A few friends have given me some interesting feedback on the complete “End of Crime” article, which I’ll be posting in segments. One wanted to know if my recent robbery experience was the inspiration for this series.
Yes, it got me thinking about how easily it could have been prevented. A few hundred dollars of camera equipment in the parking lot would have helped to catch the robber. Instead we have to rely on the bank to belatedly cooperate with the police in releasing any video they might have. We have to rely on composite sketches. And so on.
I’ll post more of “The End of Crime” later. I recently found out that Florida currently has the highest per capita violent crime rate behind only Washington D.C. and Maryland. Yet while crime in Florida is going up, in more civilized areas of the country the crime rate is dropping dramatically. Violent crime and robbery is being replaced quickly by cyber crime. In the future, the only criminals will be highly intelligent and violent crime perpetrated by thugs with weapons will be a thing of the past.
Another responded by writing:
Have you lost your mind? What kind of humanistic technology worship is this? Christ alone sanctifies not GPS, or even the fear of getting caught. You had better take this down before someone reads it and copies it to use as evidence against you in the future. This is total lunacy!
I didn’t quite understand the part about people using this piece as “evidence against you in the future.” But that is no matter. I don’t think the first amendment is in immediate peril just yet.
The assumption here is that God cannot use technology to make people more law-abiding. Christ alone sanctifies, but one of the uses of the Law is to curb disobedience among the unconverted. We need technology to help us with law enforcement. To me it is not an either-or proposition.
A future installment of the article is going to deal with how we can use technology do away with jail for non-violent offenders. I agree totally with biblical law on this one in that people should be working to pay restitution. There should be no jail time for non-violent offenders. GPS is a cheap way of keeping track of people while they work to pay for their crime.
The flip side of this is that the same technology can be used by an oppressive government to invade the privacy of innocent people. Christians need to be aware of the advances and take steps to make forensic technology more of a volunteer phenomenon rather than an instrument of coercion.