What is a Criminal

A criminal is a person who has either done something illegally or was convicted of a crime. While this brings to mind large dirty sweaty men in cramped jails. In reality your average criminal is a lot less threatening. There are different types of criminals. Most are just people trying to get by in their own lives. They sometimes over step a line they were unaware existed or just didn’t think about until it was too late.

Every person will at some time break a law whether intentional or as a result of ignorance. When it is done with the knowledge of it’s illegality it is a criminal action. Rather than viewing themselves as a criminal for small offenses. Most people rationalize their own behavior. Saying that it doesn’t hurt anyone so it isn’t really wrong. This is a mistaken view.

Consider a person who habitually speeds, often the excuse for speeding is because they are more comfortable driving fast or they are running late for something. While most people wouldn’t call that person a criminal. Imagine that the person running late goes around a corner where someone is walking across the road. Not having time to react the driver hits the person. What was a harmless case of speeding, becomes vehicular manslaughter.

When the intentional crime of speeding becomes the unintentional crime of murder the view of the person committing it changes. In the first case most would view the person driving with indifference to a harmless action that they themselves have committed multiple times, In the second theoretical situation the responsible individual is seen as a person as careless, or malicious when the only difference between the two actions a fraction of a second before the turn is how it ends. If they make it to their destination without incident it’s fine, it’s criminal if it ends in tragedy.

Most people try to rationalize the illegal activity of others when they themselves have been known to do the same. Very few people go through their lives without ever speeding. While not all of those turn to murder, the ones that do are seen differently. Despite doing the same thing many people view their own activity to be ok since after all “no one has gotten hurt” In truth there are laws that have no basis. However most of the laws are to protect not only the person standing in the middle of the road, but also the one behind the wheel. When a person intentionally disregards something put in effect for the safety of the population. They are committing a crime.

Of course there are the more dangerous criminals. The bank robbers, and car thieves. People who are out to make a quick dollar no matter who it hurts. Their crimes are driven by hate, anger or greed. Most criminals while not harmless are just average humans. It’s the ones that commit crimes for the thrill of it that make life a scary place.

Before labeling someone a criminal take a look at their life. If the crime is what they had to turn to in order to take care of themselves and their families basic needs. The problem isn’t with their action it’s with the society that forced them to turn to illegal activities in order to survive. There was a time when a person could go into the wilderness, buy some land, or claim it through certain channels, build their own house, grow their own food, or hunt for meat, feed their family and live a happy productive life without ever seeing the rest of the world and be none the less off for it. Now even that much simplicity is outlawed. Making anyone who tries to live the glorified lifestyle of the old days a criminal because they would be illegally building, and hunting on their own land. Maybe it’s time to stop looking at the crime and start looking at the reason it was committed. Not all Criminals are all evil.