We unfortunately live in a world in which people often face no consequences for their immoral or criminal actions. Victor Davis Hanson reminds us of “The Price of Eliminating Consequences.”
One example is shoplifting. Criminals have learned that some district attorneys will not prosecute them unless they steal significant amounts of goods. He talks about some remarkable online videos of a Good Samaritan confronting shoplifters and forcing them to drop their loads of pilfered goods. What you see is the anger and outrage from the thieves. They believed they deserved everything they stole from the store.
This attitude surfaces in many other ways: smash-and-grab theft, carjacking, fighting on buses and airlines, and even shoot-outs in the street. Those are just a few of the many social ills that are increasing significantly because the perpetrators have an assurance that there will be no consequences.
In my booklet, A Biblical View on Criminal Justice, I talk about what is called the “broken windows” theory of policing. If broken windows in a building are not repaired, more will be broken. And eventually more vandalism will occur.
Victor Davis Hanson mentions this in his commentary because this concept was used effectively in the 1990s and 2000s. Failure to punish even minor infractions can soon lead to escalation to more violent crimes. When we turn a blind eye to homeless people relieving themselves in public and injecting themselves in the street, we get more problems associated with homelessness.
We are paying a price for eliminating consequences of bad behavior. If we continue down this road, we will have more immoral and illegal behavior and end up with a wild, decadent society.