Also in today’s Technician, a letter to …

Also in today’s Technician, a letter to the editor in response to a column from Friday titled “Don’t Take Society For Granted” about a gang rape of a high school girl by a bunch of high school thugs, with other high schoolers looking on without objection. Read the column: it’s a little all over the place on the whole gang rape thing (is society supposed to fix this or what?), but the piece jumps the shark when the author, with a straight face, says

But rights are worthless unless there is a capable government of some sort to enforce them.

Uhhh, about that. Thus, my letter.

White’s reasoning aides rapists
Zakk White’s column “Don’t take society for granted” completely missed the points of rights and society.
First, we have a society that brutally punishes sex crimes. While murderers can serve their time and get released, sexual criminals are on the hook for life. As a society, we’ve decided that this is the most reprehensible thing one person can do to another. We employ vast police forces to ensure this law. Society as a whole is doing every thing it can to stop these acts. What more should society be doing?
What isn’t happening is individuals doing everything they can to stop these acts. The fact that no bystander stopped the criminals illustrates the lack of individual defense of liberty that is encouraged by things like what White wrote. It wasn’t society’s job to stop that gang-rape. It was the job of every good person in the crowd.
Second, rights aren’t something guaranteed by a government. The Bill of Rights doesn’t grant us the rights it contains; it prohibits the government from encroaching on them. We have always had them.
All that is necessary for you to exercise a right (speech, sexual orientation, bearing arms, security in ones papers and possessions) is for you to be left alone. Governments rarely do that.

“White’s reasoning aides rapists”? Not exactly the title I would write (I submitted it with the title “Less Society, More Individualism”), for one because it takes my point in a different direction and two because “aides” is not a transitive verb. His reasoning might “aid” them.

For the record, I actually tried to apply to The Technician as a copy editor last year, and my emails elicited perfunctory form responses that seemed utterly uninterested in actually having my services.

Thats really two bad.