Accidents don't deserve punishment

9 days ago

(My Eastern New Mexico News column from August 9, 2017- posted in its entirety now that the paper's exclusivity has expired)

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When an innocent person falls victim to a tragic accident, I hurt along with everyone else. Yet I part ways with most others when they start calling for the blood of the person who caused the accident. Or the modern version of calling for blood-- punishment imposed by the government's laws and justice system.

This isn't justice.

Accidents are never crimes. It doesn't matter how much harm was done. It doesn't matter how they make you feel. Accidents lack a key component of a real crime. A crime requires an intent to violate an individual. Concepts such as "negligence" confuse the issue and try to legitimize the hunger to punish, but the reality remains. Without intent to harm there is no crime, no matter what man's made up laws say.

Even if some sort of arbitration is necessary, which may be the case, government shouldn't be involved. Government is not a party to the matter, and is most certainly not the injured individual. Nor is society. Involving government doesn't solve the problem nor wipe the slate clean. Neither does punishing the person responsible.

Does this mean there are no consequences? That someone will "get away with it"? Not at all. There is still loss of reputation and trust.

Plus, if you cause harm, intentional or not, you owe restitution to the person you harmed-- or to their survivors. Some harm you can never pay off. The injured person can forgive your debt, but they aren't obligated to.

I understand the desire to make someone suffer when they have caused you pain. Believe me, I've been there. I also understand the wish to call suffering inflicted in retribution "justice", but it isn't.

Causing pain in order to punish an accident is wrong. It's wrong for you to poke out an eye for an eye blinded in an accident, and hiring someone-- such as a prosecutor-- to do it on your behalf can't magically make it right.

Maybe people grasp these straws because they can think of no other way to feel better when a tragic accident occurs. Does it really help?

I know my words mean nothing to those who are hurting, but I would ask them to consider the harm it does to their soul when they lust for legal revenge against someone who made a horrible mistake. Remember, the shoe could as easily be on the other foot, because even if you lie to yourself saying otherwise, anyone can make mistakes.

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(Footnote: It's sad to me how many people contacted me to express anger based on their belief that I said I wanted people to "get away with it", as if getting government out of the loop meant there would be zero consequences. One even wrote a really nasty email to me, saying that until I lost a daughter to someone's accident, I needed to keep my "stupid opinions" to myself and not write for the newspaper. I stopped her in her tracks.)

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Darwinism

If you clear the presumptions the law cannot cry neglect, and I am proof of that, I ran into the back of a car doing about 70+mph trying to stop from over 150+ and smashed a little car in the rear corner while trying to go in between the stopped cars, but there was nowhere to go. I went in front of the judge and declared that I was traveling, he presumed that I was driving once more and pointed I had no insurance, I contested again and said I was traveling and not participating in any commercial capacity, I don't need a license or insurance to travel. I was released and nothing on my "record", nothing at all. I could have destroyed much more as it was bumper to bumper traffic and by some luck the bike catapulted over it all as I was doing an endo trying to stop, and landed on the inside shoulder/median and I was very much conscious during this whole thing, spinning through the air without a helmet on (my face shield flew off earlier that day on the highway) and came out very unscathed after landing right along the bike, as did the other people in the car, and the car was fine enough to drive away and my bike surprisingly didn't sustain much damage at all, a dented and leaky tank from the handlebars smacking into it and needed the triple tree re-adjusted. I went to jail because I had about an ounce of weed in my pocket and no ID and should have not said anything to the Cop when he was asking for Insurance, as saying I didn't need insurance is presuming that I was (driving cows) operating a motor vehicle and not simply traveling and foremost entered me into controversy, if I would have said nothing they wouldn't even do anything but then I couldn't call the cop reckless and tell him to either pull over and play on his computer or don't play on his computer while driving and I'm in his car.

What you do not know can definitely hurt you, and claiming you are a Citizen, or Civilian, or Resident is simply admitting that the statues and mandates and licenses and all such things apply to you by operating under that title. If you clear those presumptions, you can bet your ass that they have NOTHING to do with you. Case and point when I got stopped the following two times, Driving without a License or Insurance, both times I was let go without a ticket, the last one I made the supervisor look stupid, he was called to Rule more or less, if I was correct or his Officer was correct in detaining me, after rebutting each and every presumption he agreed that they don't own the roads and without knowing what else to do he turned to his peon and said "do whatever you want to do with them", and we went on our way after "speeding" through a school zone because the peon couldn't get my consent and it was obvious when the supervisor couldn't get me to do anything and I contested even the way I was standing and repeatedly demanded them to stop impeding my movement and let me go or detain me and charge me with a crime yet nothing could be done as there was no probable cause and every chance they gave me of rebutting their presumptions I took and set the record straight: I am not operating in any commercial capacity.

The people's car that I smashed into having had insurance didn't need me to pay them again for damages.

http://annavonreitz.com/beingstupidpart11.pdf