There has been a disturbing trend on the rise in Brazil as of late. Vigilante vengeance. I understand why this might be happening. The police are unproductive, underpaid and often unqualified for their jobs. So people start to get that the bad guys get away with crimes and there is no real threat – especially when authorities recommend that one should not even fight back. However, as you might imagine, the vigilante model is severely flawed.
It began with people ganging up on thieves and putting them, bound, on public display.
But then, this trend took a turn for the worse. Groups began going after people in a much more violent fashion.
A group in Guaraujá decided to lynch a woman they suspected of performing black magic and kidnapping small children. (This is a link to a very violent video. FYI.)
Turns out, the police found no evidence of her having committed any crimes. In addition, I believe they found out later they attacked the wrong person.
Then, a 13 year-old-girl was stoned to death for stealing another’s boyfriend in Curitiba.
Last I check, boyfriend stealing was not even a real a crime.
A man has his penis cut off by the community for suspicion of raping a 3-year-old girl (in English).
Police determined the girl was not raped.
Then, a manicurist was kidnapped and tortured by a group of people for suspicion of stealing food from a house.
A group hunted down and beat to death a man for allegedly beating his wife – but the group misidentified the culprit and killed his brother instead.
Dexters these guys are not. For awhile, these stories were arriving at an alarming rate. There are many, many other examples. The main problem with vigilante justice is that those involved don’t really have the resources to properly investigate a crime. Nor put the accused through a proper judicial process. (This is why I don’t want anyone coming for the World Cup to get into any bar fights – you may be able to defend yourself one-on-one, but if a crowd decides you are in the wrong… you are going to be in trouble.)
Couple this craziness with my lack of enthusiasm with the education system here and I start to think, especially for my daughter’s sake, that we should make plans to go back to the U.S.
That is… until another demented f*cker unloads bags of bullets into another crowd of unsuspecting students.
What the… f*ck! What is happening in the United States of America that causes the breeding of total psychopaths? Is it the culture or some chemical in all the processed foods that makes us #1 in murderous rampages outside of war zones?
I get the NRA’s overarching theory that we all have the right to protect ourselves. But that only works if EVERYBODY has a gun and knows how to use it – not just the lunatics. Even if we could pull that off, it is difficult to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys in a shoot-out. Unless one was wearing white and the other black like in the wild west movies. But then, it is a matter of self-perception when getting dressed in the morning. This creates a nightmare for law enforcement.
Outside my daughter’s school everyday stand two tall and wide security guards. Often, they are accompanied by someone in a uniform with tall boots – maybe a member of the Brazilian bomb squad? I don’t know. But they are there and I feel totally OK when I drop her off that inside – she is safe from the kind of sh*t that has taken place in the US.
But there are really so few instances, you might offer, compared to the actual number of schools in the States. Yes, perhaps the odds are against it, but I watched a chilling speech from a parent of one of the recent victims, who explained that you never think it is going to happen to your kid – until it does.
How about this. Let’s give some of these unemployed war veterans (those you can pass a mental stability exam – a real one, not the one they give to people who wander in to buy a gun) jobs standing outside schools looking scary. Give them each a gun NRA’ers. That’s OK, as long as we are sure they aren’t going to go into PTSD episode. Hire one to stand on the corners of any well-pollulated public area and in front of movie theaters. Plus, let’s throw around more metal detectors at the entrance of schools and other public places. Those are a couple bills I’d readily get behind and give us my tax dollars for. There is a deterrence. Because like Brazil, most of these criminals never pay for their crimes. Instead, they wind up offing themselves before getting caught (that is, unless you believe in Dante’s Inferno).
Until there is some kind of solution, I think we’ll try and figure out how to get ourselves to Denmark or Switzerland instead.