The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Air Marshals -- Saving the skies, two lines at a time.

So I am all into the imperfectability of man concept. Looking at weaknesses, and thinking about how this makes us human. To be a country of laws, necessarily implies that we live with the expectation that good-faith is not enough. Why create a law if you do not believe that someone will transgress. Granted, the majority of people do not break laws, but everyone has the ability to do so. But this also means that we each have a different relationship with the law: there is never a full eqaulity before the law because, necessarily, I as a first offender am not as bad as a fifth offender.

And so when you hear something completely ironic like today's news "Two Air Marshals Accused of Drug Smuggling," you can't help but think: those guys deserve a worse punishment than an average person.

If those sent to protect us are violating the laws, is this worse than if some joe-schmoo was caught doing it, some poor girl from Colombia? It is a real question and a real problem. Yes, everyone is equally vulnerable to this behavior, if we assume that yes we are all human (and there is no sinister gene, or a correlation between being dropped as a baby and pursuing illegal activity). But, to use a more local example, if my RA had to be CAVA'd should she be regarded with the same sort of deference that would be given to me if it were to happen? Isn't she, as an agent of the government, a more egregious crime deserving of a harsher sentence.

I think so. There is a certain responsability that these men had sworn to take, and the fact that they have run around it and put other lives in danger, they should have to pay...worse than a regular joe.


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