Friday, December 11, 2015

In A Word: Yes

From the AZ. Central:
There are a couple of different ways summarize what happened in Tucson last Sunday.
There’s the vigilante version and the Good Samaritan version.
Version one: A man is shot dead by a another man for stealing beer from a Circle K.
Version two: An armed citizen chases down a thief and shoots him dead after he says the culprit turned and threatened him with a piece of wood.
Each of these versions is correct.
Neither is complete.
Tim Steller, the excellent writer for The Arizona Daily Star and, wrote a lengthy thought-provoking column about the events leading up to the death of 46-year-old Gerald Ramon, the beer thief.
The man who shot Ramon has not been charged, though police are still investigating.
At about 2:30 in the afternoon last Sunday Ramon is said to have entered the Circle K, lifted the beer and fled.
The store’s clerk didn’t chase him.
Clerks are trained not to do such things. Too many bad things have happened in previous incidents. There are cameras in the stores to help with identification of culprits. The investigation is left to the police.
Still, should a thief just be able to walk into a place and walk or run out with stolen merchandise?
Another customer in the store took off in pursuit.
According to news reports, the customer pulled a gun and shot Ramon after he said the beer thief turned and moved toward him with a “large log and holding it over his shoulder.”
We don’t know for sure if such a confrontation would have happened if Ramon had been pursued by a trained police officer. But since a mug shot of Ramon has been released, we'd presume he's had previous run-ins with authorities....
I know what some of you are thinking.
Crime is crime. Citizens must stand up for what is right.
I have no sympathy for thieves, either, and I admire anyone who is willing to take action in order to correct a wrong.
At the same time, should shoplifting beer be a capital offense?
If you are a robber, you take the chance of someone shooting and killing you, no matter what you stole.
The thug took the beer because he wanted to get drunk.
He didn't steal food because he was hungry.
He wasn't stealing for kids in his family.
He was stealing beer and a hero chased him down, which the thug didn't like, so he tried to swing a piece of wood at the hero.
Getting shot at and being killed is a hazard of the job when you are a robber.
Just like robbing houses and then hiding in a swamp, only to be eaten by an alligator. 
Society is better off without the thug in it.
Good bye and good riddance to the thug.

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