Thursday, August 23, 2007

Define "good person"

We all have discussed the Micheal Vick case amongst ourselves. Opinions have been launched. Positions changed with each new news cycle. And, now we come to the point where I can draw a line between this case and the criminals whose aftermath I deal with every day.

Stephon Maubury (spelling?) has been reported as saying that we should understand that dogfighting is a sport not dissimilar to hunting. He also says that Micheal Vick is a "good person" and "just fell into a bad situation."

First of all - dog fighting isn't like hunting (not that I personally do hunt) in that the animals in question are not taken out of their natural environment and forced to fight each other or die. Also, in hunting - yes, animals are killed - but swiftly and with the goal being with as little trauma as possible. In dog fighting - both dogs sustain injuries of varying degrees of seriousness - and medical assistance may be withheld in order to keep from alerting the authorities.

Second - pleading guilty to a felony pretty much negates being a "good person." I understand there are those who would plead "love the sinner, hate the sin." But it doesn't mean you allow Vick to dog sit for you while you're on vacation. The other thing is that this sort of multi-state, sophisticated enterprise means there were a series of deliberate decisions and actions which further negate the whole "good person" label.

Lastly, one does not accidentally "fall into" bankrolling a criminal enterprise like this one. This is not a product of being clueless or peer pressure. He was the bank. The buck stopped and started with him. This was no back yard, one time thing. People traveled far and wide to participate. A house and corporation was created for the sole purpose of criminal activity. This was jumping feet first, eyes open.

And, that is exactly the point to responding to all criminals. They make the deliberate decision to participate in activities they know to be legally or ethically or morally wrong. Minimizing or patting them on the hand and saying "there there, you're still a good person" isn't helping them see the error of their ways or correct it.

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