Monday, June 20, 2011

Reactions to Vancouver’s Hockey Vandals

Post 36—

Vancouver, the scene of the final game in the recent NHL Stanley Cup runoff, shocked its own socks off when the post-game mourning celebration deteriorated into a mindless, idiotic and violent riot. It has received enough coverage in the media, both public and social, that I do not need to describe the details of the event. I am interested here in the public reactions and in the process will reveal my own.

Why This Violence?
The last half dozen posts of this blog have been heavy on responsibility and accountability. This one will follow that line as well. But first of all, why the vigilante reaction demanding instantaneous justice? I suppose that is the natural product of the public’s impatient indignation. But it is also due to the very low confidence the public has in and its contempt for the BC and Canadian “justice system,” such as it is, a lack and contempt I totally share.

Proposal: Citizen's Committee
But to prevent further vigilantism and the unconscionable delays that marks the system, I want to propose a middle way outside of the existing system. I want either the Mayor or the Premier to appoint a committee of “ordinary” citizens who are not afflicted, blinded or handicapped by the contorted thinking characteristic of our legal system and who are capable of using common sense in promptly meting out judgement to the perpetrators.

Two-tier Tether
Please refresh your mind of Post 34, where I propose an alternative to prison, namely a serious tethering system. In this situation, I propose that those found guilty by the above committee be sentenced to a two-tier tether system. Two years for those who stupidly followed the leaders and a minimum of five years for the leaders. Now I am restraining myself here. If I simply respond to my anger and indignation, I would demand ten years for the entire bunch, every one of them.

My restraint comes out of Christian compassion and mercy, but that does not exclude justice or taking responsibility for the damage done. I was going to add the element of repayment by having these losers participate in the repairs, but which company or crew would want them around?

Diana Purkis' Public Stocks
I am intrigued by Diana Purkis’ proposal in her letter to the Sun. The culprits should be put in public stocks for a week, during which they could be humiliated by the public pelting rotten eggs and tomatoes, after which they would forced to clean homeless shelters and toilets. I would not insist on the pelting. A week in public stocks, with or without the pelting. Just the sheer humiliation and embarrassment of it would be excruciating. Perhaps we can combine our two proposals.

Offer of Volunteer Service
Mayor, Premier, I volunteer for that committee and so would, I suspect, Diana Purkis. I would not even need to be paid! I make my offer not to ensure vengeance. My heart is big enough to separate the sheep from the goats and I believe I can distinguish between guilt, various degrees of it, and innocence. My offer comes out of mistrust of our “justice system.” They will waste an inordinate amount of time and an even more inordinate amount of money, but come out of the process with little more than a hand slap.

These Poor Boys!
After all, we must understand the pressure and grief these poor dear boys were suffering. They lost a hockey game! In other countries people riot merely because of political oppression, injustice and hunger. Thanks, boys, for showing us what’s real!

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