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Take responsibility for your actions - Greg Gelpi

Just call me Houdini. With one snap of my fingers, I could make 99 percent of the world's problems disappear.

If suddenly everyone accepted responsibility for their actions, I guarantee (said with a heavy Cajun accent) that we would find ourselves living in a utopian world.

This isn't a new revelation to me, but a recent news event struck a personal chord.

Congressman Bill Janklow, R-S.D., was recently found guilty of manslaughter, driving recklessly and killing another motorist.

Did he deny doing it? No.

But, in this day and age, there is always a good excuse, a good reason to avoid responsibility, even for a U.S. congressman.

And Congressman Janklow's excuse? He hadn't eaten in a while and had low blood sugar.

Well, since I suffer from low blood sugar, I guess following Janklow's logic I have license to kill if I don't eat.

If I don't eat, I am no longer responsible for my actions ? right?

On countless occasions, my blood sugar has dropped, and I have experienced illness as a result, so often in fact that I just grab a soft drink or some candy and go about my day without a second thought.

The mentally disabled and children, who have yet to fully develop their mental capacity, understandably aren't held accountable for their actions.

During my spells with low blood sugar, I don't suddenly revert back to a childish state, nor do I suddenly lose my mental faculties.

Maybe I should seize the opportunity, though, to live life without responsibility. Maybe I should toss the candy bar out the window and do as I wish, declaring that it's not my fault.

Something tells me that wouldn't fly for very long.

The list of big name cases of dodging responsibility goes on.

How about the Menendez brothers, the rich kids who killed their parents a few years back?

They never denied cloaking themselves in black, sneaking into their parents' bedroom and shooting them several times with shotguns.

But, their actions were OK because the brothers had been abused, according to their defense.

How about suicide bombers who kill women and children drinking a cup of tea? They have excuses as well.

When did the law and society in general become overwhelmed with excuses and explanations?

The old political joke goes, when confronted with a problem, deny, deny, deny.

Nowadays, when confronted with a problem, simply admit to it and then dish out the excuses and reasons why it's not your fault.

Greg Gelpi covers education for the News Daily. He can be reached at or (770) 478-5753 Ext. 247.