OCTOBER 11, 2011
BRUCE A. BRENNAN BLOG FROM THE WORLD AND MY MIND
The news as I see it and the views as I want them.
October 11 is … It's My Party Day
I’ll cry if I want to, so says Lesley Gore.
The Bears cannot call a time out on the season even though the second quarter of the season just started; they are out of time outs.
Cry for Catherine Susan Genovese; she deserves it. Yesterday I wrote about the 1964 Kitty Genovese murder. She went by the name Kitty. Today, I will continue with a few more thoughts about this tragedy.
The circumstances of her murder and the lack of reaction of numerous neighbors were reported by a newspaper article published two weeks later; the common portrayal of neighbors being fully aware but completely nonresponsive has later been criticized as inaccurate. Nonetheless, it prompted investigation into the social psychological phenomenon that has become known as the bystander effect (or "Genovese syndrome") and especially diffusion of responsibility.
Many saw the story of Genovese's murder as an example of the callousness or apathy supposedly prevalent in New York among other larger cities in the United States, or humanity in general. Much of this framing of the event came in reaction to an investigative article in The New York Times written by Martin Gansberg and published on March 27, two weeks after the murder. The article bore the headline "Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police."
The public view of the story crystallized around a quote from the article, from an unidentified neighbor who saw part of the attack but deliberated, before finally getting another neighbor to call the police, saying "I didn't want to get involved."
Perhaps every rain cloud has a silver lining. Studying and writing about a problem is a waste of resources if nothing is done to correct the problem.
The lack of public concern is still a problem in America; it is an even bigger problem today. Retail companies tell clerks not to contest a robbery, just give the criminal what he wants. Police tell us to dial 911, do not put yourself in harm’s way. It is common to hear or read about people being beaten or robbed in front of others who just don’t want to get involved.
The only time a big deal is made about a crime in front of people is when others get involved. This is a complete reversal from the way it used to be and the way it should be. The law abiding citizens should take back the streets; the criminals should not be in control.
When a Good Samaritan gets involved, they are often sued by the criminal for injuries the criminal suffers during the altercation with the innocent citizen. The criminal is sometimes in prison when he files suit. Runaway juries and ultra-liberal judges often side with the criminal.
The fear of being injured by the criminal as well as the prospect of being sued by the criminal all work to discourage bystander involvement. Society has to take a stance against this insanity. I am not encouraging vigilantism just crime prevention. Bystanders should be allowed to stop criminal behavior without the fear of financial ruin. Even if the Defendant wins the lawsuit, the cost of legal representation can bankrupt many people and prevent many people from even defending the suit, just ignoring it and losing to the criminal.
One way to encourage citizen involvement is to legalize concealed carry gun laws. The criminals know the average citizen cannot carry a handgun. The criminal has little fear of being stopped, caught or injured during the commission of the crime. If the guy three seats down on the bus has a legal gun and shoots the criminal, the next criminal will think a little harder about committing an intimidating crime. If nothing else, it prevents this criminal from being a repeat offender.
Things are not working the way we do it now. The City of Chicago brags about the decrease in crime in the City. What the city does not publicize is that the reduction in crime coincides with the Supreme Court over turning the ban on handgun ownership in Chicago. The same trend was seen in Washington DC when its ban was thrown out by the Supreme Court. Coincidence or common sense; you decide.
Just a couple of thoughts I had and you should too or at least think about.
BRUCE A. BRENNAN
DEKALB, IL 60115
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Holmes the Ripper
A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction
The evil is not that you cannot change human nature. The evil is human nature cannot change you." - Barrows Dunham