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Bad actions don’t pay

Joanne M. Asal, Peoria, Ill.

While vacationing in Keystone, your June 18 column caught my attention regarding judgment of peoples’ actions and remedial punishment needed. There is a great need today to study wisdom based on good judgment and applying laws.

My studies suggest the word “cost” is a start toward the right answers.

There is a price to be paid in one way or another by someone for wrong actions and poor judgment and usually tax payers end up with the bill. These teen-agers, with beer, deliberately caused the authorities extra work at a crisis time of forest fires, and “one of the teen-agers involved in the bonfire confessed to starting the blaze.”

My deep concern is with your statement, “But, will prosecuting this kid solve anything or make others’ think twice before lighting a a match?” You say, “Probably not.” Although not all problems will be solved, prosecution and punishment will do something. History shows punishment works – even though it may be limited. Did their actions cost the taxpayers work by police and add to the fire? Yes. These “kids” need to pay a price for their poor actions (judgment is one thing, wrong actions have to be dealt with). That’s a good way to teach don’t do it again. Yes, assessing penalties on crimes does work and this certainly seems like a crime to me.

Ignorance of the law is not a defense. Otherwise the rest of us citizens will continue to pay the high cost of cleaning up after wrong doers by neglecting to teach good judgment and assessing proper punishment. Punishment is “reality” that everyone can understand (and “theory” is at best academic in most cases).

Too bad so much time is spent on entertainment, sports, etc. and not much on teaching the laws of our land and of the Bible. I believe punishment should include all of the following: jail, fines, community service to appear in prison garb with their parents and tell others what stiff punishment they got to convince others bad actions don’t pay.


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