Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Who is to blame for Lily Burk's death?

Lily Burk, murdered for daring to trust in the world we live in.

I wrote that over here. But when I read it, I realized there was more to say.

Lily Burk was not just a victim of the world we live in, she was a victim of the society we created.

If you want to know who's fault this is, go to the nearest restroom, and take a hard look in the mirror. If you are 18 years old or over, you are one of the many decision makers in this society, and one of the many responsible for the shape of our society.

If we continue to elect district attorneys who would change a terrible crime to a lesser charge to get a guilty plea, and not have to risk putting a failure on his or her record, we will keep hearing these stories.

If we continue to yell and scream that there are "too many people" in jail, instead of asking why they're in jail, we will keep hearing these stories.

If we continue to allow judges to put violent drug addicts into worthless drug programs instead of jail, we will keep hearing these stories.

If we continue to claim a criminal's actions are due to his upbringing, and not choice he made the second he picked up the gun, knife, or screwdriver, we will keep hearing these stories.

If we continue to subconsciously blame the victim, we will keep hearing these stories.

You realize that right? The reason why Lily Burk's death hits so hard in a city where so many others die every day is because she was perfectly innocent.

When a mugger shoots a man there's a tiny part in the back of your brain that says, "He should have given the mugger what he wanted." When someone is murdered in a home invasion robbery that tiny part says, "They shouldn't have showed off their expensive stuff so much." And yes, even when a woman is brutally raped that tiny part says, "She shouldn't have dressed so sexy/been walking at night/been so unaware."

But these thoughts are not our real feelings. These thoughts are our brains trying to rationalize these horrible acts of evil because we simply can't fathom the mind, heart, or soul that would do such a thing.

Lily was 100% innocent.

That's why we are so taken by this murder. We can't even subconsciously rationalize the events.

But don't worry; there is a way to fix this.

You have to correct your subconscious.

You have to simplify this crime, and others like it.

You have to realize that evil exists in this world.

Pure, unadulterated, remorseless, inexplicable evil.

How it became evil is unimportant. Trying to understand it is pointless. How to prevent it is a question for another time.

What is important is that it exists, and that it is at work in our society.

What is important is that it is irreversibly changing lives.

What is important is that it is murdering our children.

But what is most important is what you will do to stop it.

Read the comments to continue this story.


Fletch said...

I will NOT tolerate any comments about how Lily really was to blame because of "X."

Doing so will get your comment deleted, earn yourself unending scorn, and reveal to everyone except yourself exactly what kind of person you are.

Don't do it.

JP said...

She was trained to be the victim by her parents, and set up for the fall by the failures of the Cali system.
because she was taught to have no fear of the wolf, the sheep gladly walked to slaughter, just trying to be a help.
A great disservice was done to her in that respect.
Just a little common sense teaching would have allowed her to still be the little helper, yet still wary enough this scum would have had a harder time doing this. Not gonna say it would not have happened. One never knows.

How's the saying go?
Be Nice, Polite, Gracious, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

Joe Markowitz said...

Lily Burk was a neighbor of mine who car-pooled with my kids to school. So my family is very personally affected by this tragedy. I can certainly agree with you that Lily was entirely innocent, and the man who killed her was entirely to blame. But what conclusions follow from that? Do you have any idea how many people out there have records similar to the suspect in this killing? He did not have a particularly violent history, and his prior crimes were mostly fairly petty. Many thousands of people have a similar history, both inside and outside of prison. It is very difficult to predict which of them will become violent. We already have the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. And some of the most severe sentences in the world. And that does not keep us safe. We can keep locking more and more people up for longer and longer stretches, but that will still not make us safe. Because we have to let at least some of these criminals out eventually after they have served their time. And if we just lock everybody up who has the potential of becoming violent, what will happen to their children? The next generation of criminals are often the kids growing up with fathers in prison. They expect to follow in their fathers' footsteps. So what you are proposing may be something of a vicious circle. Your answer--that we should not even try to understand evil, and we should not even try to prevent it--does not strike me as any kind of answer at all. Note that I am not proposing letting any criminals off the hook, and I am not blaming the victim. I am merely suggesting that we have to think more carefully about policies that might actually help reduce crime. For example, what we should be thinking about are ways to reduce the recidivism rate of those who are eventually released from prison. There are programs that do this with proven success, but they do not receive adequate funding or attention. Beefing up these kinds of programs is a constructive thing that we can do that could actually reduce crime. Doing that does not blame the victim, and it does not let the criminal off the hook. But it does allow for the possibility that some criminals can become less violent if they are forced to acknowledge their destructive tendencies, and deal with them.

Fletch said...

Joe, my reply is here.

ASM826 said...

Innocence is no defense. Train your daughters and wives not to be innocent, trusting, timid, and defenseless.

They may still lose. As may you or I. But teach them to bare their teeth, draw weapons, and fight.