Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Taking the bullet from a gun

The death penalty - we've probably only ever delved into this topic during GP lessons, or as a passing topic, engaging in a mutual exchange of opinions. I've adopted changing viewpoints on whether or not as a society we should ever condone capital punishment and have never come to an absolute conclusion.

Let's face it: forgiveness is not something we give willingly. Imagine if someone you really cared about was murdered. It would be a natural reaction to want to seek justice, that a killer doesn't get any less than he deserves for his atrocity. But then again, is there any moral justification for taking someone else's life? How different can it ever be from being a killer? It doesn't waive the fact that we are a tortured and pained humankind. (Come to think of it the word 'humankind' can be quite oxymoronic isn't it) 

So therein lies the line of ambivalence. But I stumbled upon this brilliant post today while reading Narelle's (from The Sam Willows) blog and it definitely got me thinking again. It talks about the work of Toshi Kazama, a photographer who captures timeless images of life in prisons around the world.  

"When the talk first started, Toshi asked us to imagine this scenario – say he randomly picks one of us out from the crowd, puts a gun in our hand, and asks us to shoot a convict. “Can you do it?” If we cannot bear to pull the trigger to kill a person, why do we expect others to do so?"

You'd be touched by such a powerful message it sends. 

"Get angry with violence, and hate crime. But never, ever hate a person.”

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