Saturday, February 19, 2005

Tax Dollars Wasted Again?

Colin Cowherd, ESPN radio analyst, had an interesting point yesterday on his program. He asked why are there thousands of suicide prevention hotlines, and no "homicide hotlines" to talk a person out of homicide? As a member of society, is it more important to try to talk someone out of homicide than suicide? Isn't the price of homicide a little higher than suicide to our society? At least with suicide the perpetrator is only hurting himself. Homicide perps hurt one or more other people, and then, if caught, cost us thousands or millions, to try, convict, and imprison. The only hotlines I can find for homicide are there for reporting it after the fact, not for prevention. Does this once again have to do with our self absorption, that we are willing to spend money to help people not harm themselves, but do nothing to try to talk others out of hurting others?

The CDC spent over 2 million dollars on suicide prevention programs this fiscal year, and requests are being made to raise the amount another 5 million next fiscal year. That's fine, I guess. I am not saying suicide prevention is not a worthwhile goal. But I am personally a little more afraid of another person harming me or my family than us harming ourselves. Is that right? Or am I now the one being self-absorbed?

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