Non-violent offenders and your safety is the subject of this evening's talking points memo. Very quietly and efficiently a movement away from incarcerating felons is underway.
The movement is causing states like New York, California and even conservative places such as Georgia and Alabama to change mandatory sentencing laws and to replace prison time with alternative punishment like rehab and ankle bracelets.
The mantra of this movement contains the words: non-violent offender. The thinking is that if a person doesn't physically hurt you he or she should not be put in a cell.
This of course is foolish, dangerous thinking because violence comes in many forms. A person who sells heroin, cocaine, speed or mind-altering pills is committing violence in my opinion.
Those substances injure people. And any clear thinking person knows it. If you know somebody who is addicted, you know that person's life is altered forever. And in 1999, there were almost 19,000 drug overdose deaths in America.
Non-violent? And then there is child abuse, prostitution, Aids spread by needles, family destruction, all stemming from the pusher's sale.
Yet there are millions of Americans who will not hold drug dealers and addicts who commit mayhem, criminally responsible for their behavior. They want to allow these people to basically skate with some rehab.
I don't know about you but I consider somebody who breaks into my house a dangerous person. Ditto somebody who steals my car or grabs a purse on the street.
But these are non-violent offenders according to the prison reformers.
The reformers are also angry about the percentage of blacks in prison right now, standing at 46 percent of the general population.
It is true that if you are poor, and can't afford a good lawyer, your odds of going to prison skyrocket.
But you know what? Tough. Don't do the crime! Poverty is a terrible thing. But millions fight their way out of it, legally! If you are a poor criminal, you know what awaits you. So too bad. Society does not have a responsibility to provide top notch legal representation at taxpayer expense.
Crime has fallen drastically in the past decade because the cops have arrested millions of bad guys and judges have finally been forced to isolate them.
Reversing that process is simply stupid and will hurt us all. Those who sell dope, burglarize, terrorize and generally hurt hardworking Americans, deserve to hear the cell door slam.
And if that stops happening, watch out!
And that's the memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day. Well summer flew by and that is ridiculous all by itself.
But now the new TV season is here and I hope you are ready for 18-thousand reality programs.
There are races and survivors in Africa and fear factors and loathing on Temptation Island and Spy Cams and Love Boat cams and bedroom cams ... and I have a massive headache already.
Through all of this, The Factor will be here for you. A sane refuge in an industry that has embraced the ridiculous to an amazing degree.
--You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET. And send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org