Tragedy in Maine

capital punishment

There was tragedy in Maine last week. A shooting, a young man injured, close to death, hospitalized, and his mother killed. The suspect, now in custody, is not talking. There is little known about him and why he did what he did. There is speculation all over the small town of Belfast, Maine as to why it happened. With chatter and gossip people are talking about the hearsay and asking the ever popular question. Why? There are many questions still unanswered.

The neighbors say it was a “party-house” a “haven for drug-dealings”. This information comes from newspaper reports. True or not true, who really knows? The newspaper also said that they have been unsuccessful at contacting the family. Why? Is that something that they say because the family has “no comment”? I find it interesting what the media will report, and what they neglect to leave out from the report. They treat certain stories as if it were a soap-opera. “Be sure and tune in tomorrow so that you can find out what the next little tidbit of information is that the media decides to share with the public”. It’s ridiculous!

Why did this happen in the small eastern town of Belfast, Maine? What causes people to take matters into their own hands and shoot innocent people, with a shot-gun no less? The dictionary says innocent is “free from guilt or sin especially through lack of knowledge”. Did the mother’s lack of knowledge about her son and his association with this man who shot them cause her to die? She was innocent. The son was innocent. They had lack of knowledge knowing this man was going to shoot both of them. A man barges into the house, and points a gun and yells that he’s going to kill everyone in the house! What mother wouldn’t try to protect her son? It was tragic. It’s sad, heartbreaking, and terrible.

How did her son know this man and what was the connection? The shooter was twice the son’s age. It just seems odd. And no one is talking? Why not? We question why? Why do terrible things like this happen? What brings people to that point in their life where they snap and take matters into their own hands?

Maybe the question we should be asking is what do we do about it? How do we prevent things like this from happening again? What is going to be done with the man who fired the shot-gun? Lock him up in a jail cell with three square meals a day, a warm roof over his head, a place to sleep? What if he is sentenced to the same thing he committed? A couple of shotgun blasts to his chest, stomach and arm? That would serve his crime, and the tax payers wouldn’t have to worry about paying for a murderer for the next 25 years. Yes, you read that correctly, if convicted he could get 25 years to life. And that’s a big if. With all the lawyers out there, there will probably be a way to say that he was temporarily insane or some other stupid form of mentality. Maine does not have capital punishment. So he could be out on the street by the time he’s 69 years old, or sooner. Still a lot of life left to live at 69.

The punishment needs to fit the crime. Make him an example. Set the premise for other people. Remember as a child learning that the stove was hot. We kept trying to touch it and our mother said “No, it’s hot,” but we didn’t listen, we kept trying to touch it and finally our mother gave in and we touched the stove and found out how hot it was.  We have to stop playing this game with criminals. Stop giving in and letting them have second chances. The punishment needs to be harsh enough that they won’t do it a second time, and it should be harsh enough to avert others from wanting to do it a first time.

My heart goes out to the family for their loss. It’s a very hard time and no words can take that pain away. It makes it even harder when someone is taken by someone else’s hands. May this tragic event lead to something greater and give a closure of peace when it’s all said and done.

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