Justice. Is there any concept more noble? Any pursuit that embodies the best parts of our humanity more? Even as our biology asserts that might-makes-right, and when wronged we seethe for vengeance, we hold on to this notion of balance and fairness. We have the courage to protect someone’s right to speak, even when we hate what is said. We have the resolution to fight for the rights of the few against overwhelming hate. And we have the wisdom to say, “Whoa, hold up. Who’s paying for this? Me? Forget it, then.”
And that’s why you just have to stand in awe of Topeka, Kansas’ brave decision to decriminalize domestic violence despite the fact that pretty much everyone – probably including the abusers themselves – will find this monstrous and vile.
Yes, there was a dispute between city and county officials over who had to foot the bill for domestic-dispute cases and then last week someone realized that you could just not prosecute the crime! Ta-da! Problem: solved.
A lot of people are going to say this is loathsome, that it’s indefensible. But crusaders and pioneers have always faced resistance by the status quo. Stand courageous, Topeka. Stand courageous in the warming glow of justice.
As you’re assailed by the fury of those who cling to the old ways, just remember your convictions, and remember the benefits -
- On paper, your domestic dispute statistics are going to drop to, like, nothing.
- Raising awareness of Kansas. If you’re like me, when you think of Kansas, you think of geographical flatness, “Carry On My Wayward Son,” and the worst case of food poisoning you ever got, which turned out to be because of bovine fecal matter in the food which eeewww. Aside from that, I don’t give Kansas a lot of thought; but look at me now! Kansas, Kansas, Kansas!
- This could be a courageous step in fiscal responsibility. Have you ever thought about how much a protracted murder trial costs? Me either! Because it’s never occurred to me to evaluate justice based on cost! But now? Cha-ching!
- With all the money you save, think what you can do. Maybe put a couple of stop signs at pesky suburban intersections? Maybe invest in some “Employees Must Wash Hands” signs because seriously, Kansas? Bovine fecal matter? Bovine fecal matter? Come on!
- It’s important to reflect priorities. In Kansas, a first offense for being found in possession of any amount of marijuana receives a year in jail and a fine. Save space in the overcrowded prison system to put the real monsters away!
- You know who tend not to complain about having their rights taken away? Abused people! And if they’re not complaining, then logically, they must be cool with it!
- The city council just showed those sumbitches over at the county commissioner’s office (or vice versa)that they won’t get pushed around, and I think we can all agree that’s worth any number of cases of spousal abuse.