Everybody can agree that murder is a terrible thing. It is a horrible, sick crime. Perhaps you’ve known someone who has been murdered, the thought of it burns you up with rage, and you’re tempted to exact revenge on whichever sick perpetrator was responsible. You might have gotten the impression that this is a rare occurrence, something done by only a tiny fraction of society’s worst elements. Not so; this is because murder is actually a culture; just like the arson culture and vehicular manslaughter culture you’ve surely heard about in the media lately. I have a modest proposal that will do something about this problem once and for all. That is to say, we should remove due process protection for this terrible crime. With a return to lynch law, we can make our streets safe once again.
Nowhere else is the crime of murder so prevalent than on American college campuses. It surely does happen. Occasionally you may have seen a news article about a student who was killed, complete with details of the autopsy findings, highlights of the court case, and perhaps a picture of the mourners surrounding the coffin. The thought of it has made you sick, perhaps even a bit ashamed to be part of the human species. The truly shocking fact is that 25% of college students get murdered. We know this because Ms. Pinocchio, a leading researcher, said so in an article somewhere a long time ago. This may be confusing to you; perhaps you went to college and nobody you know there got murdered, and you have a hard time believing that one quarter of your graduating class has been wiped out, but the fact is that campus murder is an epidemic. Actually, it’s far more dangerous to be a college student than it is to be in the roughest prisons. The only difference between murders in prison and murders elsewhere is that jokes about convicts sticking shanks into each other are funny. These jokes get a lot less funny if one of your relatives did something dumb and got locked up, but that’s a different story.
What can be done to stop murder culture? Ms. Pinocchio has a unique take on it: “Teach people not to murder.” This is a brilliant idea. The fact that murder is illegal in every country of the world – and will get you very serious prison time – apparently has escaped some people’s notice. Likewise the fact is lost on some that this crime is condemned by every decent religion in existence, and that murderers are considered pariahs. So if you have children, make sure to clue them in about the fact that they can’t go around killing people whenever they feel like it.
You’ll be happy to know that President Nyarlathotep has already taken the measures I’ve proposed to reduce the instances of murder on campus. The Lightworker has ordered that colleges remove due process protection for this crime; any institution of higher education that doesn’t comply will lose their federal funding. Better yet, the definition of murder on campus has changed as well. No longer does this mean that someone ends up at a morgue with a toe tag. Aggravated assault, simple assault, and mopery – they’re all murder now. It’s hardly a surprise that young students sometimes get drunk and rowdy. Suppose you drink nine beers at a party, walk up to the biggest guy you can find, and challenge him to a fight. If he shoves you, then you’ve been murdered! When this happens, you can go to the campus authorities, and he’ll face a tribunal. The Star Chamber won’t have to bother with all that pesky due process stuff – presumption of innocence, trial by a jury of your peers, reasonable doubt, speedy trials, being able to face accusers in court, or any other of that bullshit made up by those dead White males who signed the Magna Carta or those other dead White males we call the Founding Fathers. If the tribunal doesn’t believe the accused, then he’ll be lynched on the spot. Best of all, you can become an instant celebrity by carrying a boxing glove around wherever you go if you claim you lost a fight.
Perhaps you’re confused. What happens if, for example, you’re drunk at a party on campus, someone else is drunk, and both of you choose to get in a shoving match with each other. Who’s guilty? These days, after you slay each other, it will get adjudicated by the campus Star Chamber, and whoever is deemed more privileged in society – according to Ms. Pinocchio’s standards – will get strung up under a tree and kick the wind. This is true even if the more privileged one was very drunk and the less privileged one only had one beer and shoved first. It’s not clear what the procedure is in cases where both are deemed to be underprivileged, but probably nothing will happen.
In years gone by, when drunken students challenged each other to a fistfight, most of the time people just laughed it off the next day. It’s not like anybody actually got killed, right? You’d joke with your friends about beer making you underestimate your opponent’s size, and the other guy would say ,”It just happened, and I had a good time kicking ass.” But the fact that you both agreed to spar with each other should make no difference. Being drunk removes all responsibility from the other person, so long as that person is officially underprivileged. The few critics who dare question this new standard will point out that you can’t claim diminished capacity as a defense for DWI. Legal scholars are still scratching their heads trying to figure out how you can be responsible for your actions if you’re driving drunk, but not if you’re fighting drunk, or for that matter how one’s deemed privilege in society makes any difference to objective facts. Fortunately, nobody says much about this, and the few dissenters have been dismissed as “murder apologists” or even “murder advocates”.
Campus pugilism does still happen, of course; surely nobody’s trying to discourage that. (Occasionally Ms. Pinocchio has said that all roughhousing is murder, even when it’s consensual, but surely she didn’t mean what she said she meant.) Already you are very well aware that you can’t lay hands on people without permission. If you challenge someone but that person doesn’t feel like fighting, of course you find someone else. Also, you know that in a boxing match, if your opponent throws in the towel, the fight ends. Sometimes inexperienced boxers get a case of “last minute chickening out”; you understand all that. However, that’s not enough any more. There is a new change to the rules for boxing matches. After challenging each other and entering the ring, for every blow, each opponent has to ask “May I hit you?” and receive a clear “Yes” before throwing the next punch, all the way to the final knockout. So long as everyone observes this, that’s sports, not murder. It’s highly recommended, though, to have a video camera recording the bout to make sure that nobody is cheating. After all, you wouldn’t want to get lynched for failing to ask “May I hit you?” before you threw a left hook in the boxing ring. Although that can save you from a false accusation of murder, there will be no penalties for the person who just tried to get you lynched; tough shit, buddy.
Following President Nyarlathotep’s bold lead, California has already adopted some of these new rules into law. Other jurisdictions are starting to take this initiative too. Still, that’s not enough. When we get past the notion that murder actually has to involve a dead body, we’ll be a lot safer. When we can do away with all that pesky due process stuff in criminal courts, then there will be justice. When that time comes, no more will prosecutors have to follow technicalities meticulously in capital cases; they’ll just be able to string you up for an allegation of pushing someone. After that goal of social justice is complete, we can then start working on the next most terrible problem facing society: strangers trying to talk to each other on the street. Always remember, security is more important than liberty.
Hopefully everyone is getting the allegory. Lest anyone try to twist my words, this is intended as satire, which should be obvious. Actually, I hate writing about this loathsome subject, but someone’s got to say it. Committing violent crimes is a horrible thing that nobody should do. Falsely accusing someone of the same is a horrible thing too. I will conclude with lines 3 and 4 of the Law Code of Hammurabi: “If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death. If he satisfy the elders to impose a fine of grain or money, he shall receive the fine that the action produces.” The Babylonians got it right about that.