June 09, 2010

Dead from lack of common sense

The article I want to focus on is here:
Off-Duty Baltimore Police Officer Shoots, Kills Man Outside Bar

This is becoming far too common in today's America. There are so many problems with this entire incident that it completely baffles me how any of the participants could allow things to arrive at a point in time where one man is dead on the ground. This entire episode could have been easily avoided by everyone involved, but because it was not, a man is dead, a wife and two children are left abandoned, while another man's career will probably be ruined. Numerous lives have been shattered and all because the participants ignored the fundamentals of common sense.

Two key violations of common sense created this incident. Both are equally important for their contribution. First of all, the shooter was armed and drinking. He refused to be tested for blood alcohol levels, which tells me clearly he was inebriated and he knew it. Yes, this is an assumption on my part, but it is an assumption based on countless personal encounters in similar situations. Firearms and alcohol are always a deadly combination that everyone should avoid at all costs. If your friends are playing with their guns while drinking, carrying concealed while drinking, or going clubbing without locking away their firearms, then stay as far away from them as you can until they sober up! If this behavior becomes habitual, find different friends!

The second, equally foolish behavior that led directly to his lying dead on the ground, was when the victim stepped outside the bounds of married responsibility and molested a woman outside a bar. Marriage is a commitment to one person for life. Period. Every time you flirt a little, entertain the idea of stepping out on your spouse, or consider having an affair, you are promising nothing but pain for yourself, your spouse, and your children. In this case, the victim's "harmless playing around" resulted in his wife being widowed while his two children are now fatherless.

What kind of future will this family have now that the children's father is out of the picture? Statistics paint a grim future. Fatherless children in Baltimore normally wind up in gangs. That this father was killed by an off-duty police officer only increases the possibility. The widow will have to be a very strong woman indeed to hold her family together and keep her children from winding up dead from drug overdoses or gang-related shootings.

Two men, both foolish, have destroyed a dozen lives through their irresponsible and immature behavior. If the media needs a "slant", then this is the angle they should be focusing on. This death is not the result of poor police training or insufficiently funded social programs. This death is a direct result of failures in the moral and ethical compasses of two individuals. More funding for social programs, more anti-gun regulations, more laws on public behavior, and more civil rights activism will not change anything. Just as in this incident, the failures of modern America are individual failures by individual people.

We don't need a better America. The only thing we need is for every individual American to return to the moral foundations that transformed this country from a handful of backwoods colonies into the greatest power on earth. What we really need are better Americans, and that is something you and I can control through the choices we make every single day of our lives.

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