As a preface to this article, I need to say that I am a strong dog-lover. While I have never believed that animals enjoyed the same sort of rights as humans, I was brought up to believe and always shall believe that anyone who has care of an animal is responsible for that animal’s well-being, and deliberate cruelty against an animal is not far removed from deliberate cruelty against a child. That is not just my opinion, but has been amply substantiated by psychiatrists. It is a plain fact that child abusers often start by torturing and killing animals, especially dogs.
So, as far as I am concerned Micheal Vick has established that he is a violent criminal who should not only be in prison, but when he is released he needs to watched carefully by the police for the rest of his life.
I had not planned to write any more on Mister Vick, now that he has been properly sent to prison for his crimes, but CNN did a public service by producing copies of letters sent by Vick to Judge Henry E. Hudson.
I wanted to give Vick the benefit of the doubt, since I know how the press can be, and that he did the right thing by surrendering to authorities without delay. But these letters show a Michael Vick who remains contemptible. The following are selected statements by Vick, and my gut response to them:
“I’m a very humble, soft spoken, and caring guy. Also kinda shy”
Apparently, it never occurred to Michael that really humble people do not brag about their humility, that caring guys don’t kill animals for not being vicious enough, and that that sending letters to a judge trying to influence their prison sentence runs hard against shyness as a character trait.
“I have accepted responsibility for my actions”
I think not, Mr. Vick. Your entire letter was about what you wanted and why you thought you should not have to pay for your crimes. You cannot say you have accepted responsibility, until you pay your debt. And that time, sir, is a long long time off.
“It hurts deeply because jail is no place for me and its hard for me to adjust in here, knowing that I’ve left my family behind.”
Translation – damn, I never thought you would actually make me serve my sentence!
“I apologize for the failed drug test”
That was incredibly stupid, Mr. Vick. Finally arrested after years of running a ring of gamblers, dog killers, and drug traffic, you should have understood that getting wasted in that crucial time where the judge would be weighing your demonstrated character was incredibly foolish. I have no doubt you are sorry, but wonder if you understand just how very far from the course you have strayed?
“I pray for a second chance to be back with my family”
Sadly, that’s part of the sentence, Mr. Vick. There are many, many convicted felons who share the same wish that you do. But when you get that chance, it must come only after you pay something of your debt. You cannot buy or charm your way out of this mess, and you have no one but yourself to blame for it.
I do not wish Michael Vick ill, but he needs to – finally – understand that he did not ‘make a mistake’, he committed a series of crimes, for which his price is still far less than many other young men must pay in the same condition. The letters make apparent that Vick has still not accepted the fact of his guilt, or the damage he caused not only to animals, but also his family, team, city, and even his own future.