Today’s Lesson: Government is Force

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 10:59 am by Neal
Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison are victims of “government power gone wild.” The juxtaposition of the kids with the police officer watching from behind is a powerful symbol of the unlimited and arbitrary power of the government to destroy lives. It’s also a poignant reminder to never put your kids in government schools.

A few weeks back we wrote on two, 13-year-old boys facing felony sexual criminal charges — including lifetime “sexual offender” charges — for slapping classmates on the tush. Mark Steyn’s comments at the time pretty much sum up this insanity:

A world that requires handcuffs and judges and district attorneys for what took place that Friday in February is not just a failed education system but an entire society that’s losing any sense of proportion. Without which, civilized life becomes impossible. So we legalize more and more aspects of life and demand that district attorneys prosecute ever more aggressively what were once routine areas of social interaction.

A society that looses the state to criminalize schoolroom horseplay is guilty not only of punishing children as grown-ups but of the infantilization of the entire citizenry.

Yesterday, Michelle Malkin noted that the charges against the kids have been dismissed with this “settlement:”

The News-Register newspaper of McMinnville reported that a “civil compromise” reached by prosecutors and the defense called for both boys to apologize, to pay each of the four girls $250 and to complete a “boundaries education” program.

The boys must complete a “boundaries education” program? Besides the Orwellian title, the point missed is that the only “boundaries” that have been crossed here is the criminalization of school horseplay. Where is the boundary between normal, harmless, juvenile behavior and rabid, overzealous, police power and prosecutorial abuse?

Writing at The Corner, Mark Steyn has this followup:

The guys who need the “boundaries education” program are the District Attorney, Bradley Berry, who originally was intent on getting the Seventh Graders registered for life as sex offenders; the McMinnville Police Officer Marshall Roache, who read the boys their Miranda rights in the principal’s office and led them away to spend five days in juvenile jail; and the Vice-Principal Steve Tillery, who started this whole thing. The only people guilty of “abuse” are the justice, law enforcement and education officials who determined to destroy these kids’ lives and who forced two very ordinary families to spend over $20,000 resisting the “harrassment” of the state. …

To require law enforcement to police every routine area of social interaction is to render civilized life impossible and to make more and more citizens the arbitrary victims of a kind of Totalitarianism Lite.

If this case isn’t an example of government power as irresponsible action, we’d be hard-pressed to find one.

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”
— George Washington

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