Friday, June 26, 2020

Lie Down With Dogs

I am putting this edited post back up, minus the cheerful comments wishing me death. I removed the name of the victim not because it got a gaggle of illiterate people upset but because it was just in poor taste so soon after her death. My main point had been lost in the kerfuffle but it still remains. Oh and comments remain off.

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When you spend a lot of time reading stories about violent crimes and murder as I do, the names and faces start to blur together. The mugshots from the offenders are almost always the same, the dead eyes and vacant stare sometimes mixed with the teeth showing "look how tough I am" pose. The victims are often the same, usually other black men who often conveniently have a mugshot on file.

Every once in a while, a story breaks the spell and catches my eye. One of these examples happened this week in nearby Fort Wayne, Indiana. A young woman, only 22 years of age, was shot to death in a driveway in the middle of the afternoon. The man she had been in the car with moments earlier and was apparently arguing with, a young man with an extensive criminal record of his own, allegedly shot her four times before fleeing. I am not sure what her relationship was with this young man but as I said he was a convicted violent criminal. The young woman was dating at some point recently a different young man who was incarcerated and she herself had been arrested last year for resisting arrest and assaulting a cop.

It makes me wonder what happened to this young woman that put her on the path to laying dead in a driveway at age 22. Why would she choose a boyfriend who was a criminal? She is pretty enough to get a boyfriend who wasn't a loser. Why would she be in situations where she gets arrested for assaulting a cop and resisting arrest? 50 years ago a girl like her would probably be married and starting a family or on that path. Instead she is dead. Is this liberating and empowering?

There is an old saying:

If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.

The Bible says something similar:

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

The general point is the same, regardless of your opinion of the Bible. If you hang around with the wrong sort of people, bad things tend to happen to you. Every weekend people are shot in urban areas who were not the target of the shooter but when you hang around late at night with the sort of people other people want to shoot, your chances of getting shot go way up compared to being at home in bed. You can't just lock yourself away in the hopes of never being a victim of crime but you can certainly reduce your chances of ending up dead from a gunshot by making better choices.

We don't know all the details of this young woman's murder yet but you can start to piece together some likely scenarios. Her death is almost certainly the result of a series of bad choices culminating in her death, just like the death of Ahmaud Arbery was not caused by "racism" but rather a short lifetime of bad choices that led to him fleeing from the scene of a crime before attacking an armed man.

Bad things do happen to good people but bad things happen a lot more often to bad people and the people who hang around with bad people.