A 22-year-old was sentenced Monday to four years of incarceration.
He pleaded guilty to charges of break and enter, possession of a dangerous weapon and unlawful confinement. Those charges resulted from a series of misguided decisions on top of a previous history of misguided decisions.
As it was heard in court, the situation that resulted in several charges could have ended violently. It didn’t.
No one was physically injured, and two lawyers and a judge agreed that four years of this man’s life was fair punishment for his actions.
This man, who is now serving time, is younger than me. At 23, I cannot imagine losing any of my time to jail for bad decisions. Two years, four years, whatever. It might as well be an eternity.
I am at the start of my career. I have people in my life that I love. Without missing or wasting a day, there still isn’t enough time.
It’s difficult to accept that the difference between freedom and imprisonment is just a bad decision.There has to be more to it than that.
We all make at least one bad decision a day. But ordering fries instead of a salad doesn’t get anyone locked up.
When we put ourselves in bad situations, regardless of our age, we magnify the consequences of bad decisions.
Even with a healthy upbringing, an education and a strong moral compass, we can still end up doing the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong place.
Is circumstance all that divides me — or anyone else — from serving time in jail?
There are many traps we can be pulled into.
Alcohol is the most dangerous variable. What starts as fun can end in tragedy.
It happens to people of all ages and backgrounds, but it resonates when it’s closest to my demographic.
Young men need reminders we are not immortal.
We don’t think rules apply to us.
Monday, I was reminded how absolute the laws of physics are. Three men between the ages of 21 and 24 were killed on Highway 2, south of Moose Jaw, in a rollover Sunday night. One is in critical condition. Two others received non-life-threatening injuries.
Those guys probably had fun that day. The survivors will not remember that. They will remember the horror of having friends die next to them.
The RCMP believes alcohol and passengers not wearing seatbelts were factors in the crash and fatalities. These dead men had friends and family. There were good decisions they didn’t get to make.
We know seatbelts save lives. We know not driving after drinking saves lives. We know breaking into an ex-girlfriend’s house and holding her at knife-point will change lives forever.
Some bad decisions have worse consequences than others.
Luck is commonly considered a deciding factor in jail versus freedom or life versus death. I believe in free will and can’t attribute those things to chaos.
We are legally responsible for our decisions from the age of 18. I’m 23 and I claim to know better than to drink and drive or take a hostage.
But I’m not foolish enough to believe I am immune from bad decisions.
You want to preserve your future. You want to spend time with loved ones. I know I do.
Have fun, be safe.
Austin M. Davis can be reached at 306-691-1258 or follow him on Twitter @theAustinX.