Last week I saw a news story about John Hinckley Jr starting his own YouTube channel were he showcases his guitar playing while performing songs he has written. Very cool idea. Many people do this and some wonderful talent has been cultivated from YouTube. While John Hinckley isn’t a Justin Bieber or Billie Eilish, he’s part of the free world and should enjoy the outlet for his creativity.

But there are those that think otherwise. So who is John Hinckley Jr? He shot then President Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s in an effort to impress actress Jodi Foster. Sounds crazy? The courts thought so and he spent three decades under close psychological observation and was turned back over to his family just a few years ago. Did he pay for his crime? He did exactly as the court required and was then freed under supervision. Yes. Yes he paid for his crime. In America, that’s justice, isn’t it? Do wrong, pay the price? But tragically, there was a great backlash to John Hinckley’s YouTube channel…

The quote that was used by the news anchor, “He shouldn’t be able to profit off of his crime like this,” struck a real cord with me. Is he profiting off of his crime? No, he’s playing a guitar, singing songs he wrote, none of which are songs about trying to assassinate a President. And if we want to make all things fair and equal, the only reason he’s famous is because the media has ensured his fame for three decades for a crime he paid for. But it speaks to the real problem with crime and justice in America. When is enough, enough? How many pounds of flesh must the convicted give beyond what the judicial system has asked for? That seems to also be a moral issue. So as we work through the double speak of the media, politicians, attorneys, and advocates for both sides of this argument, play on John Hinckley. Let’s hear what you’ve written….

by Rory Andes

When the pound of flesh is given, give forgiveness in return…

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