|Is Crime A Choice Or Compulsion?
By Dr. Don Boys
© 2000 Cornerstone Communications
Crime seems to be the tuition we pay to live in our society. We are told that eight out of every ten Americans will be victims of violent crime at least once before they die! Almost 7 million Americans become victims of murder, robbery, and rape, and about 30 million of us are victims of arson, burglary and larceny-theft each year. My crime bill will slow then stop the juggernaut and give solace, safety and security to frightened, frustrated and furious citizens.
If we are to solve the crime problem we must get back to fundamentals; but most criminologists, psychologists, etc., have their heads in the sand and if not, don't have their heads screwed on straight.
The basic problem with crime prevention is philosophy (or theology) wherein the felon cannot be blamed for his crime because he can't help it! If that is true (and it most emphatically is not true) he should never be punished for his crime.
Psychiatrist Karl Menninger told us that since men are not responsible for their actions, society should not be guilty of the "crime of punishment." Menninger has drunk too long and too deep at the poisoned Freudian well. Freud told us that a person cannot "help himself" because he is driven by unknown forces beyond his control.
Various dark, dangerous and debilitating forces have shaped susceptible individuals, (we are told and are expected to believe) rendering crooks incapable of resisting the impulse to do wrong. If this could be proved then any kind of punishment would always be wrong and unthinkable. What criminologists, psychiatrists, etc., are saying is that if a person desires a leather coat, gold chain, new car, etc., he is compelled to take the object of his desires. He has no control over his actions so he must not be held accountable. Craving is equivalent to compulsion and desire is equivalent to duress. Such thinking is insane.
Well, who or what is responsible for the felon's actions? Former U. S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the quintessence of all bleeding hearts and whiners said it best: "If we are to deal meaningfully with crime, what must be seen is the dehumanizing effect on the individual of slums, racism, ignorance, and violence, of corruption and impotence to fulfill rights, of poverty and unemployment.... of decrepit, dirty, ugly, unsafe, overcrowded housing, of alcoholism and narcotics addiction, of avarice, anxiety, fear, hatred, hopelessness and injustice." Well, he listed everything except the Republican Party.
Poor old Ramsey (who usually appears to be soft hearted when he is really soft headed) is not thinking straight because we have had all those problems in spades in past centuries without the astronomical increase in crime that we are seeing today. Crime is also increasing faster in America and other First World countries than in poorer nations. How do the excuse makers explain that?
Furthermore, many people grew up poor and disadvantaged yet did not go into crime. Why do most people obey the law and respect the rights of others while a small number (compared to the whole population) take guns in hand to get what they want out of life?
Ramsey and his fellow-travelers also neglect to tell us why white collar crime is rising as fast as street crime. White collar criminals live in plush neighborhoods, drive expensive autos, belong to all the right clubs, have excellent working conditions and the best contacts, yet they break the law often perpetrating vicious crimes. Why did they do it?
Could it be that we are not depraved because we were deprived (of money, status, homes, etc.) but we are depraved because of our nature? We are all born wrong (gasp) and it is human nature to do wrong. However, that is no excuse since every person, along with his fallen nature, is also given a will. It is a fact: we can choose to go in any direction the choice is ours. No one is to blame except the person in the mirror.
It is interesting to note that crime went off the charts when we decided that God, the Bible, the home and accompanying values were not important. We made the 10 Commandments the 10 Suggestions, then they became invisible, intrusive, impersonal, then illegal (in schools). And some people wonder why we have so much crime! Men choose not to read and obey Bible truth and they choose to live in crime since it is easier than working for a living. They found that crime does pay. They chose to be felons so they must be held responsible for their crimes.
John and Charles were born to a family in Switzerland. They were trained in the same home and school and went to the same church, but John made an incredible contribution to the world by his preaching and writing while his brother made no positive contributions. The difference was the choices they each made. Such was not only true of John Calvin but with each of us, and we must realize that the exercise of the will results in various consequences. We all must be held accountable for those decisions.
Copyright 1997, Don Boys.