Another Black Friday come and gone, and America did not disappoint with pushing, shoving and fights breaking out. Not over clean water or the last spot on a vehicle that could take one out of a war zone. Nope, over shoes, electronics and who knows what else. At a discount.
As a fiction writer, my mind goes to odd places. And so inspired by Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and movies The Purge and Series 7, I want to propose a fictional world where, once per year, we execute a rude, arrogant and aggressive person. Someone who has not committed a serious crime—we have that system in place. I mean those people who commit an on-going series of thoughtless, selfish actions.
Let’s take one of these people who thinks she can rip a box from the hands of a child (and then play the victim when the mother tries to take it back) and put them in the death chamber. Send the message that this kind of behaviour, which puts their wants (i.e., not needs) above the safety and well-being of others, has no place in our society. For our own protection, you have to die to serve as a warning to others.
Same would apply to aggressive drivers. While we all make mistakes from time to time, anyone with three or more moving infractions (e.g., drunk driving, speeding in a school zone, tailgaiting, excessive speed) is also up for execution. It’s luck, not the driver’s skill, that no one has been hurt by their reckless actions, so let’s see if we can’t nip it in the bud.
These executions would not happen for everyone; just one person per year. There would be due process, and I am in no way advocating vigilantism, but I think those of us who can keep it together have the right to defend ourselves. Since these selfish, violent bullies rarely have to worry about consequences, and often their actions result in rewards, let’s give them a reason to pause.
Of course, this is just an idea for a story, not reality. These bullies will continue to flourish, convinced of their own entitlement and superiority. Worst of all, they get to be seen as a hero for presenting the gift they wrestled away from someone else who was ahead of them in line.
(If you use this idea in a story, please drop me a line and let me know.)
In conclusion, here’s George Carlin.