Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Social justice

I was watching one of the network morning pablum shows this morning, and saw a story about a white college kid from a privileged background who robbed a bank to pay debts related to his gambling addiction. [Story here]

It was a real feelgood time. They interviewed the kid, he was going on about how he'd become consumed by gambling but realized he'd done a bad thing and should be punished. But not too badly, because he could do a lot of good educating people about gambling addiction. Everyone from the show's anchor to the janitor in the courthouse seemed to think it was just a sad story, how this poor kid fell victim to the overwhelming power of his apparently sympathetic addiction.

I wanted to punch everyone responsible for the piece right in the face, because there are tens of thousands of addicts doing heavy sentences for mere possession, not to mention the time they got for any ancillary crimes committed to feed the addiction. But we get to hear the tragedy of the poor privileged white boy who got hooked on video poker, and wonder where it all went wrong.