The video posted here reminded me of something important.
This lept out at me like a cat with firecrackers exploding at its feet;
“The question is…how do we prevent people from committing crimes in the first place.”
No it isn’t. NO IT ISN’T!
The question IS; how do we protect liberty and dispense justice equally and reliably? The concept of crime prevention doesn’t even belong in the conversation, that is, if we’re talking about legislation, which we are.
How many people understand this? It’s there in that pledge, thingy; “…with liberty and justice for all.” Note the absence of any mention of crime prevention in the Pledge. You don’t find it in the declaration of Independence either, unless by “crime” we mean government overreach (in THAT case it’s in there, and I’m all ears if we’re having a conversation about preventing government overreach).
You can in theory have liberty and justice, OR you can have “crime prevention” legislation, but they cannot exist simultaneously. They’re mutually exclusive. The former defines a free state and the latter a police state.
The term “liberty and justice for all” takes crime as a given, a fact of life (if there’s no crime, there’s no need for a justice system). It’s an acknowledgement of the obvious – that people can do bad things. Because people can do bad things, we need our liberty protected and we demand justice. The term enshrines our right to self defense, free speech and all the rest, and promises a system of correct, organized, consistent and predictable retaliation (justice) for criminal acts.
I don’t think this is widely understood anymore. It certainly isn’t taught, and yet it is at the core of American Principle. Liberty and justice are two sides of the same coin. Crime prevention legislation is an entirely different coin, of a currency we want nothing to do with. I could say this a thousand different ways, but who gets it?
No, Little Grasshopper; crime prevention is the excuse of every police state. Having your rights respected and protected and having a proper justice system is the best condition of government you could ever ask. The prevention part is a combination of individual self defense and moral leadership, and neither of those are government business. That’s your job as a citizen. Crime prevention is your job. If it could be done with government force, (and all the worst places you can think of) would be crime free.