I dropped Matt off at band camp this morning and on the way into church, I am listening to Mike and Mike in the morning and they have a Gambling Addictions counselor on the line. I could hardly believe what I was hearing.
That guy (I missed his name) has been working with Donaghy (the ref who is accused of fixing basketball games and then bet on the outcomes) and he basically said, Tim Donaghy is an addict. The public does not understand the nature of the gambling addiction. Tim could not have stopped what he was doing. He should not be penalized for what he did. It is a disease.
To borrow a line from John Stossel, GIVE ME A BREAK!
Of course Donaghy is guilty for what he did. Can you imagine the druggie who robs and beats (and let's say kills) a pedestrian to get money for drugs saying, I should not be penalized for what I did? I'm an addict and I was helpless!
What about the alcoholic who drinks and drives and kills someone in a car accident! Do we excuse them from the consequences since they are an addict?!
Fortunately, both Mike and Mike (while compassionate for Donaghy) didn't buy into this and neither did their listeners.
Ok - you are an addict, you get some of my sympathy for that. I know a lot of former addicts and some of them are my friends. I have a few acquaintances who are addicts and not in recovery.
Ok - you are an addict who does nothing about your addiction: You get no sympathy.
Ok - you are an addict who does nothing about your addiction and then, in the throes of your addiction, you break a law and someone gets hurt because you broke the law. Zero Tolerance! You pay the penalty.
But they say, this is not a deterrent to future behavior. Listen, if it is a deterrent, that is just a bonus. If it is not a deterrent, it doesn't matter. Break the law, you deal with the repercussions. Like everyone else.
But someone says, well Donaghy's family is the one who suffers. Yes they do and they have my full sympathy. I won't go into questions of enabling, yada, yada, yada at this point. They have my sympathy. It's sad what they have to go through. But are we now going to let everyone off the hook from the repercussions of breaking the law because they have a family member that will suffer?!
Addiction is painful. Irresponsibility and law breaking that arise out of addiction is painful . . . but it is not an excuse.
Ok, that's my rant and rave.