I’d like to relate the story of an unfortunate encounter I had yesterday afternoon while I was taking a walk around my neighborhood. Before I do, I need to fill you in on the details of a far more unfortunate story. Shortly after 2:30 on Friday morning, a 70 year old man named Barry Mason drove his Lincoln Continental into 19 year old Jamil Burton, throwing Burton from his bicycle. Mason got out of his car and shot Burton 5 or 6 times in the head and chest. Why did he do this? Mason claims it was because Mr. Burton ripped a necklace from Mason’s neck. The shooting occurred in Kahn Park, which sits on the Northwest corner of the intersection of Pine and 11th streets, about half a block from my home. Here’s a picture of the stuffed animal memorial which was left at the spot of the shooting.

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Now on to my story. Yesterday afternoon I was taking a stroll around the neighborhood and stopped by the park to have a look at the memorial. As I approached I noticed a well dressed older man with bright white hair and beard, leaning on his cane while attempting to write something on the white piece of paper you see in the foreground of the picture. I attempted to have a look at what he was writing, assuming it was some expression of sympathy for the dead man. He quickly straightened up, gave me a wide smile and said “this was the last time that ingrate will ever rob somebody.” He was not there to express sympathy, but rather to rejoice in an execution. He mocked the teddy bears for a moment and ambled off with a bright smile on his face.

Now I’m not given to confronting people on the street, but I was a bit stunned by this bloodthirsty old man and felt like asking him a few questions. I began walking with him and peppering him with questions. I asked him if he felt that public execution was the proper punishment for petty crime. He said that it was. I asked him if he was happy the man was dead. He said he was overjoyed. He referred to the murderer as the victim. As we made our way down Pine street, he began to sense that I was not his friend and began to talk about his own gun and how much he’d like to use it one day. A curious turn in the discussion, to be sure. I asked if he thought that I should be shot for holding the view that people shouldn’t be executed in the street. He declined to answer. I asked if he felt I should be killed for holding him in utter contempt. He again declined to answer. He instead asked me what charities I contribute to. When I answered that my charitable contributions didn’t seem to be relevant to the discussion, he laughed and called me pathetic and a hypocrite. I asked him to elaborate, but he could not or would not. He wrongly assumed this would shut me up. I asked him again if it was appropriate to run down somebody riding a bike on the sidewalk and shoot him 5 times in the head. Getting more defensive, he told me that wasn’t the story at all and that my head is full of lies. I asked if there is any crime which doesn’t warrant public execution, and I asked what it was like to be full of blood lust and depravity. No more answers. We’d made it a few blocks and he refused to speak to me any longer. An odd encounter, to be sure. He probably feels the same way.

There is something very peculiar in the air and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I keep coming across this sort of thing, but I’m not bright enough to pull it together into a coherent observation. It’s easiest to find on the internet, but apparently you can find it wandering around on the street. Take, for instance, some of the comments left on a recent Philadelphia Daily News story about prison overcrowding. There are over 12 pages of comments and they’re filled with calls for public execution and pysical brutality. Here’s a particularly awful one.

That is it!!! I have had it with these morons who believe that prisoners should be entitled to decent conditions. PRISONERS ARE THE SCUM OF THE EARTH!!!! I DO NOT CARE WHAT THEY ARE INCARCERATED FOR!!!!! THEY ARE THERE FOR A CLEAR REASON, YOU IDIOTS!!!! And to top it off, this degenerate professor at Penn suing the city for “prisoner mistreatment”. Just wait until he’s a victim of crime. I’ll bet while he’s in some hospital ER getting fixed up, he’ll be more worried about the scumbag who attacked him and whether they’ll have a nice cot to sleep on.

Here’s the solution to prison overcrowding: Get rid of all prisons. Instead, put two in the head of ALL the criminals. No long sentences, no appeals; straight to execution. I don’t care what color, race, religion or creed the loser is. Plain and simple: commit a violent crime/hurt someone, you gotta go. BANG!! I guarantee you that would be the greatest crime deterrent known to man. Plus, it eases the burden of us taxpayers. I would personally sign up to be an executioner. I can’t think of a better way to help serve my community.

He doesn’t just want them dead, he wants to be the one who kills them. I expect to see that sort of thing posted on The Free Republic or in Jeff Goldstein’s comment section, but this stuff is bubbling up on a mainstream newspaper’s web page. We have a sizable segment of society that feels execution or torture is always justified and they aren’t illiterate street thugs or gang members. Instead, they’re members of respectable society. We have a government that routinely breaks the law, violates constitutional rights and engages in torture and we have a sizable portion of society begging for more of the same. So what is going on here? Is this just a normal dynamic that I’m just now waking up to? I’m at a total loss. Any thoughts?

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