Monday, January 27, 2014

Guest Post by T. E. Woods + a Giveaway

Morning, readers! As I mentioned, today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for T. E. Woods's The Fixer. And to go along with my review post, I have a little bonus: a guest post from T. E. and a giveaway! (Note this is a tour wide giveaway so do be sure to check the other posts on the tour.

Now to hand things over to T. E. Woods!

Inside the Mind of a Vigilante

To be a U.S. citizen is to live under a contract. No, we don’t take newborns into an attorney’s office, spell out the details, and get them to sign on the dotted line. It’s an assumed thing. Like all good contracts, there’s a deal involved. The citizenship deal, in a nutshell, is I (citizen) get a whole list of luscious rights that make my life richer and happier. In return, I agree to live under the rule of law. Simple, right? Another groovy aspect is I have the right to shape those laws. I can run for elected office and make them. I can petition the government to change them to suit my liking. I can openly protest and catch the attention of legislators who might adjust them for me. A good deal all around. Laws keep this society running so long as folks agree to abide. People who break the laws are criminals, and there’s an entire system designed to deal with them.

Between you, me, and the dinner plate, I know you’re a criminal. You’ve broken the law. So have I. There’s a stretch of road between my house and clinic with a posted speed limit so low I’d have to crawl. Each day I blow through about 25 miles over the limit. I do so willfully and with intent. Should I ever get pulled over, I anticipate a ticket. And in the name of good citizenship, I’ll pay. How about you? Do you allow your 19 year-old to have a glass of wine his first Thanksgiving home from college? Did you slide those receipts from Bermuda into the file marked “business deductions”? The truth is we’ve all broken the law and must stand ready to cope with the consequences.

What we don’t do…at least I hope…is take upon ourselves deciding which of our fellow citizens is breaking the law, judging all on our lonesome what the punishment should be, and executing that punishment ourselves. That’s vigilantism.

Sure, some vigilantes are narcissists who feel their judgment is superior to that of our courts. Those folks are crazy. There’s no use trying to understand crazy. Crazy just is. But most vigilantes are people like us…with an exhausted level of frustration or impatience. They’ve tried the established systems. Their frustration grows when the person who’s done them wrong doesn’t get the punishment they think is deserved. Or they know the appropriate punishment is coming, but long delays don’t scratch the justice itch dancing deep in their soul. Again, between that same dinner plate and us, haven’t we felt that urge? Haven’t we wanted ten minutes alone with that person who’s hurt us or someone we love just long enough to hand out our own brand of justice?

But we don’t.

Why is that, dear reader? Is it because of a deep and inherent appreciation of that social contract? Or have we simply not been tested far enough?

About the author:

T. E. Woods is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Madison, Wisconsin. Her scientific writings are well represented in peer-reviewed journals and academic texts. Her literary works earned her first place for Fiction at the University of Wisconsin Writers’ Institute. Dr. Woods enjoys kayaking, hiking, biking, and hanging around the house while her two dogs help her make sense of the world. Her habit of relaxing by conjuring up any manner of diabolical murder methods and plots often finds her friends urging her to take up knitting.

For more on T.E. Woods you can like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Big, big thanks to T. E. Woods and the folks over at Alibi. And now for the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for featuring this author for the tour.