aggrivated assaults, and dozens of forceable rapes each year in addition to thousands of petty thefts. Is this surprising to you? It was to me.
[More Stats]

What can we do?
I am becoming more and more an advocate of harsher sentencing. Maybe this won't solve all crime, but at the very least, I think we can stand together as a community as a voice of intolerance against crimes committed with the intent of inflicting bodily harm.

It's humbling to me that I could be fatherless today and the world robbed of such an amazing individual with the flick of a wrist because someone was mad at him.

I think that we have the power to impose some change on this: Last year, one of our local judges, Paula Martin, received an intense ammount of heat for light sentencing (9 months probation) passed on three men who raped at 13 year old girl. Just last month, she passed a 21-year sentence for a local man sleeping with his 13-year-old his babysitter. Quite a positive turnaround.
[Judge Martin's Turnaround]

Sobering Conclusion
My father is so, so very lucky. The bullet intended for his face missed and struck his ear. I am so grateful for the opportunity to hug him again. I think I have a responsibility to do what I can to make this world a safer place for all of us and hopefully help spare someone else this phone call.
[My Father's Story]

What do you think?

-T.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that happened to your dad. Are you sure harsher sentencing is the answer? Aren't our prisons already overcrowded as is?

Best for a speedy recovery,
Barry, MI

teeta said...

You bet we need harsher punishing for violent crimes. We seem to only get it where money is involved. Steal a car and they throw away the key. Molest a child and they suspend the sentance. Shows how little we value the worth of humanity...and how much we value the dollar. Oh how uncivilized we humans are. If the prisons are overcrowded it is because we are so screwed up on what is important. God have mercy on us all...we surley do need it. Thanks to him too, that it was only an ear. You were truley blessed on Sunday. And we are all greatful....love ya

Lauren said...

Thia,

I'm so glad that your dad is ok, I know you have quite a lot on you right now, and this certainly isn't helping. Continue to take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Thia... my daughter, my pride, my reason for being! How proud I am of you and all that you have become. Continue to be who you are and not as I would want you be to be (even tho you are). As for my 'incident'... I was doing what I have been doing since the age of 13, helping others who are in need. The other side of the story is that had I not been there.... not answered the call for help... a mother, her daughter (9) and her grandchild (6 months) would have been in a much more severe position. Remember, I was 'saved and helped' in my life and I now pass that legacy on by doing and being. We, as a community, have the responsibility towards each others, to set the example for what we want it to be. I have for the last 35+ years gone in 'harms way', if need be, in order to set the example. "A community is only as strong as it's weakest link." In this case the mother was asking for assistance to get herself and the children safe... can I turn my back on such a request? This situation is an indictment of our socal/econmic/political system. Harsher sentencing... any one willing to pay the cost of the actions (or believe that the system will fail) will continue to do whatever, whenever. The real answer is not harsher sentencing... but a REAL change in the mentality that now is the standard. We train our youth that it is OK to do the things they do because they have 'rights' that a parent figure cannot violate ( discipline) The Community must become the 'parents' of our youth or the future of the community is in grave trouble. Do not let what happened to me stop others from assisting another who is in a weaker position. If the crimminal elements knows that the community is going to protect itself, the crimminal may rethink the action. There is nothing that will stop someone who is determined to carry out harm to another. We must therefore retrain & rethink. In the mean time... the crimminal justice system now has control of those who sought to do harm to a mother, a 9 year old and an innocent 6 month old. I am lucky... yes! They are also lucky and also alive because a another member of the community stood up and said that actions like this MUST STOP! I love you and never ever want you to receive another call like that call ever! I will continue to look out for you, me and all that I love and cherish. Bottom line, the harshest penalty available should be imposed on those two!. Will that deter others? Most likely not! A change in mental attitude is the only thing that is going to stop the senseless harm we do to each other and that will take teaching, both by mouth and by example!

Anonymous said...

Thia... my daughter, my pride, my reason for being! How proud I am of you and all that you have become. Continue to be who you are and not as I would want you be to be (even tho you are). As for my 'incident'... I was doing what I have been doing since the age of 13, helping others who are in need. The other side of the story is that had I not been there.... not answered the call for help... a mother, her daughter (9) and her grandchild (6 months) would have been in a much more severe position. Remember, I was 'saved and helped' in my life and I now pass that legacy on by doing and being. We, as a community, have the responsibility towards each others, to set the example for what we want it to be. I have for the last 35+ years gone in 'harms way', if need be, in order to set the example. "A community is only as strong as it's weakest link." In this case the mother was asking for assistance to get herself and the children safe... can I turn my back on such a request? This situation is an indictment of our socal/econmic/political system. Harsher sentencing... any one willing to pay the cost of the actions (or believe that the system will fail) will continue to do whatever, whenever. The real answer is not harsher sentencing... but a REAL change in the mentality that now is the standard. We train our youth that it is OK to do the things they do because they have 'rights' that a parent figure cannot violate ( discipline) The Community must become the 'parents' of our youth or the future of the community is in grave trouble. Do not let what happened to me stop others from assisting another who is in a weaker position. If the crimminal elements knows that the community is going to protect itself, the crimminal may rethink the action. There is nothing that will stop someone who is determined to carry out harm to another. We must therefore retrain & rethink. In the mean time... the crimminal justice system now has control of those who sought to do harm to a mother, a 9 year old and an innocent 6 month old. I am lucky... yes! They are also lucky and also alive because a another member of the community stood up and said that actions like this MUST STOP! I love you and never ever want you to receive another call like that call ever! I will continue to look out for you, me and all that I love and cherish. Bottom line, the harshest penalty available should be imposed on those two!. Will that deter others? Most likely not! A change in mental attitude is the only thing that is going to stop the senseless harm we do to each other and that will take teaching, both by mouth and by example!

Thia Michelle said...

Thanks, DadA well thought out argument. So do you see education as a solution, or just setting the personal example of not resorting to solving strifes with a gun within public eyeshot (your allusion to setting an example as a possible solution)?

Well... I still hold that it is necessary for the public to stand together with a unified voice that we will not tolerate this mode of action (inflicting bodily harm against another human being)... ie- enacting harsher sentencing. Without this, how can we send out the message that this behavoir is deviant?

In loving disagreement,
Your daughter...

P.S. I am glad you are making such a remarkable recovery. I love you more than you will ever know.

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