Prevention, Punishment, and Passing the Buck

Earlier this week, a 19-year-old man reportedly shot and killed a 38-year-old woman, a 24-year-old TV news reporter, and a 9-year-old girl.  He also wounded two others, including the girl’s mother.

Not surprisingly, the accused (Keith Melvin Moses) was not a first-time offender.  On the contrary, he has a long rap sheet that includes aggravated battery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, and grand larceny.  So why, you might ask, was he free to roam the streets of Orlando?

Because of two system failures, that’s why.

The first failure was his upbringing.  I don’t know anything about Keith’s family, but I am willing to guess that he didn’t have a nurturing father – or any other positive male role model – in his young life.  As a result, somewhere along the line Keith was taught that people are dispensable, and that life is neither valuable nor precious.  He also learned, compliments of our public schools and the court system, that negative actions and violent behavior don’t always result in serious consequences.  Otherwise, he would have been locked behind bars for the public’s protection. 

That was the second failure.

A criminal justice system that allows repeat violent offenders to be set free on bail… and then slapped on the wrist with probation or a ridiculously light sentence… is broken.  So is a school system that not only accepts, but also defends unacceptable student behavior for fear of litigation.  And so, teachers are hung out to dry with little or no administrative support as they try to maintain discipline and order in the classroom.

There is certainly enough blame to go around, but ultimately, the buck stops with the perpetrator.  He is an adult and as such, had the ability to rise above the deficiencies in both his upbringing and his education. Tragically, he chose to act out instead of man up… and as a result, three innocent people will never get to fulfill their life’s potential.

Wreaking havoc and creating carnage isn’t courageous, it’s cowardly; and cowards must be dealt with harshly to prevent others from following in their sad and sorry footsteps.   

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Dale Glading is an ordained minister and former N.J. Republican candidate for Congress.

Dale Glading
About Dale Glading 104 Articles
Dale Glading is an ordained minister and former N.J. Republican candidate for Congress.