As I read the paper, Facebook and my E-mail today, I am reminded that the one question there is often not an answer for is, Why?   Over and over when bad things happen, people ask why?  Here is my simple understanding of people and only offered as a partial explanation, not the final and by no means the complete answer.

I think that all of us (or nearly all of us) have had an impulse to perform an event in our lives that just doesn't fit in our nature.  Even the woman that has never held a gun will turn savage if her children are threatened.  In most cases, these impulses are mitigated by the social training we have received over the years.  These stray thoughts can cross your mind and are often not acted upon.  Rules, limitations, boundaries and norms in our society shape us to what we are and what we do.  Normally this is true.

I do not forgive those that perform acts that are against the above reasons and blame it on a fault in their training, upbringing or life.  Blame is what we know about ourselves and to not accept it is foolish.  We know better, it is when we don't do better that the question "Why?" is asked.  Character is not what you do when people are watching.  Character is better described as what you do when no one is watching. 

I am often reminded that in my training, I have always been told to stress that there are limits in behavior.  I describe these as the lower limits that if crossed often causes the behavior to be illegal.  The other things this lower limit crossing can cause is unethical or immoral behavior.  There is not any one of them that is exclusive.  Many cases an unethical lie started the action and illegal acts follow.  Once the reality of the illegal act sets in, immoral acts follow to cover the true facts up or just because.  Simple stated, the person performing the act might not understand how they got to there in their actions but once the line is crossed they forget that often there is mitigation in justice and that further bad actions preclude any hope of forgiveness. 

 OK, thump your bible here if you think that a true believer can and will give forgiveness for every action.   The papers are filled with people of all religions performing bad faith acts all the way and including murder.   Muslims committing bombings and priests molesting children all the way back to the middle ages where the church sponsored crusades.  History is replete with examples of mass murderers in the name of religion or types of government.

Probably one of the hardest things for me to do in life was to engage in the taking of a life of the enemy in war.   We invented all sorts of terms and made up silly sayings to mitigate the fact that war is about the worst thing you can do to another person. We created names for the enemy that somehow made it less than a crime. We didn't kill a person, we wasted gooks, japs or (insert a name here) To completely negate the other person's right to live. In the Military training, you were taught to react not think. War should never be the reason or the solution to any complex situation.  It is the failure of statesmanship that is the cause of war.  It is only when the other person is made to feel that there is no other way that we revert to the binary fact of dead or alive.  I can say this now that I probably will never be tasked to go to war again.

Where this gets confusing is when my "Mad Dog Law" kicks in.  I feel and have always felt that if you do something  that takes the life of another person and it is witnessed by two or more people, or completely supported by the facts (evidence for those crime and reality TV shows) or your admission, you should be just taken out behind the jail and shot like a mad dog. 

Justice is blind and mitigation is conditional.  I often feel so strong about justice that I forget mercy.  This is my cross to bear and I do not want you to ever ask "Why" about my actions.  The last thing I want you to do is to ask about nature and nurture in my case.  You can sum me up by combining, my upbringing, education, training, situation and interaction with people.  It sure was hell won't be simple and answerable to the question Why?  In most cases we do what we do because...


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