So, in a discussion with the family over dinner last night, we touched on a very interesting subject; the subject of vigilantes.
The start of the conversation was about the character Kira from the anime/manga Death Note. If you’ve never watched it, it’s about a boy named Light who comes across a notebook, dropped by a shinigami, that will kill the person owning any name that is written in it. Light takes advantage of this and uses it to kill murderers, rapists, and various other kinds of criminals. As the deaths become noticed, he is given the name Kira (the way that the Japanese pronounce the word Killer) by the public.
We’ve been watching it as a family, and it was brought up that my boyfriend and son would thoroughly support Kira. My daughter seems to have no opinion on this. The question also came up as to whether or not each of us would use the Death Note should it come across our own paths. Again, my daughter skirted the outside of this topic (clearly she has the best moral character out of all of us), and the rest of us stated that we would most definitely use it.
Anyway, I want to focus this post on my own opinions on the matter from here on out.
First, yes, I would use the Death Note, and in much the same way as Light, to kill serious and vicious criminals. However, I doubt very much that I could ever use it as much as Light has, or punish people who have committed only small crimes, or in some cases no crime, just because I feel like it.
Yes, if given the opportunity, I would likely take it and kill the worst of the worst among us. No, I would not support Kira, or any other vigilante like him.
Just because I would break the rules of humanity, doesn’t mean that it would be right for me to do so. I would not want support, and would probably hate anyone who did. If I ever got caught, I would surrender peacefully and accept whatever punishment I was given.
Some people may hate the justice system in our country, and as with anything else that involves humans, it can be corrupt. However, it is still the best way that things should be done. One person should never be solely responsible for decided who deserves to live and die. Every single person alive is biased, so a single person could never ever give out just punishments all the time.
This is the single largest problem with vigilantes. Sometimes we feel like we need someone who can handle problems outside the law, like that’s the only way to handle people who can afford great lawyers and manipulate evidence. However, is that really okay? Would you really want to live in a war where a single person could dictate who was allowed to live and die? At would point would that person decide that because I ran a stop sign, which is against the law, that I should die as well? After all, running a stop sign is unsafe, and could result in the death of another person, so shouldn’t I be killed for that?
I don’t want to live in a world with that much fear.
Yes, the justice system can suck, and sometimes isn’t very just at all. However, do you really want people living outside of the law to settle these problems for us?
There’s an old says; those living outside the law can no longer be protected by it.
If you want to support a vigilante, then you live just as much outside of the law as them, and are inviting everything that comes with it.
Why support a vigilante? Why give in to your frustrations? The system can be annoying, but it can be fixed. People complain all the time about corrupt judges and politicians, but that’s all that anyone ever does; complain. If you have a problem, then fix it, and fix it right. Don’t go for the kind of quick-fix solutions that people like vigilantes present. It wont fix anything in the long run.
Before I end this and get comments about how much of a hypocrite I am, let me state for the record that I am well aware, in this case, that I am. Truth be told, I’m not sure that I would actually have the strength to use the Death Note in the first place, but it makes me a hypocrite to state that I would want to. Still, I get the feeling that many would, like me, want to use it for noble purposes, then hate themselves every moment that they used it.