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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
24th-Jul-2006 02:20 am
The invaluable Orson Scott Card makes a key point:

What Is This "Crime," Really?

A fifteen-year-old boy -- let's call him David -- has been yearning for his driver's license for a long time.

But today all thoughts of waiting for his license are out the window, because his little sister cut herself and he can't stop the bleeding. His family's phone service was cut off long ago. His parents aren't home. They live far from any neighbors. But they do have one uninsured car that David's been tinkering with. It runs.

So David puts his sister in the car and, holding a towel on the wound to apply pressure, he drives the car one-handed out onto the road and goes as fast as the car can go, heading for the nearest medical emergency center.

The trouble is, a state trooper sees him driving too fast and pulls him over. David tries to explain that he's only driving illegally in order to save his sister's life, but the trooper doesn't listen.

He drags David out of the car and handcuffs him and yells at him that he has no business driving a car without a license, besides which he was speeding and the car is not insured. "You will never get a license, we will confiscate this illegal car. Driving is a privilege, not a right, and you have forfeited that privilege by taking it prematurely."

David can't think about any of this. So he screams, "My sister is bleeding to death! Let me get her to the hospital!"

But it's as if the trooper is deaf to anything David has to say. "Don't scream it me, you miserable pipsqueak! Until you have a license you don't even have a right to be heard on these highways!"

Is your blood boiling?

Do you want to yell at that state trooper?

Do you recognize that Mr. Card has just told you what many Americans discussing illegal immigration look like in reality?

Read the whole thing. Then re-read it.
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