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V is for “Victimless Crime” - Oxymorons from A to Z



V is for “Victimless Crime” - Oxymorons from A to Z

Legalese may include this term, but it sure appears oxymoronic, particularly at close examination.

What is a victimless crime?

Generally, a victimless crime is a law-breaking action that seems to be risky or harmful only to the person committing it. Some people even deny those dangers or ill effects.

People propose all sorts of examples of transgressions of the law, which they claim harm no one. These include: gambling, graffiti, pornography, prostitution, recreational drug abuse, sexting, shoplifting, and vandalism.

(In some of these cases, the actual victims may be obvious, even if folks claim otherwise.)


Even misdemeanors like driving without seat belts has been tagged a victimless crime. (Maybe those folks haven’t seen those gory highway accident films that law enforcement agencies show people in court-ordered remedial driving school programs.)

Some call abortion a victimless crime, although many beg bitterly to differ, both on whether abortion is a criminal act and whether it is victimless.

Can any crime be harmless?

Isn’t the person committing the supposedly victimless crime actually victimized by his or her own wrongdoing? How about his or her loved ones? Is there any such thing as a victimless crime?

What’s an oxymoron?

Basically, an oxymoron is a phrase that seems contradictory or incongruous. Taken literally, the words do not make sense. Often, oxymorons find their way into popular usage, becoming cultural catchwords or frequently used idioms.

Many of these curious wordings strike us as delightfully amiss. Besides, what sort of whimsical word is “oxymoron”?

Delightfully Amiss: Berzerkians Gone Amok … and Finding the Funk in Dysfunction is participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. That means you can find a new post every day (except Sundays, because those are the event rules) throughout the month of April. Be sure to bookmark, follow, or subscribe! And please leave a comment, especially if you’re playing along with the A to Z Challenge.

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Crime Scene
by Alan Cleaver
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Oxymorons from A to Z
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1 comment:

  1. "Victimless crime" does sort of seem a bit of a copout to be used by those who commit it. It might not be a direct impact on someone, but shoplifting hurts the business where something is stolen from and the economy, for example.

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