Criminals act in certain ways precisely because society has taught its 'peaceful' (read: passive) members to act in certain other ways. When a criminal can count on passivity, he'll keep stealing your stuff. Overlooking this salient point, the Deseret News editorial board today referred to a local incident of self-defense with a weapon as "shades of Dirty Harry".
I went to my daughter's softball game yesterday after work. When one of the other girls came up to bat, her mother offered very clearly the following words of encouragement. "C'mon sweety, you can do it this time! Don't worry about all the other times. You need to swing the bat! If it comes anywhere close, just swing!" The pitcher, who hadn't been pitching all that well, thereafter looked noticeably relieved, and the batter went down on three called strikes.
Talk about showing all your cards to all of the other card players! This is the kind of behavior that criminals--local and international--thrive on. Are you listening, Deseret News?
When Bob Lonsberry of KNRS berated the Deseret News editorial board for a sophomoric editorial in today's paper, I thought he must be joking. So I went and found my newspaper, and there it was. I imagine (with tongue in cheek) that the writing experience went something like this:
Board Member 1 [Pulls a bottle of whiskey from his briefcase, opens it, and takes a drink]: Man this is some righteous stuff. You want some?
Board Member 2 [Taking the bottle and drinking deep]: Oh, dude, that stuff is awesome.
[All board members take drinks all around, until the empty bottle clatters to the floor.]
Board Member 1: Okay, what should we write about for our editorial today?
Here's the story: Two young men have been the victim of car robbery on multiple occasions. They catch the thieves in the act on yet another occasion. Thieves jump in car and drive away. The car sideswipes and mildly injures one of the young men. One young man fires a shot at the tire of the vehicle in an attempt to disable it.
For this they receive the choicest opprobrium of the Deseret Morning News editorial staff. According to the DesNews, the men attempting to defend their property are actually just "buckaroos" from The Hunt for Red October. They are "[s]hades of Dirty Harry". They were "looking for their own 'Butch and Sundance' moment." And best of all, they are scolded so that they will remember next time that "Life doesn't imitate 'High Noon.'"
What if the thieves had been armed? Would we have had a "Shootout at the OK Parking Garage"? And what if the bullet had hit a fleeing bandit or ricochetted into an innocent bystander — as happened in Ogden when a child was killed by a stray bullet from a gang shootout?It's offensive to compare a defense of self and property to a "gang shootout".
The two young men seemed to take pride in what they'd done. They had been the victims of smash-and-grab robberies several times before and had had enough. But mimicking the movies isn't a true route to justice. Police said if the young men had called officers when the silent alarm went off, the crooks would have been apprehended.
What if the thieves had been armed? I have as of yet not been able to follow the illogic that because the thieves might have been armed that no law-abiding citizen should carry a firearm.
"If the young men had called officers when the silent alarm went off, the crooks would have been apprehended." Promise? The two young men notified authorities moments later. Have the thieves been apprehended yet? Law enforcement is a thin blue line. They cannot defend me with nearly the alacrity that I myself can.
Never--at least in the ones that I have read--has the Deseret News been so off the mark in one of its editorials. It's...shades of The Three Stooges.