Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Professional Killers and Kidnappers Have Rights, Too

Note: This entire post does not reflect my real views. It is sarcasm; it is my attempt to use the "logic" that has been used to justify some questionable actions.

The world is no stranger to legalized gambling or to legalized abortion. Right here in the Philippines, legalizing jueteng (a numbers "game") is seen as being beneficial in the long run, while legalizing abortion will prevent under-the-table dealings that cause preventable deaths. But, as I said, this isn't new; gamblers and those who undergo or perform abortions have gotten their rights guaranteed in various points in the world. There are those who decry it, yes, saying it is wrong according to some moral or religious codes (or preferences), but they did get their rights. Pinoys will get these rights eventually.

However, practices which have before been much more moral or honorable are continuously denied. The right to vendetta, the right to duel to the death, and the ancient right to the practice of ransom used to be a part of everyday life because they are supposedly "wrong" and "violate" the rights of others to life and property. Yet, gambling and abortion can equally be argued as violating other people's rights of life and property, especially the rights of those who cannot defend themselves; but they will have their rights guaranteed.

Yet professional killers and "kidnappers" are forced to go behind the law, forced to hide or go into exile or even sentenced to death without anybody defending their rights. Oh, they are given excuses, like extreme poverty or insanity; but never really about defending their rights to kill or to hold someone for ransom.

Fraternity members, for instance, have been forced to go into hiding or into exile, never finishing college and never being able to lead normal lives or find jobs, at best, or sentenced to life imprisonment or to death, just because they also have been forced to sneak around and kill their schoolmates in ambush. Whereas in times past they could have honorably challenged them to a duel, in full sight of the public, and regulated by a code to prevent abuse. Thanks to some namby-pamby excuse to "preserve life" (in this case, the life of another frat member who would have done the same thing; life, apparently, only becomes important once you are dead), this is no longer possible.

Not just vendetta, but it also used to be an acceptable policy to assasinate your enemies. That is why we are laden with leaders who are indecisive and who take for granted their obligations in leadership: they never went through the fire... they never had to learn to outwit and outlast their enemies... they never had to learn to live for their people. Assassins are seen as common criminals now—they are shorn of any honor they used to have.

If they legalize killing, don't they (the government and all the "conservatives" out there) see that instead of wanton bloodshed we get discipline and order. Each time there is a "killing" it is ordered, controlled, and people have the chance, the right to defend themselves. Instead of having frat members having to sneak in the shadows and commit "murder" (as they call it), both parties have the opportunity to choose the weapons, choose the battlefield, and choose the way they ought to die. They are given dignity, even in death. The relatives of those who die will stop seeing it as a tragedy but as an honorable way to die, as we all will do, in combat.

Those who assassinate and are assassinated, given a code of conduct, an assassin's code (if you will) shall be more careful about who they kill, that is, only legitimate targets and no innocents (as assassins are frequently forced to resort to because they are forced into the shadows). Our politicians gain respect for other politicians, instead of endlessly filibustering each other in session. The government, of course, regulates all this; or, if they are unwilling, let an impartial body decide. With assassinations so controlled, with those targeted given ample opportunity to defend themselves, such political killings will be brought out of the corruption that they have been embroiled in.

Killing is a way of life, and no religion has any right to deny this. Besides, this does not mean a loss of choice; anyone is perfectly within one's rights if one doesn't want to kill. But to force one's preference (or squeemishness) over killing over everybody else? No one has that right.

How about kidnapping? Or, more accurately, the abduction of persons for the purpose of ransom? This used to be done very often as well, in fact, by honorable knights against other knights. How could such honorable practice have fallen as the practice of knights to the practice of thugs (as they claim). They abduct the Chinese in our country for money, sometimes for exhorbitant sums of money, sometimes much more than the families are willing or able to pay, circumventing the actual worth of the individual. This has come to this situation only because it has been outlawed. As always, if only it can be legalized, the abuses and the frustrated killings of the abductees will be lessened. Killing is fine and good on its own, of course; but they should be given the right to defend themselves, as knights were given the right: if they lost, they are held for ransom.

Too often, "kidnapping" has degenerated to a crime of passion or of revenge, or even of bigotry, when it should have been a part of an honorable profession. If legalized, it means (of course) regulation. Only those families that are capable of paying will be seen as legitimate targets, and each abducted individual will be valued accurately. A college student will, quite obviously, not "cost" as much as the CEO of a company. In the current practice, such ransom demands are shamefully arbitrary. If legalized and regulated, the government stands to make money out of it also. It can be taxed; the country stands to benefit from even a percentage of the sort of amounts that is being exchanged here. Why are a lot of abductions are sloppy, why a lot of law enforcement authorities get injured or killed, why the abductees are injured or killed when both parties could have gotten what they both wanted, and all the rest of us benefitting, too? It will mean more jobs, for those who can be bodyguards, for the teachers and martial artists that will teach the bodyguards, not to mention those involved in training abductors.

Bigotry will also not be tolerated. Currently, only the Chinese and the Americans get abducted... why? Why not those of other nationalities? Why not movie stars? Why not the Cojuangcos? Once it is regulated, only a certain quota of any group will be abducted. The Philippines will be known as enlightened.

The only reason why it is dangerous and dishonorable is because it is not legal. It is done by amateurs and hatemongers, when it can be done by professionals and those who are dispassionate about doing a job. It becomes a game, with no loss of life for those who want life, but an opportunity for an honorable death and acceptance of death for those who can.

Bottom line, legalize organized killing and organized abducting. Only those without the courage and strength of character, only those who do not care about choice will oppose this.

It appalls me the way this has turned out, trying to use the arguments and the justifications of those who think that legalizing jueteng and abortion can ever be a good idea. I had wanted to show the weakness of their argument by parodying their logic in presenting two of the most reprehensible acts as acceptable using their reasons. Instead, as I read through it again, I am shocked at how hard it is to show that killing and kidnapping is wrong and should never be legalized. How? When and if I appeal to the rights of persons, the magic word of "choice" crops up. What if a person chooses to die? What if a person "chooses" to kill? What if "choice" is the only inalienable right that all humans have? In fact, appealing to any moral code will just, in their eyes, weaken my argument. They would say "Well, that's precisely what you would say, you conformist, conservative, backward bigot." The thing is, the basic premises already differ; even if their syllogisms are correct, yet when the premises are not valid but cannot be proven to be invalid, what is to be done?

It is like all those episodes of CSI, where we as the audience are privy to what actually happened, that a criminal is really guilty, and that the Crime Scene Investigators know that the criminal is guilty, but they just have no evidence for that; what does one do? They are constrained from punishing whom the law says are innocent when, in fact, they are guilty. How does one say that things are wrong, then, when you cannot prove that there is something above and greater than us, even if you know that that something exists?