Letters to the Editor

Thursday, Jan 17 2013 11:00 PM

Punishing victims a bad idea

By The Bakersfield Californian

A local teacher, James Maddox, voiced his opinion in a Jan. 17 Community Voices article, "Second Amendment rights come with unappreciated duty." His opinion is that gun owners should be punished ("fined steeply") if their firearms are stolen from their homes and they didn't take measures to lock their guns away inside their already secured homes.

Why should any law-abiding citizen be punished for being a victim? Following his logic, victims of residential burglaries should be fined if they don't have alarm systems. Victims of car burglaries should be fined if they left valuables in plain view, tempting the suspect to break into the car. Victims of rape would have to prove to the investigating officer that they weren't wearing seductive clothing, lest they be fined for doing so.

These, of course, are horrible, outrageous ideas because you shouldn't punish the victim of a crime. What Maddox is proposing is indeed outrageous. You don't punish victims, you punish the perpetrator (unless you live in California, which is another letter).

Deron Miller

Bakersfield

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