Thursday, June 22, 2006

It's the responsibility stupid!

Yet again we are subjected to reading about a highly preventable tragedy (NZ Herald: Drink-driver who hit teen jailed) if only our society could realise that a persons responsibilities take far more precedence than their "rights".

Now we have a teen who was hospitalised for 7 weeks, is lucky to be alive, must now live with a dental plate and has a torn liver.  All because our society / legal system supports the rights of the driver above their responsibilities.
Ostensibly we have it reported that a 3 year sentence handed to this driver sends a hard message about drink-driving - it does nothing of the sort.  If this was the drivers first offence, maybe.  But this driver was not only drunk, he was banned from driving.  To me that makes the severity as high (if not higher) than attempted murder.  This driver was intentionally using a deadly weapon for which he had no licence, and nearly killed someone.  The intent, and means were there - he should have to face the real consequences of his actions.

But furthermore it should never have got that far anyway.  That it took 4 drink driving offences before this mans licence was revoked is stupid beyond belief. Depending on severity maybe give a warning the first time, if you are very liberally minded maybe 2 warnings.  3rd time for that type of offence it should be gone.
But then the worst was to follow.  He was charged 4 times (yes, another 4) with breaching that ban - at least one of those with another drink driving offence.  Personally driving without a licence (especially if it has been revoked / disqualified) by itself is tantamount to using a deadly weapon without a license.  This is no different to going into a public area pointing over the heads of a crowd and discharging it.  Drink driving without a license is tantamount to attempted murder even if they didn't hit anyone.

And what is most sad is the number of cases exactly like this that we see every week - where someone is seriously injured or killed by a disqualified driver who has previously been caught driving while disqualified.  The use of deadly things like cars is a privilege, not a right, and breaching your responsibilities around that right needs to be taken very seriously;  if people cannot handle their responsibilities we need to start removing rights - and apparently we need to remove more rights than the responsibilities gave.  Then people might start understanding consequences.

Given that a disqualified driver is very likely to be impacting on your own right to live, what do you see as appropriate rights removal from them?


amillionpieces said...

Hey there, I couldn't agree more. It's really bad here too, due to the European Bill of Human Rights, criminals get nowhere near what they deserve, even ones who hurt or abuse children, with rights comes responsibility and if you can't handle the responsibility then you should in fairness lose these percieved rights. Esspecially in a situation like that where guilt is clear.

Anyway, who invented Human Rights? shouldn't our governments instead have concentrated on getting every human on earths basic rights to live and eat in place before they got so fussy about the rest.

Sorry, I am rambling. Good post.

iiq374 said...

Given the rambling in my posts I can hardly mind if my visitors do ;-)

It is an increasing issue that we are teaching our children about their rights divorced of the concept of responsibilities. I see this as being one of the rot causes of many areas of degradation in societal conduct.

Until we connect the two both in teaching and in causality we will continue to see issues like this escalating.