This I Believe

Lisa - Louisville, Kentucky
Entered on October 26, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: injustice

Do you believe in chances? What about a life-altering chance? If you ask why I ask this, let me fill you in. Approximately ten years ago a boy not yet a man committed the unthinkable. Afraid that his friends were receiving the raw end of a fight, he desperately came to their defence and with every negative being in him, he pulled the trigger of a gun with no intent to kill him by shooting the guy in the leg. He didn’t know what effect this would have on the rest of his life, or those who love him. Months later, he was convicted and sentenced to 2 years in prison. After his prison release, his life was a lot different that before. He no longer could just go and get any job. The acts that he chose to commit that one night would cost him his future in many different ways. Approximately 5 years later I got the pleasure of meeting this man. I was so attracted to how intelligent he was, and also given what life he had, he still managed to stay somewhat positive. Four years have gone by and things have changed, but the memories of that one night still stay with us. Since then he has gone to college and graduated at the top of his class with 2 degrees. With his felony on his record he is unable to land a career. I myself have returned to school and am seeking a career in law enforcement. In the beginning I asked you if you believed in life-altering chances. here is why I ask. Since he was released from prison he has not committed a crime. He has 2 degrees, and has played his part as the model citizen. With me trying to pursue a career in law enforcement this makes it difficult for me, because his crime was committed with a gun, and because he is labeled as a felon. In the future when I become a police officer, I will not be able to bring my weapons home. With this I am faced with the decision of possibly having to give up my dream. Should I have to do that? I think not. My opinion is that for the past 10 years he has given back more than he was given. He has lived a positive, productive life. He has not added anything else to his record. So why can’t society give back to him? Is that fair that he loses his life over a mistake? Is it fair that I should have to give up on my dream or give up being with someone that I love, that has been an inspiration to me because he isn’t given another chance? I think not. I belive I not only speak for my faily, but I also speak for all of the other families out there not willing to speak out on this issue. I am willing to speak out because I think it’s time to focus on what good that could come of this. Without giving those one time felons, who have not committed a crime in 10 years or more another chance. We are throwing not only their lives away, but the future of the men, women, and children as well. When and how will this be fair? The next time you have the oppurtunity to take a chance or give somweone a chance I hope you can look back and think of how giving someone deserving a chance, how you have changed their life in many positive ways.