The other day I was in the grocery store and this guy came in shouting to everyone that he had the answer. Of course, most of the people in the shop were from the neighborhood and just about everybody already knew how “off” this guy was. I remember playing basketball against him many years ago when he actually had much more sense than he does now. Nowadays people in the area will drive by and see him walking the street talking dramatically to “absolutely no one.” Unfortunately he remembered me and when he came into the store he said, “Jolly, I got the answer for handling terrorism.” Of course, all ears were tuned in to him just out of curiosity alone. His plan? Simple… He said that we should release all the prison inmates doing time for murder and tell them their records will be “wiped clean” if they go into the terrorist territories and risk their lives to kill them. His rationale behind this was based on the fact that the guys in prison already know how to kill and most of them would love a second chance to get out of prison doing what they know best for their country. According to this guy, many of them would “gladly risk their lives” to kill the enemy “legally.” All the guys in the store started laughing at him (because they already knew he was crazy) and they had already pretty much figured his idea would be a crazy one. But was it really? As crazy as it sounds could something like this actually work? As it is now, taxpayer dollars are being paid to house, clothe and feed inmates every day. Prisoners are rotting away in jail cells with absolutely no way to make up for their debts to society. If you asked most of them to go into enemy territory to kill terrorists, most of them would probably “jump at the idea.” Those inmates who know they are going to be in jail for a long while probably don’t think they have much to live for anyway. Under those circumstances, who wouldn’t want to take those chances? After this crazy guy came up with the idea I actually began to ponder if something like this could actually work. From the prisoner aspect it could work out fine for them. They would have nothing to lose. However, I found that the biggest problem would not lay with them, but rather with “us.” The honor and integrity of our soldiers would be greatly imperiled if they had to fight for our country alongside with “known felons.” The felons would not have anywhere near the amount of training that our soldiers would have and it would be disrespectful to give them the same status. The morale of our soldiers would never be the same. Plus how would the inmates even get close to the area where the terrorists are? If our soldiers can’t get close what makes you think the inmates will have a chance? For a moment there I almost thought that this crazy guy might have found his long lost sense, but after thinking this over I realize that he is only just as crazy as he has always been. However, I do believe that inmates should have a way to pay their debts off to society (other than just wasting away in prison). Until an alternative has been found things are sure to remain the way they are. There are probably other reasons why this would not work as well but I just can’t think of them right now. The crazy guy said that he was once in jail himself (that remark surprised no one). I do believe that we should do our best to turn negatives into positives. If there is any way that we can utilize the prisoners debt to society and make it into something positive then I am all for it. Until then, this crazy guy’s ideal will not carry much weight. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Jill Scott in concert with Brett Jolly on bass