Wednesday, April 27, 2005

But then again....

Since I disagreed pretty forcefully with Craig in the last post, I should note that I agree with him here.

Last week in Niagara Falls, two teenagers decided to hold up a pizza delivery guy. Their potential windfall, however, turned to spectacular bad luck when it turned out that this particular delivery guy was carrying a gun (for which he had all the necessary permits). The pizza guy fired, killing one of the assailants.

I later saw on the news that one of those creepy impromptu memorials had been created at the scene. I generally don't like these types of memorials to begin with, but erecting one in the honor of a person who was killed while committing a crime makes it clear to me that maybe we ought to be spending our memorial-constructing time a bit more constructively.

I have little sympathy, really, for the kid who got killed. People who commit crimes run the risk of dying violently, and I see no reason to erect a memorial for it.

(Actually, it's not just inner-city crimes, either. Not far from my home there's a makeshift roadside memorial for three teenage guys who were killed in a car crash that was later found to have at least partially resulted from the driver of the car engaging in road-rage. That accident was nearly four years ago, and the makeshift memorial is still tended with all the regularity of a shrine to a Catholic saint. And then of course there is "Custer's Last Stand", the site of which is now referred to as the Battle of the Little Big Horn, probably for reasons of political correctness, but again it's a shift I don't have a problem with, because honoring a general who got his men completely routed because he basically made one idiot move after another for about a week doesn't seem right to me.)

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