Having poured through Brian’s article a few times between yesterday and today; read through the comments left below the article, and shared it with friends, colleagues, and clients - it occurs to me that there really is no nice
way to say what I want to say to this ignoramus.
Instead, I will simply attempt to look at the argument he puts forth and at the request of a new fellow, I will leave out the blaringly obvious painful personal facts that have not been dealt with by the author, which most
likely lead to the absurd theory.
The last paragraph was provided by one of these recently sober and clean criminals you wrote about… this individual read your article and through his own anguish of being recently released from prison as well as being recently
clean from drugs and alcohol; he found a place of understanding for you. I thought you should know this because that is not the mind or heart of what you describe in your vicious piece.
At no point does the article deviate from a position of judgment, so finding quotes that are worse than the rest is difficult, hence I have attached the link to his article above for your reference and convenience.
Within the first two paragraphs he manages to build himself a perch with which to sit and look down on human beings in turmoil, struggling with an incurable disease; the lead off is capped by this quote, “…generally led a degenerate, lawless life.”
I understand that in order to feed an addiction of any type or description some of us have broken many laws of both persons and property; in many cases we have hurt other human beings in ways the criminal code could never punish us harsh enough for because our own punishment short of death does not suffice until we clear the wreckage of our past.
For our crimes, the punishment should be fitting with obvious considerations taken as to the “mental state” of the individual while committing those crimes – the“mitigating circumstances” Brian speaks of,
but then identifies as erroneous.
Our justice system takes a different approach when convicting or dealing with other individuals who suffer from mental illness; why should addiction be treated differently (acknowledging that in some progressive courts – The Calgary Drug Treatment Court and others like it across North America, which approach through a combination of treatment, probation and sometimes incarceration; this resembles a more educated approach to treating the
addiction and criminal action)?
Brian goes on to pontificate, if that is what you can call this, “An addict chooses to be an addict. Sure, some of them have had a rough or even tragic life, some not, but escaping into drug addiction is the action of an amoral
Amoral: 1) Outside of the scope of morality; not concerned with or amenable to moral judgments… 2) without moral standards; not caring about good behavior or morals.
Oh Brian, how casually you look at the “problem” and its ‘most plausible root causes’ only to turn into a passionate member of the Nazi party when you propose a ‘well thought out solution’. It hurts my heart hearing this kind of ignorance, but also knowing that as a crown prosecutor you were charged with protecting the sanctity of our justice system, which is supposed to be free of personal bigotry and stereo typical perspectives.
Jury duty is supposed to be? Honestly, it is drivel like this Brian, which makes us lose more
and more trust in the system as a whole.
Brian’s theory if the Nazi’s had won the war, “I suggest isolated work camps, where drug addicts will go cold turkey or are weaned off drugs in a medically supervised way. They will be taught a work ethic, by doing work of a meaningful type, such as farming or manufacturing. They will be required to pass a basic education course, and a technical course to make them employable, before they are released. They will remain in the camp until they
have become drug free, physically and psychologically, and have passed the work and education tests.
I can already hear words like "gulag" and "concentration camp" being hurled about by those who want to help stray animals and broken people. Just remember, though, that stray animals are put into animal shelters. They are
locked into those shelters until they can be released into a new environment…”
The tragic thing Brian, your idea is similar to rehabilitation; difference being, your ice-cold, broken plan is about forcing, demeaning, segregating, degrading, isolating, and killing the very spirit needed for a human being to recover from the disease of addiction.
You guessed right mister Purdy, someone and many others see “Gulag” and “Concentration Camps” in your sick, misguided missive. If it stinks like smoke stacks, vicious chained dogs, and wooden trains; chances are good that is exactly what is approaching over the horizon.
Perhaps you should have mentioned frontal lobotomies, electroshock therapy, and mandatory committals – oh that’s right - it is exactly what you proposed, or maybe even a firing squad? I leave out the other possibilities as a result of your theory because they speak for themselves when “Concentration Camps”are mentioned.
If there are people suffering, struggling, fighting, holding on for dear life; remember that the Brian Purdy’s of the world do not constitute the majority. Unfortunately the majority is usually silent and will take on this
shameful perspective, making it their own.
We do recover, by the grace of God, from this incurable disease and we do it one day at a time with family, friends, complete strangers who are compassionate and caring, and most importantly a fellowship with other men and
women who have recovered from alcoholism and addiction.
And for Brian, one final thought; “There is a principle, which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation. By Herbert Spencer”
God bless and thank you,
David W. Lewry