Apparently, the concept of personal responsibility is barely acknowledged – at least in legal theory or media-manufactured opinion.

Young thugs who get shot while assaulting police officers or law-abiding citizens are now commonly depicted as “victims” rather than as the aggressors they actually are, with enormous costs and consequences for their communities and our nation.

Other young thugs looting and rioting in the aftermath of justifiable homicides are sympathetically portrayed as “protesters” with legitimate grievances.

These are just the most recent and extreme examples in a long unfortunate trend of shifting blame for bad behavior from perpetrators to their targets or society at large.

Examples of the trend can also be seen in lawsuits against legitimate businesses offering legal, regulated products. Plaintiffs may or may not have the illnesses they claim to have, and may or may not have used the product they blame for their alleged afflictions – or they may have misused or abused that product.

Nevertheless, it's the company's fault, because self-pity is more pleasant for the “victim” than self-condemnation, because a plaintiff can't sue himself, and because the targeted company has deep pockets and is likely to settle rather than go to court and risk an outrageous award from a panel of the plaintiff's peers.

This is what happens when brazen operators like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are held up for admiration for decades on end. The lesson learned is that there’s a way to make money: Find a target and shake it down.

West Virginia is one of many states that got in on the hustle, and so is Kentucky.

For several years, our neighboring state has pursued a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, blaming its federally-approved painkiller OxyContin for the drug abuse common among its citizens.

Never mind that Kentuckians snorting and injecting OxyContin were not following product guidelines.

Have we reached the point where facts no longer matter and all that counts is the “narrative”?

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