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Double Standard on Paterno and Holder?

Town Hall has an article which speaks about the double standard of Joe Paterno being fired with Eric Holder holding onto their jobs, even though they would appear to be similarly situated, in terms of their roles in their respective scandals. I can accept the logic here, and I agree that Holder ought to be fired or step down.

But I suspect the answer is that our society is just a lot more outraged over child rape than they are about gun smuggling. To be honest, I’m fine with that being the case, and I think it’s a good indication society as a whole largely has their priorities straight. I am reluctant to compare the two as roughly equivalent criminals acts. What Paterno covered up was far more heinous than what Holder covered up, even if I think they both deserve the same ultimate treatment.

10 Responses to “Double Standard on Paterno and Holder?”

  1. David says:

    I don’t know. Sending 2000+ guns to drug cartels who are killing 30,000+ people a year. I think what holder did is far far far worse. Those cartel guns will keep killing for years thanks to Holder and the ATF.

    • Sebastian says:

      I think the thing that makes it a bit distinct is the fact that the person pulling the trigger bears the vast majority of the responsibility for the murder, far and above the person who put the gun in the criminal’s hand. We still make gun trafficking a pretty serious crime, and I think it should be, but I think people properly view it as not quite as heinous as child rape.

      • David says:

        I think if you went and asked some of the cities, towns, and families in Mexico who have been terrorized by ATF armed cartels, they would tell you a different story. While the individual pulling the trigger bears the responsibility, anyone putting guns in the hands of those known to kills, behead, and kidnap has to own some responsibility in those deaths.

        We’re comparing 8 molested kids (still horrible) to 30,000+ dead in Mexico.

  2. Alwin says:

    They’re only equivalent in that neither would result in an execution, since apparently being in our government means you can commit treason (get many U.S. citizens killed, intentionally “breaking a few eggs”, as they called it) with impunity. Enabling countless murders in excess of 200 trumps enabling a quantifiably small number of child rapes. Just look at the average sentencing guidelines for premeditated murder and rape.

    You never, EVER, give (or force someone to give) a criminal a real gun, unless you have a bit of C4 and a 99.9% reliable remote detonator in it (with the other 0.1% covered by a sniper), that you trigger as soon as they are at a safe distance. I don’t care if there’s a 99.9% reliable tracking device inserted. You just gave a killer a gun, and they can start killing immediately.

    • Alwin says:

      Tried to edit this in but was denied.

      On the largest possible scale…
      Scenario 1:
      North Korea nukes the entirety of South Korea many times over. Everyone is vaporized, including some North Koreans near the DMZ. Many in North Korea and neighboring countries die from acute radiation poisoning and cancer in the years hence.
      Scenario 2:
      North Korea invades South Korea without bloodshed (possibly by flying nuke bombers over large population centers and threatening to drop, or detonate if they are shot at). The North Korean army rapes every child in South Korea, then goes back to North Korea and the bombers are recalled.

      Which is worse?

  3. Sebastian says:

    It’s difficult to do direct comparisons, because we don’t regulate many other consumer products the way we regulate guns. But I think it’s safe to say that society looking upon child rape not all that differently than it looks on murder. It might be arguable that many instinctively find child rape more revolting than murder.

    But either way, we can try a hypothetical. Suppose was regulated Viagra in such a way as to be unlawful to sell to someone who was either a convicted child molester or who the seller had reasonable cause to believe would use it for the purposes of molestation.

    If Holder had been responsible for an operation facilitating a lot of Viagra to end up in the hands of child rapists, including Viagra linked to the operation being found at the scene of a child rape, do we have a scandal that’s more or less outrageous compared to what Paterno did? How does it compare to F&F?

    When thinking about it that way, it makes me more sympathetic to the notion of a double standard. But somehow facilitating child rape seems worse than facilitating murder. It may not be entirely rational.

    • Alwin says:

      I’d imagine rapists don’t need Viagra to rape effectively. In fact, they’d be much more effective at raping without it… no pill to take, no possible side effects (up to and including death), no wait time. Since firearms are the most effective tool, can’t compare them to Viagra.

      Finding child rape worse than murder places so little value on a human life that a murder following a child rape can be seen as little more than euthanasia.

      Just because we own guns and may one day, God forbid, have to end an immediately violent criminal’s life justifiably (and then suffer internally for it, despite the value of their life continuing being decreased by their actions), doesn’t mean we should irrationally let the value of innocent lives decrease as well.

  4. Jeff says:

    The fact that the guns armed murderers in Mexico isn’t the worst part of F&F. The worst thing is that it was done as part of a strategy to enact more gun control in the US. If that leads to a significant trampling on the right to self defense (a handgun ban being the most extreme example), how many future rapes and other violent crimes will *that* facilitate?

  5. lucusloc says:

    I don’t know. I mean we are talking in the abstract here, and should really be thinking in terms of a one on one comparison. Trying to get an apples to apples comparison going I would argue that since ultimately both crimes are about exercising control over another, murder is equivalent to rape forever. The only real difference is that in this case we are presuming one is done to a child and the other to an adult.

    I still find the question somewhat academic though, because I would vote to put a bullet in someone who commits either one. And I would add an extra bullet if it was done to a child.

    And of course we are only talking about people who abet the actual criminals, but I don’t think that really changes much about the actual root question.

    I am gong to go out on a limb and say Sebastian’s reaction is to the fact that one act was done to a child and the other presumably was not, and not really about the severity crimes themselves. A perfectly normal and appropriate emotional reaction to be fair, but does not hold up well to the logic of the situation (in my opinion). YMMV depending on how much you think the “done to a child” modifier changes the severity of a crime.

  6. Roger says:

    Eric Holder should NOT be allowed to step down. He should be fired. Fired and then prosecuted along with the other beaurocrats that perpetrated the gunrunner disaster.
    Or as an alternative to prosecution here in the US, we should save lots of taxpayer dollars and export the lot of them to Mexico for the Mexicans to prosecute and incarcerate.
    That, gentlemen would be poetic justice.

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