Have you noticed that some people can’t walk out the door in the morning without believing they’re victims of the system? They see a tormentor behind every tree and another up in the branches.
When they get into trouble, they immediately deny any involvement or any knowledge of involvement.
Just once, I’d love to see someone – a star athlete, an actor, a politician – look the camera in the eye and say, “You know, the truth is, I did it. I shouldn’t have, and I hurt a lot of people, but I did. No, I don’t want a lawyer. Let’s find a judge and get it all over.”
I’ve tried for years not to have to face those cameras. It’s worked as a whole; the worst they have nailed me for is two traffic tickets.
The first time, I was in high school and was perfectly innocent; I fought the law – the ticket, anyway – and the law won. I paid the $15. Today, I realize the new man on the force was trying too hard, but it taught me a life lesson anyway.
The second time, I was driving a new car after 10 years in a barely mobile automobile. I was indeed speeding, but only from the amazement of having a car that would do so. I paid the fine and slowed down.
Life. Lessons. See, it’s not so hard.
Despite my personal record, I’ve been around police stations and courts long enough to realize that if we get charged, we’re probably guilty. I’ve seen more guilty people acquitted than innocent people convicted. (Jurors miss a lot when they are sent out during courtroom disputes.)
We blame police officers who carry out the laws they didn’t write or enact. Why don’t they go after the real criminals, we ask, and leave us law-abiding citizens alone? They’re depriving us of our constitutional rights, and anyway, they don’t use their turn signals when they’re rushing to a shooting.
And just look at all the charges on the books lurking to ensnare us. The very preponderance of laws makes it impossible to lead a straight life. The system allows for any size cat to be skinned without effort.
For example, did I kill someone? Here are just some of the offenses I might face: Malice murder. Felony murder. Manslaughter. Homicide. Causing the death of another. You know, sometimes it’s just simpler not to kill.
There doesn’t have to be a body for us to get into trouble, either. The charge of resisting arrest, for instance, is a spider’s web from which there is no escape:
“Hey, you! You’re under arrest.”
“How am I resisting arrest?”
“By giving me a hard time about being arrested.”
Law and order works most of the time. When we feel like victims, we forget that when officers are not on the beat, they are filling out endless reports or wasting a day in a witness room, waiting to testify in one of a hundred cases.
They don’t have time to persecute me.