May 7, 2007: ‘Victims’ Should Understand That Actions Have Consequences


I am sick of people who get into trouble of their own making and then are portrayed as victims. Take the case of Genarlow Wilson, a former Douglas County student who is doing ten years in prison for having oral sex with an underage girl in a hotel at a wild New Year’s Eve party in 2003, which he and his fellow geniuses had videotaped. This was after having sex earlier with a 17-year-old. Harsh law? Maybe. Bad judgment on Wilson’s part? Absolutely.

Genarlow Wilson would have been a lot better off at a church service that night asking God to lead him not into temptation. If he had, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

The national media and assorted hand-wringers are treating Wilson as the victim. Not me. I happen to agree with Sen. Eric Johnson (R-Savannah), who said, “Life comes with accountability for our decisions. Genarlow Wilson could have selected different friends to hang with. He could have joined millions of law-abiding teens all over the country enjoying New Years’ Eve without alcohol, drugs and sex. He could have left the hotel when ‘the fun’ started. He didn’t. He made a choice. Now his life has changed forever.” Whose fault is that? By the way, the media have done their damnedest to make Sen. Johnson, not Wilson, the bad guy.

Then there is the case of Victor Harris, who as a 19-year-old in 2001 led Coweta County police on a scary nighttime chase over rain-slick roads in his Cadillac at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. Police video clearly shows Harris driving like a maniac. Finally, Deputy Timothy Scott rammed the car. Harris lost control, the car ended up down an embankment and he became a quadriplegic. So what happened? Harris sued, of course, saying Deputy Scott had used “excessive force.”

Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court recently overturned a lower court ruling that Harris could pursue the suit. Justice Antonin Scalia, speaking for the majority, said, “A police officer’s attempt to terminate a dangerous high-speed car chase that threatens the lives of innocent bystanders does not violate the Fourth Amendment, even when it places the fleeing motorist at risk of serious injury or death.” Hear! Hear!

The latest “victim” is Rachel Boim, who was suspended from school after teachers confiscated a very disturbing story she had written about blowing away a math teacher in October 2003, when Boim was a ninth-grader at Roswell High School in Fulton County.

Her tale ends this way, “Yes, my math teacher,” wrote Boim. “I lothe [sic] him with every bone in my body. I stand up and pull the gun from my pocket. BANG the force blows him back and everyone in the class sits there in shock.” Her disturbing comments earned her a suspension, as well it should have. How could we know she was kidding?

Instead of paddling her bottom and reminding her that we are all a little raw over school shootings these days, Rachel Boim’s parents sued, claiming her rights of free expression had been violated. Respected U.S. Senior District Court Judge Marvin Shoob rejected their claims last August, saying, “Rachel’s story alone, when read in light of the recent history of school shootings, was sufficient to lead school officials reasonably to forecast substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities, specifically, that Rachel might attempt to shoot her math teacher.” Her parents’ reaction? They have now taken their case to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

I’ve got lots of other examples, but you get the point. We seem to be raising a generation that doesn’t understand that actions have consequences. The philosophy seems to be: If it feels good, do it. If you get caught, there will always be a lawyer available to try and shift the blame to somebody else.

Responsible behavior isn’t brain surgery. We all have a pretty good idea of what is right and what is wrong. The problem is we don’t always exercise the good sense God gave us. When we don’t, we should be prepared to pay the price. What’s wrong with that? Case closed.