Two nights ago, a 29-year old lawyer from Fairfield, Connecticut
climbed through his neighbor's window and stabbed the 58-year old man twelve times in the chest, according to AP news
Police found the lawyer standing over the sink, washing off the blood. They charged him with an open-and-closed case of murder.
The story is this: the lawyer's wife told him his neighbor had inappropriate contact (presume sexual) with his 2-year old daughter. The child told the parents some pretty disturbing things, and in the past, the lawyer had called the police due to inappropriate behavior on the part of the neighbor toward the child.
This is all of the story the public knows as of today, August 31, 2006.
I was directed to the story of the murderous lawyer by a blog I scanned today at the behest of a friend who has subscribed me to his personal spam list. Everyone needs an audience. You are mine and I am his.
"What would you do?" my friend asks his 34-person mailing-list audience, rhetorically. We're all fathers, and most of us fathers of girls. "What would you do if a neighbor was acting predatorily toward one of your infant children?"
The correct answer to the question is: I would have been very angry but I would not have killed anyone.
You are supposed to let the authorities handle it. You are supposed to take defensive measures, like never letting the child out of your sight, or moving in with your in-laws until the police arrest the guy. Climbing through his window and killing him makes you as much a criminal as he is.
But looking back over these nearly 20 years, I can't say that at 28 I would have had the presence of mind to stop myself from entering his house to have some words for him while I intruded into his space as he was upon mine. I know my wife would urge me to do something, and then would protest while I kicked in his door, or broke his picture window to climb inside. Because women can't possibly understand how a testosterone rage turns us into dogs they witness in fear while we become the sort of animal the world's armies have leveraged for the history of the human race.
Thank ye Gods I no longer have the energy to develop that much focused rage.
I cannot say I would not have broken into the bastard's home.
But I can say that I would not have brought a knife.
It would have been a gun.
Bravo, iceowl. This is what honorable men do. They protect their families. They protect their children. They kill the predator before he has the chance to strike.
Kill the evil man and harvest his organs for transplant into worthy cancer victims!
Save the poor lawyer from criminal charges. The child was only two, for God's sake. Imagine the irreparable damage, or the horrible death the child would have suffered if that man had his way with her.
Imagine! Have you no mind? Sometimes you must act before you can be struck. "Sometimes you have to shoot first," says the blog.
Bravo lawyer. Bravo iceowl. Bravo blogger. Long live the righteous. Death to evil. Kill them where they are most vulnerable - in their beds, on their toilets, in their showers. When they think they are safe: strike!
Victory for the common man, the young father. Death for child molesters.
A few days ago, Donald Rumsfeld addressed the generally "friendly to Republican Administrations" American Legion. In his speech he suggested that Saddam Hussein and his ilk were the modern-age equivalent of Hitler.
In hindsight - wouldn't any of us have liked to have put a gun to Hitler's eye and pulled the trigger back in the mid '30s, before the Holocaust? Before Poland and Leningrad and the Battle of the Bulge? Kill one man and save the lives of millions.
This is what Rumsfeld was asking. Wouldn't any of us have wanted to drive the butter knife into Hitler's neck and watch him call to his mother as he died, gurgling in his own blood before he had the chance to kill millions of innocents?
Of course we would. Any of us. Hand your grandmother a seven-pound sledgehammer and lead her to the back door to Hitler's office, behind where he sits, give her the chance to sneak up on him, and she'd gladly split his skull and return smiling, pelted in glistening gray matter.
We know what happened because no reasonable man would step forward to end the evil man's life before World War II. And so World War II existed. And the siege on London. And D-Day.
All because nobody would put arsenic in his breakfast coffee.
Oh. Would it have been all that unreasonable to kill Hitler before World War II? What appeaser of tyrants would say it would?
Except for our silly laws. Ridiculous laws that suggest killing someone for something they have not yet done is illegal.
This is true primarily for an aspect of life we call "free will". But we know that's malarky. Once a tyrant, always a tyrant. Expose yourself to a child, expect to die at her father's hands for the rape you know you will commit someday. Maybe if people got that through their heads, the world would be a safer place to live.
But first, we have to agree with our government and dispense with these irritating laws.
Donald Rumsfeld suggests that those of us are confused, unpatriotic, cowards who object to the killing of bad people who are involved in hating the United States and may do something awful, but just have not yet had the chance. He suggests that he is shoving the ice pick in Hitler's ear - pre-invastion of Poland - when he sends more Americans (and British and Australians) to die in Iraq while Iraqis kill more of each other. Because more bad things may happen, and we must stop them before they do.
Just like we would have stopped the Holocaust had we been given the chance back in 1937.
And knowing the American people would have never agreed to such a line of reasoning, we had to be led into the Iraq war with unclear, defective, deceptive information. And then scapegoats had to be found, so CIA personnel were fired and the careers of many individuals had to be destroyed so we could kill 100,000 Iraqis, 2500 Americans, and turn the place into a chaotic battleground of ideological sewage.
Those who object to the war are not supporting our fighting men and women, who have no medical care to look forward to when they come home missing limbs or half their civilized minds, because we have to cut spending on veteran's benefits to give tax breaks to the clients of Jack Abramoff. Those who object are not patriotic.
To be patriotic is to sacrifice our children's lives to attack the evil that might happen, to line the pockets of Bechtel and Halliburton execs, to line the pockets of Dick Cheney and his cronies, fair compensation for fighting the evil that may occur.
Let us all now arm ourselves with kitchen knives, our squirrel guns, our bows and arrows, let us all break into the homes of our shifty-eyed neighbors and kill them in their beds.
Then let's go to Iran and kill all of them, for what they might do.
This is how you save the world for the good people. This is patriotic, according to the American government.
Oh, but how you twist our words, iceowl. We didn't say we are killing them for what they might do - we are killing them for taking down the World Trade Center. For planting bombs in London and Spanish subways. We are killing them to make them stop packing their shoes with plastique and entering shopping malls and aircraft.
Would you not defend yourself against these cretins who believe, beyond all reason, that God himself is on their side?
God is on our side, iceowl, and the sooner you realize that, the better for you.
God tells us to kill these people for their indirect actions against us. Direct death is the only adequate remedy for an uncertain future.
Stand in our way, lose your home. Expect camp relocation.
Last night I heard something on television that renewed my faith in humanity and the American system of ideals. Truth, liberty, and freedom for all.
Keith Olbermann's "special comment" must be recorded somewhere for posterity. He was not speaking to the audience of Fox News, but rather, a group of people who could follow complex sentences, coherent logic, and had a vocabulary above that of Big Bird.
When a man stands up to the Fascism that might occur: stands in front of the wall and proclaims that not only does the emperor have no clothes, he doesn't even have the receipt from the cleaners - this is the stuff that made America great, and reminds us that there are still reasonable people here.
"We are not descended from fearful men," said Olbermann, quoting Murrow.
We do not seek to kill the evil men who have assumed control of our government for what they might do, or even for the tens of thousands they have killed in the name of crimes they did not commit, but might have. We seek their defeat in the American system of elections. And we will have it.
And because we are reasonable, we do not have to resort to carnage to remove this regime, that so closely parallels the fascist regimes they claim to fight we may as well forget men ever stepped on the moon.
I am not descended from fearful men. And I have outgrown my need to react to all that angers me with childish physical outbursts. I do not find it amusing my government thinks the world stage is a giant grammar school playground, forgetting as our fathers taught us, that the strongest kid on the block must never punch at someone weaker.
I will not climb into my neighbor's window to kill him. And I pray that after we are done voting this November, nobody will.