Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Clean-Up in Aisle 27, Please!"

It’s a Shakespearian world.

We’re surrounded by villains, heroes with tragic flaws, mischievous players, innocent, but naive people and uncontrollable Fates.

Take John Crawford III for example.  He’s the innocent, naive person.  Our villain, who later admits he lied about what he saw is Ronald Ritchie.  He called the police with a lie. 

The lie?  That he saw a black man walking up and down the aisles of Wal-Mart with a loaded AR threatening people. One paper even claims Ritchie reported he saw Crawford load it.  

The reality was Crawford picked up a MK-177 BB/Pellet rifle off the WalMart rack while shopping.

What motivated this lie?  Maybe Ritchie doesn’t like black people.  Maybe he doesn’t like police.  Maybe he just a stupid asshole with funny (not Ha-Ha funny) ideas.  Later he backed off the lie and makes funny mouth sounds like: well, it was a rifle and I was afraid…..

We’ll cast WalMart as the Fates, moving people to final, unforeseen conflicts that only the Fates could change. 

Too far-fetched? 

Not at all.  Who sells a toy that is an identical look-alike to a firearm without packaging?  In hindsight this tragedy in three acts could have been prevented if the MK-177 BB/Pellet rifle had been in a box or blister package.

The police are the tragic heroes and not Crawford.  Crawford is the victim and victims are tragic in themselves.

What else could the police be?  They are given faulty information, respond to a situation that most of us would have opted out of.  They arrive and find exactly what they were told they would find, a man with a rifle in a store filled with people.  Fearing for their and the lives of bystanders, they engage the man and shots are fired.

According to Aristotle, a tragic hero ought to be a man whose misfortune comes to him, not through vice or depravity, but by some error of judgment.  

Boy, that sure fits the two cops perfectly.  They do what they believe is the right, heroic thing only to be vilified, punished and possibly have their lives ruined.  Even if that doesn’t come to pass, who is to say next time they wouldn’t pause a second, or two and it will be their last time?  Sounds pretty freaking tragic to me.

For a little black comedy we have the 36-year old woman who is frightened to death by the gunfire and dies from a heart-attack.  Yeah, they took her out in a body bag.

The dead man isn’t at fault, even though the city will attempt to put the blame on him.  I guess you could say, if he hadn’t been purchasing the BB gun or if he had it in a shopping cart the outcome might be different. 

The cops will be blamed.  People who never held a gun, never responded to a “man with a gun” call will point fingers and hold them responsible because they should have done something.  Again, that something is never clearly explained.  

Our villain will continue to exclaim that he was positive the man had a gun and did threaten other shoppers regardless of what the in-store video tape shows.

Is there a tactical aspect to this?

No.  Maybe.

Be aware the world is filled with people like Ronald Ritchie.  They may overreact out of ignorance, out of stupidity, or perhaps they just like making trouble.  There was once an Irish prayer that asked God to twist the left ankle of our enemies, so they and we would know them by their limp.  Clearly this hasn’t happened, so we don’t know who’s who.

Video cameras are everywhere and Wal-Mart’s cameras are playing a big part in this case.  Privacy is becoming a thing of the past and one day, like the current generation of Russian drivers, we’ll all wear video cameras to support our claims.
So, see what others miss, keep your wits sharp and don’t do stupid things.  Keep your self-defense weapon concealed.  We’re surrounded by Shakespearian villains.

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